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Old 24-11-2009, 13:41   #1
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Good Handheld GPS Unit?

I would be using this unit initially costal crusing in Texas then ultimately for a trip from Texas to Central America and back. Would a handheld be a viable tool and if so what are any of your experiences with them? Are there any models to steer away from and are there any features that are nice to have? Thanks in advance for the advice. Robin
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Old 24-11-2009, 15:14   #2
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I used Garmins 72 (better) and 76 (good enough). Mind - no charts there, but they are strong as brick and have some basic navaids stored in (lights) and tides for the US too. I liked them a lot.

There is a 76 with a chart too.

b.
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Old 24-11-2009, 15:16   #3
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Get a Standard Horizon HX 850 VHF hand held waterproof radio with the built in GPS and it also doubles as a EPIRB unit if things get crazy. Communication, navigation, and peace of mind too. even gets the usual international channels (3 different sets) and weather too.
awesome. beats the hand held garmin ledgend hands down.
just a thought.
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Old 24-11-2009, 17:49   #4
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Arrow I like the Garmin 76 myself,

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Originally Posted by cdennyb View Post
Get a Standard Horizon HX 850 VHF hand held waterproof radio with the built in GPS and it also doubles as a EPIRB unit if things get crazy......
Just to point out the obvious, the DSC function on this radio does not 'double as an EPIRB'. Might be a fine dingy radio and back up GPS but I personally would not want to rely on it for navigation. (even taking the coordinates off it it and plotting them... I would want a more eyeball friendly display).

I like the Garmin 76 myself, I wish the buttons were under the display, not on top (what on earth were they thinking?!?!) I preferred the Magellan Meridian Marine, but they no longer sell or support the unit... sadly.
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Old 24-11-2009, 18:09   #5
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I should point out to you that the 850 is a distress radio which when activated sends the GPS coordinates to search & rescue. It is as accurate or more so than your Garmin. Unfortunately, if you want a pretty picture, instead of using a paper chart and transfering the coordinates to it to indicate your position then a much more expensive chartplotter with color LCD screen is probably what you need. On the other hand, as your post implied, simple and cheap. The 850 is the best of both worlds. After all, it's a big ocean out there and what is there to see on the tiiny screen of a hand held GPS but open space? It isn't like using it in traffic on the interstate in downtown miami.
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Old 24-11-2009, 18:20   #6
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robinls -- is this your only gps unit on board or is it going to be a back up?

as info we use an older gps 76 as a back up - we used it to get from the bahamas to miami when we got hit by lightening in the bahamas

chuck patty and svsoulmates
in a slip in brunswick ga for repairs
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Old 24-11-2009, 18:37   #7
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i have a lowrance full chart plotter on board but always keep my personal favorite the garmin gpsmap 60cx with me. its great for hiking navigating roads and when connected to my laptop with coastal explorer works great....
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Old 24-11-2009, 20:21   #8
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Take a look at this on E-bay:

Rugged Color Mil-Spec Chartplotter Tablet PC WIFI & GPS Great units, work both at sea and on land, lots of other functions as well.
I have one and it's great.
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Old 25-11-2009, 01:52   #9
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I use a Garmin eTrex Legend HCx with marine charts installed as my backup for the Raymarine Plotter. Works very well even though the screen is a small scale.

Cheers
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Old 25-11-2009, 05:32   #10
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Garmin 72/76 - absolutely rock solid for years now. I process all my waypoints into it, have sailed East coast of australia with it and a chart book. Best value $200 I have spent - which is not to say others arent good as well - just that its great.
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Old 25-11-2009, 06:20   #11
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Robin,
I use the Garmin map76 along with a chartbook. It's held on a mount in the cockpit, pick it up and put it back. I don't go in for a lot of gadgets and this is about all the technology I can handle. It has survived an open cockpit for 5 yrs with minimal care. Dave
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Old 25-11-2009, 07:52   #12
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I have a Garmin 76Cx, which has charts, with a Garmin 72 as backup (no charts).

That said, I sail on western Lake Ontario, where there's not much to hit. Farther east, the 76 would come into its own.


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Old 25-11-2009, 08:12   #13
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I just purchased the Garmin Oregon 400c from West Marine on sale for $299 and LOVE it. I bought the 76csx for the same price a few weeks ago and returned it when I found the Oregon was on sale.

I found that the 76csx did not come pre-loaded with charts and would have to spend more than the purchase price to get all of the charts I wanted. The Oregon came pre-loaded and is an overall superior unit.
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