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Old 08-01-2015, 07:49   #1
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Shopping for a gps/depth finder

We have a 1982 27 ft boat we are updating and are currently in the market for a gps and depth finder. We will be taking the boat cruising on the chesapeake bay and eventually to Florida and the Bahamas so we want a GPS that will be good for long range cruising. Is there a better brand to be considering, Garmin, Lowrance, another?
Thanks!
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Old 08-01-2015, 07:54   #2
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Re: Shopping for a gps/depth finder

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Claudia & Phil.
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:58   #3
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Re: Shopping for a gps/depth finder

We are using an iPad running the Navionics app. I have talked to many who have done the ICW, east coast, bahamas and caribbean using this type of setup. No matter what GPS/chartplotter you go with you need to supplement with the Explorer Charts for the Bahamas.

We will be adding the Sonar Phone and Tbox feature this year and that will give us depth sounding and fishing finding on the iPad as well.
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:01   #4
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Re: Shopping for a gps/depth finder

I like the Garmin units. They are ruggedized, waterproof and visible in direct sunlight, unlike a tablet. I don't believe that a tablet out on deck is the right equipment for the job....I know a lot of people would disagree.

You can get a decent Garmin GPS/plotter/sounder for under $1000.
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:22   #5
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Re: Shopping for a gps/depth finder

might try going on ebay or contacting raymarine and see if you can find rebuilt or refurbished equipment -- if you can the c-map is accurate in the bahamas - not like navionics (as i understand it- when we sailed bahams we used older raymarine with c-map and it was spot on - we have not sailed bahamas since we upgraded our system that uses navonics)
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Old 08-01-2015, 19:16   #6
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Re: Shopping for a gps/depth finder

Quote:
Originally Posted by JK n Smitty View Post
We are using an iPad running the Navionics app. I have talked to many who have done the ICW, east coast, bahamas and caribbean using this type of setup. No matter what GPS/chartplotter you go with you need to supplement with the Explorer Charts for the Bahamas.

We will be adding the Sonar Phone and Tbox feature this year and that will give us depth sounding and fishing finding on the iPad as well.
Does this set up depend on a wifi connection? If so the gps systems that use satellite (like garmin) would be more reliable wouldn't they?
Thanks for comments
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Old 08-01-2015, 19:38   #7
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Re: Shopping for a gps/depth finder

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Originally Posted by Claudiaandphil View Post
Does this set up depend on a wifi connection? If so the gps systems that use satellite (like garmin) would be more reliable wouldn't they?

Thanks for comments

Cell data capable iPads have gps receivers built in. You don't need to be connected to wifi. You don't even need to have it hooked up to a cell carrier. You can also have a blue tooth external GPS receiver that cost about $125.



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Old 09-01-2015, 17:52   #8
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Re: Shopping for a gps/depth finder

Used Garmin GPS for years and never had any problems with them. A good budget option is to use a simple one with Lat/Long readout then to plug it into a laptop running open CPN and free charts from USA. Another budget option is a tablet running Plan To Nav (Cmap). Buying chart cartridges for a dedicated plotter is the most expensive option available.
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Old 11-01-2015, 01:48   #9
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Re: Shopping for a gps/depth finder

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Used Garmin GPS for years and never had any problems with them. A good budget option is to use a simple one with Lat/Long readout then to plug it into a laptop running open CPN and free charts from USA. Another budget option is a tablet running Plan To Nav (Cmap). Buying chart cartridges for a dedicated plotter is the most expensive option available.

by the way we use opencpn as a backup to our chartplotter - have a plug in gps that is inexpensive and it works great -- an inexpensive alternative
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