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post #11 of 24 Old 11-07-2009
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The Garmin GPSMap 76 seroes of units has be out for a long time. The greyscale GPSMap 76 was my first true mapping GPS with sounding information on the charts. When I first got it I could read it pretty well in good sunlight. Later I needed some help with some reading glasses. The color model of the 76 series has a somewhat smaller screen although the over all size of the unit is the same and the website indicate the desplays are the same size.

If you realy want a true handheld I'd go with one of the newer Garmin lines like the Orogon or Colorodo lines. They have some that come with preloaded charts but their description is qualified so I don't think they include all coastal charts. Their screens are significant;y larger.

Last edited by LinekinBayCD; 11-07-2009 at 06:02 AM. Reason: clarify
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post #12 of 24 Old 11-07-2009
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I have two of the Garmin GPSMap 76 series units... a 76CS and a 76CSx... both are excellent... however, if this is going to be your only unit, I'd go for a Colorado over the Oregon—as the touchscreen can be problematic if you need to wear gloves or the screen gets dirty. The 400 series of either unit will have the coastal US charts pre-loaded, and that is a significant cost savings over buying a 76 Series and having to load it with charts.

The 478 and its successor, the 640, are not really handheld units per se, but more portable units that have both terrestrial (automotive) and marine navigation features. I had one of the predecessors to the 478, the 276, and it was an excellent unit for both uses....but not so useful if you need it when out hiking or geocaching.

The point that the GPSmap 76 series float is a good one, since having the IPX7 rating means little if the unit sinks to the bottom of the lake... I don't believe any of the other units I've mentioned float.

As for other brands, like Magellan, DeLorme, etc.... just don't do it... their handhelds really are a step lower than the Garmins...




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post #13 of 24 Old 11-07-2009
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I have a Lowrance iFinder H2O. Under $150 for the grayscale unit including the 12V power cord. Includes a database of all US buoys and marks. A SD card with charts of entire US is under $100. No problems after 3 years of use.
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post #14 of 24 Old 11-07-2009
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The Garmin 76 series is all over Ebay for really great prices if you are patient and can keep from over-bidding.
- - I purchased a second Garmin 76 after one day while sailing I looked at my Garmin 76 "backup" unit and it was dead. It would not restart. I have it connected to ship's power and it also feeds NMEA to a computer down at the nav station. The problem was I had not changed the AA batteries in over a year and they self destructed and dissolved the battery contacts inside the GPS. So since the units are very economically available on Ebay, I got a "back-up" back-up unit.

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post #15 of 24 Old 11-08-2009
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The old hand held Nav6000 grayscale uses C-Map nt maps, same as my 630 Ray chartplotter. Used it for a BVI trip and also for a Tortuga triangle trip. Came in handy when we lost ship's power and all on board navigation equipment. Just had the compass, stars and the Nav6000 for second opinion. Always have paper charts to plot course and distance. Had a great trip, always on course....

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post #16 of 24 Old 11-09-2009
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I used the Garmin Oregon all summer. Works great. I agree with the other post in that it works best if you have a paper chart handy so you can get a glance at the bigger picture w/o dealing with zooming. It came with the BlueCharts and I've also loaded up us streets so it will give turn by turn directions on the road. What's more useful is the giant database of "points of interest". When we pull into a harbor, I can easily see all the local restaurants, marinas, telephone numbers etc. We bring it ashore since it will also give us distances and directions. Now that the boat is out of the water, I've loaded topo maps onto it and have been using it for hiking.

I would not suggest getting the Colorado though. The Colorado is essentially a dead product. Garmin has stopped updating the firmware and are focusing on their touch screen units. I'm not a big fan of the touch screen, but it works well. I've been using it with gloves lately and there's no problems. Ours has been knocked around the cockpit and doused with salt water..I just rinse with fresh. I do however keep suntan lotion greasy fingers away from it though.

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post #17 of 24 Old 11-12-2009
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Just a bump. I just got a West Marine sales flyer and the Oregon w/coastal charts is on sale for $299.

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post #18 of 24 Old 11-12-2009
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Unless you feel you must pay twice the price or must have the unit tomorrow - go to eBay and look up the units at auction. A little patience and bidding can save an awful lot of money.
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post #19 of 24 Old 12-04-2009
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Garmin Oregon w/ pre-loaded charts

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Originally Posted by preservedkillick View Post
Just a bump. I just got a West Marine sales flyer and the Oregon w/coastal charts is on sale for $299.
Regarding the Garmin Oregon that comes with Blue Chart g2 coastal charts - do these pre-loaded charts provide details of harbors, ICW, inlets, etc.? I saw something that referenced "limited information" at some point so I wanted to be sure.
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post #20 of 24 Old 12-04-2009
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1.0 out of 5 stars Total Rip-off, November 23, 2009
By JM. L. - See all my reviews

1 - It's not a good product.

As I've used it in the Us, I've been constantly disappointed by
the device quality, as well as the UI. The screen brightness and
readability is very poor, and the touch screen is incredibly bad.
The UI is convoluted, and complicated to use, many things don't
make any sense.

2 - You can't have maps for it.

I purchased this unit as a handheld sailing GPS about a year
ago. It comes pre-loaded with g2 map for the US. As I tried to
get maps for central america, I couldn't find anything on the
garmin web site. It turns out that the g2 maps are bogus, and
garmin has had to pull them out of the market, and recall them.
I called garmin support who confirmed that. They also confirmed
that I cannot put any other maps on the GPS, as the older
BlueChart maps could be loaed on the device, but < entirely compatible, and could display incorrectly>>. Not
something I want for sailing.
The unit is now basically a very expensive paperweight.

3 - Garmin won't stand behind their product.

As I started asking, whether I could either return, or exchange
the unit against one that has maps, the support person kept insisting
that < you should take it up with them>>. As I asked, < you're the one selling this>>, he kept repeating <>.
They are clearly better trained at avoiding admission of liability than helping customers.

Let me recap this: The company sells a products that promises
worldwide maps. They later discover that their maps are useless,
and pull them out fo the market. They refuse to do anything about
the device you bought, that you cannot use because of their own
fault.


Another reason not to have GPS
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