You could purchase the unlock code from Garmin
for your area for your Mapsource program. I think they're about $100.00. I plan routes from home using it, and then upload the routed to my 76csx.
(though, you'll also need a garmin
usb cable to do that) Garmin
stopped supporting real-time tracking on the updated mapsource that was free to me for download , which I wasn't happy about. I suppose I could re-load the original old disk.
But without the tracking, you can still use it for planning and upload the routes to your 76csx. Once you activate the route, your handheld
will give you SOG, ETA, ETA to next waypoint etc etc.
Once you reach a waypoint it will move on to the next waypoint.
I have Maptech's Navigator lite, as well, that came with my chartkit. It does have real-time tracking, you can connect your laptop and your 76csx to it, and use it that way, for positioning.
I haven't planned routes in Navigator lite, but I know that it does it. I just don't know yet if it will upload the routes to the garmin handheld
. I will tinker with it soon and report back. Unless someone else can confirm.
Once I have the routes uploaded I can use the handheld
in the cockpit, or bring it below and connect it to the laptop.
This is my redundant set-up, as I do have a plotter with the entire east coast of the US at the helm. But, I find that use the handheld
equally as much, running them both at the same time. I like that the 76csx has a graphing barometer, and tides and currents etc etc. So, I can check on things offwatch, without interrupting the helmsman.
I think your plan is fine. I think if your garmin will allow you to upload planned routes from Navigator lite, you'll be in great shape. Fog is fog, without radar
and or AIS, you're right, you just need to know where you are, and be able to plot positions, courses, speed etc, that you obtain over security calls.
If you are Coastal and within cell phone range and have a data plan on your phone, you can often pick up MarineTraffic.com on the internet with your cell phone hooked up to a laptop. That will give you an idea where any big ships are. I've used that set-up on the chesapeake bay successfully.
My wish list items are radar
and an ais on one plotter, with overlay. But if and until that happens the above has worked for me.