I have had really good experiences with the Garmin units. I have traded up from the GPS 45 to the GPS 48 to my current unit, the GPSMAP 76. Depending on your needs and budget I would consider the GPS 76 (no mapping), GPSMAP 76 (Base map with the ability to upload from CD-ROMs) or the GPSMAP 176 (takes map chips from Garmin). No matter which handheld you go with, I would get a WAAS capable receiver. Good luck.
Practical Sailor periodically reviews handheld GPS units - less frequently, permanently installed ones - and has consistently placed Garmin slightly above Magellan when looking at all the factors (user interface, form factor, accuracy & initial lock, etc.). This is just one type of gear where multiple manufacturers offer great value.
We''ve been using an older Garmin 45, a newer 48 (a BIG improvement even on the 45) and a fixed-mount Garmin 130 (I think; I''m off the boat at the moment) and I really appreciate the common user interface as I move between units. So if you can borrow a GPS to play with a bit - and get comfortable with it - I''d recommend that before making a product choice. E.g., I just flat don''t like the Magellan interface, but that''s just me.
Garmin 48 is less that $175 now and the price continues to drop, has all the marine buoys, etc. Garmin 76 and 76 map are excellent including tides, moon rise and set, etc., for proportinally more money.
See http://www.garmin.com/marine/index.html for a full discussion.
I''ve got the 48 and love it and for bicycling have the Garmin Etex Summit . . .but that is another story.
I looked at the Garmin III+ for around $299, but the Garmin 48 is attractive for $149. Will all the GPS units give me info like speed, sunrise, sunset etc... I know the Garmin III+ does. What is the Garmin 76 map? What features does it have. Don''t see it in the Sailnet store. Rob
As I mentioned above I have previously owned both the 45 and the 48 and love them. Garmin makes a great user interface and it is consistant from unit to unit. The 48 has been replaced by the GPS 76 and a more advanced GPSMAP 76. I own the latter. The 175 has been replaced by the 176. The GPS76, GPSMAP76, and GPS176 being all WAAS receivers. I have heard alot of banter as to why someone would ever need the accuracy of WAAS. I have been in plenty of places in the fog where being off in your position by a few hundred feet would make the difference between floating and going aground. For the $50 difference in price between the old 48 and the new 76, I would take the new product anyday. (As with all new technology, one never "needs" it until it has become well aceepted at which point we all think, how did we live without it.) In any case, I own the GPSMAP76 and have been very happy with it. It has a detailed basemap that includes roads, exit facilities, etc as well as the more germain coastal features and buoys. It includes all the features of the 48 and GPS76 along with the above. In addition, one has the ability to upload to the unit, from a CD, marina information, coastal detail, and spot soundings. Garmin is due to come out with a new series of CD''s called BlueChart which additional details this summer. Battery life is good, accuracy is unbelievable, its waterproof and it floats.
The GPSMAP 176, as I understand it, is a WAAS version of the 175 and takes chips that contain the mapping information. Garmin will be (or is) producing Bluechart chips for this product as well. Good luck.
Thanks for the info! I had started looking for a Garmin GPSMAP 76 and can''t find it at any of the stores or on the internet stores. Any suggestions as to where I can get one and about how much are they?
Has anyone configured a Micrologic Sportsman GPS to work with a laptop computer running theCapn charting software? Even with the manuals from both units, I can''t get the software to input the Lat Lon data.