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Old 27-12-2013, 10:41   #1
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Whats a good, affordable, GPS?

I'm in the process of buying another sailboat after a 30 year absence from sailing. I would like to get a decent GPS in the $500-$700 range with maps for the eastern US and Bahamas. After looking at some models online, I was awash in a sea of confusion as to what some of the terms and features mean. I don't know if I need an external antenna or not. Also, I really don't need an integrated system.

I'm leaning towards a pedestal mount simply because it would be easier for me to read. Obviously it would have to be easily removable for when I'm not on the boat.

I would appreciate any thoughts on what brand/model might best fit my needs.
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Old 27-12-2013, 11:33   #2
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Re: Whats a good, affordable, GPS?

Go to defender.com and do a search on chartplotters. Garmin and others make stand alone units with all of the east coast charts installed. Not sure about the Bahamas.

Another solution is to buy a tablet, an iPad, Nexus or others and install a chartplotter app. The Jeppesen Plan2Nav app is free but you have to spend about $10 for the east coast and Bahamas charts. I have looked at but haven't used the Bahamas charts on the water and they look good. A Nexus 7 is about $250. The only downside relative to a Garmin or similar is sunlight readability and some bells and whistles like tide and currents info.

David
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Old 27-12-2013, 11:37   #3
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Re: Whats a good, affordable, GPS?

Thanks David,

I already own an ipad so I figure it would make a good backup for me. I'll check out defender.
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Old 27-12-2013, 11:39   #4
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Re: Whats a good, affordable, GPS?

Garmin 741S. Great GPS Plotter has the charts you want built in. Then if you want later you can add, RADAR XM Radio and weather, and a lot more. Plus you can hook in any of your existing instruments
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Old 27-12-2013, 12:03   #5
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Re: Whats a good, affordable, GPS?

The 741s, or the 740s Garmin is what I am looking at, there was some good package deals with the radome for under $2K, If you just get the plotter you are in your price range, then can expand to the radar and sonar if you ever want to. The adverts I have been reading offer the Bahamas as a part of the installed charts. I have not used one of these units personally, but I have been using Garmin products for years, in the commercial towing, commercial fishing, and sailing worlds and have had really good service. I am currently using a GPS 152, on my tug and while I'm sure it was intended for sports fishers or something like that, it has been working steady since 2009, we are using if for coastwise navigation to the platforms and it has no charts in it, just the same it endures the gen set changes etc.... I had a Garmin 232 gps plotter on my commercial fishing boat for years and it has always performed, in fact when I sold the boat, I took it with me to put on "Rose", Since I am intending to travel wider, I am looking at a model where I can put new chart cards into it.
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Old 17-02-2014, 20:31   #6
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Re: Whats a good, affordable, GPS?

If you're still following this thread...
Get a BU353S4 from Amazon, about 30 bucks. Plug it into a laptop that runs XP or newer, and download free US charts. You have a basic charting system for almost nothing.
Lepke
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