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Old 03-12-2009, 17:29   #1
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Handheld GPS, Anyone?

Aloha, after twenty years of semi-landlubbering, we are contemplating a cruise from Hawaii to British Columbia. We intend to navigate by sextent,, as we have always done. We would like to take along as backup a handheld GPS. We were considering buying Garmin EtrexH for their robust construction and waterproof qualities. Is this a good idea, anyone know? Rusty and creaky in Hawaii. maiziederrick
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Old 03-12-2009, 18:03   #2
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My basic Etrex works very well, particularly if you put in useful waypoints. I think there is a waterproof handheld VHF with a GPS chip in it (if you just want Lat Long).

Not what you asked, but a cheap option if you carry a laptop (i.e. not very useful on deck or a swim) is a GPS dongle. To get a 'free' chartplotter download OpenCPN & the free US e-charts or, for much of the South Pacific, calibrate NZ charts in SeaClear.
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Old 03-12-2009, 18:48   #3
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I think the Garmin Map76 is a better value with features you may find usefull. Dave
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Old 03-12-2009, 19:39   #4
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Some advantages of the 76 vs Etrex (by memory) are:

[1] Shows basic coastal outline (Basic Etrex does not, but higher end models allow user to download high res coastlines, if available)
[2] Anchor drag alarm
[3] IPX 7 waterproofing (my Etrex battery compartment would flood)

Dave may like to comment ...

Downside is just larger size & weight. Only an issue if hung round the neck (which I do)? But you may find it useful to look at the specs of different units before buying.

Other manufacturers like Magellan have good reviews ... GPS Review : GPS Reviews. Most are designed for land, and do not have the anchor alarm feature ...
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Old 03-12-2009, 19:50   #5
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I have had a Lowrance H2Oc handheld GPS/chartplotter that has given me excellent service for approximately 3 years, I use it in the cockpit in all weathers and with the sd card of all NZ waters it never ceases to amaze me. That being said The last couple of days it has decided not to recognise the satelite signals so I will get the service people to check it out. The straight H2O (no colour) model I use as a back up is just as good.
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Old 03-12-2009, 21:44   #6
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Hawaii to BC is a pretty serious cruise; I'd take it up a notch or two from an etrex. I find the screen a little small and end up zooming in and out and scrolling around too much. This wouldn't be much of a problem out in the open ocean, but it's annoying if you end up wanting to use it for near shore work, navigating hazards, etc.. Other than that, it's a pretty rugged little unit.
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:17   #7
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After you get your first exact GPS postions from the hand held GPS to use for plotting on your chart, I suspect your sextant will become your backup in a hurry.
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:03   #8
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GPS76c for me - used one to navigate from New Orleans to CC Texas w/no problems. Is a great backup for the main 2010c I have. One laptop does route planning then uploads everything to both units.

Have gotten the 76 splashed in the dinghy, actually floated around in the bilge for a few minutes with no issues. ePay finds them for much less than retail.

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Old 04-12-2009, 08:52   #9
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Since you are ONLY interested in the GPS to get your position (and not as a chartplotter), the simplest and most basic one will work. But having said that ,there are advantages to more featured units like the Garmin MAP76 series - and you may find yourself using those additional features.

I have a MAP76 and MAP76CSx. I would buy another 76CSx without even thinking about it - we use ours not only on the boat, but for hiking, and in the car (with Garmin's autorouting street map loaded).
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Old 04-12-2009, 19:10   #10
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Models 72 or 76. Cheap, reliable.

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Old 04-12-2009, 20:03   #11
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iPhone with Navionics charts. MAP76Cx as a second choice.
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Old 05-12-2009, 06:20   #12
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I recently bought the Garmin 76csx, so far I'm happy with it. Planning to use it (along with the paper charts) on my way to the Caribbean next week
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Old 05-12-2009, 17:18   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markpj23 View Post
GPS76c for me - used one to navigate from New Orleans to CC Texas w/no problems. Is a great backup for the main 2010c I have. One laptop does route planning then uploads everything to both units.

Have gotten the 76 splashed in the dinghy, actually floated around in the bilge for a few minutes with no issues. ePay finds them for much less than retail.

How do you upload to your 2010c?
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Old 05-12-2009, 17:22   #14
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Aloha MazieDerrick,
If you want a Garmin 72 at a very cheap price I'm not using mine. I live on the Big Island so you don't need to pay shipping and if you don't like it you don't need to buy it. $90. Private message me if you are interested.
regards,
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:20   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JiffyLube View Post
How do you upload to your 2010c?
I bought the USB data card programmer from Garmin. Take a blank card and load away.... Works with both XP and Vista but be sure to download the latest device driver from the website

Part Number: 010-10776-00

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