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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am shopping for a handheld GPS as a backup system for my boat and for kayaking . My ideal unit would be:
1. Waterproof.
2. Floats.
3. Large, clear display easily visible in
Bright sunlight.
4. Able to use memory cards or download
Charts worldwide.
5. Rugged, mil spec would be preferable.
6. $500 or less.

Any suggestions?
 

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Super Fuzzy Moderator
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Never had a problem with the Garmin gear we've used but isn't the 78sc a step up from the 76 ? Still under USD500.
 

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I have a Garmin 76CSx and an older Garmin 76. Both have performed admirably. The 76CSx is our main chart plotter. I think the current version is a 78xxx.

P.S. I think they float, but I've never had reason, nor opportunity, to test that -- yet ;).
The do float...we have both of those models too.

A word to the new 78 series though, we got one of those for my son. It has a REALLY powerful cool new feature - Custom Maps.

Basically you can take any image, link it to real navigation points via some utility and Google maps, then upload it as a "Custom Map" to the GPS.

This means you can upload things like a hand drawn map, a trail map, or a screen shot of a navigational chart or other image. They caution you not to use copyrighted materials and violate licenses etc., but the U.S. Coastal chart are all free which I think violates no ones license to use. You can screen shot a chart from a chart viewer site or OpenCPN then load it onto the device for no charge, which lets you end around the multi-hundred dollar chart chips.

Of course the chart chips are way better, but if you know where you will be going you can get rough charts onto it without one if you don't mind the leg work.

The seems quite accurate if your source material is to scale and you line up the custom chart correctly.

He is very happy with the 78 and likes it better than our 76 series. All of them are under $500.
 

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Sailor
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935 Posts
That's a really cool feature! It seems like the electronics companies are competing now for your business on the wizard plane, who's got the neatest features!


Mandolin, Bayfield 36 out of Rock Creek, Chesapeake Bay.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Corsair 24
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Garmin 76CSx
x2 I have this one...oops I have the 76cx....my bad

now about charts how expensive and good are they for simple plotting? I have only used this gps for basic navigating on land...but are the charts really accurate?
 

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Old soul
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...now about charts how expensive and good are they for simple plotting? I have only used this gps for basic navigating on land...but are the charts really accurate?
Hi Christian, I bought charts for all the Great Lakes, out the St Lawrence River. I think it cost me ~$150. This was three years ago. I wonder if they're now cheaper due to pressure from online sources. I bought the same set of charts for my iPad (iNavX with Navionics charts) for ~$50.

I find our Garmin charts to be generally pretty accurate. We do most of our route planning using larger paper charts, or now sometime the iPad. The small screen on the 76 are too small to do route planning very well. But I use it constantly for under way plotting and navigation.
 

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I have the 78SC and like it just fine. It gets used as a backup, although it was the primary device for a while.

Also take a look at the Garmin Oregon 650.
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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Everything that is "waterproof", other than golf balls, depends on seals. And seals all age and leak and fail, the only question is WHEN.

So by all means get the best IP67 milspec waterproof golf ball you can, but spend the extra $25 to put it in a good quality waterproof vinyl pouch with a lanyard, that is easily replaced when it starts to look unreliable.
 

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I use the Garmin 72, its a simple unit...no charts. I used OpenCPN(free) when getting/planning waypoints for trip with up to date NOAA charts loaded into laptop. I then load way points into Garmin 72 and then just navigate to waypoints. Pretty cheap and so far reliable setup.

I have a $20 GPS puck plugged into laptop safely below decks which gives me a poor mans chartplotter using OpenCPN....its functional and gives me a visual position on chart but surely not waterproof but does give me some redundancy.

I have both setup on boat for less than $180 not including laptop.
 

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hey I just installed Opencpn but it says I have no charts installed...

how do I go about installing some charts for pacific coast of central america?

thanks
 

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hey I just installed Opencpn but it says I have no charts installed...

how do I go about installing some charts for pacific coast of central america?

thanks
I downloaded my charts from NOAA website as a file. I used help function in program to get instructions...took a few tries to get right format.
I think cruisersforum.com has a section for setting it up.

Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk
 
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