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Old 22-04-2008, 13:18   #1
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Garmin GPS

Hello All:

About a year ago I bought a Garmin 178C Plotter Sounder. I like it. It has nice size view screen and is very intuitive to use. The sounder I was never able to hook up b/c I needed to put a thru hull fitting in for it. I tried attaching it to the inside of the hull but was not able to get any readings.

Now the bad things about it. Chart prices are outrageous!!! When we had it in one area -- say Vancouver Island it was reasonable. I think I paid under $200 us for all of the seattle area up into the Gulf Islands. Then when we went into Desolation Sound there was another $1?? something. Then down to Oregon we got hit again. Oregon to SF. I finally bought some used data cards from someone off of the SSCA website and they are great. I now have the entire coast from Skagway to Acapulco. But that was another $300. At this point I have alot of $$$ into charts. More than I paid for the GPS unit.

While at the boat show I spoke with a rep from C-Map. He showed me there $250 chart that goes all the way from Alaska to the Carribean. Full detail is what he said. I don't know how good the CMap charts are but they are alot cheaper.

At this point I am going to continue to use my Garmin. But I'm going to watch for sales on a new plotter that is compatible with CMap and probably before we leave Mexico sell off the Garmin and all the individual charts. Don' tknow when though.

Not a scientific evalutation but that's what I know.
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Old 22-04-2008, 18:59   #2
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You might want to consider this... a $400 Garmin GPSMAP 540 refurbed.

SKU:010-N0614-00 Garmin GPSMAP 540 Chartplotter (Factory Refurbished) - GetFeetWet Navigation BV5

Discussion here:

Garmin GPSMAP 540 chartplotter deal...

It includes charts for all US including Alaska, plus Explorer Charts for The Bahamas. You can use the SD card slot for additional charts. It's obviously not CMap compatible, but to me that's an advantage because I think it will be cheaper to add charts via SD card. The screen is 5" or so.
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Old 22-04-2008, 19:15   #3
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Charlie, We have the Standard Horizon with C-Map which we like a lot for a fraction of the cost of Garmin or Raymarine. Our $204.00 (wholesale) chip covers the entire US East coast, Bahamas, western caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. This is the newest chip and not an outdated one.
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Old 22-04-2008, 19:41   #4
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Yeah, got the Standard Horizon as well.

C-map/MAX...$199.00 for the East Coast of Florida and the Bahamas.

Never bought the chip however, using the thing as a fancy GPS, all ya need...
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Old 22-04-2008, 19:42   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedoo View Post
You might want to consider this... a $400 Garmin GPSMAP 540 refurbed.

SKU:010-N0614-00 Garmin GPSMAP 540 Chartplotter (Factory Refurbished) - GetFeetWet Navigation BV5

Discussion here:

Garmin GPSMAP 540 chartplotter deal...

It includes charts for all US including Alaska, plus Explorer Charts for The Bahamas. You can use the SD card slot for additional charts. It's obviously not CMap compatible, but to me that's an advantage because I think it will be cheaper to add charts via SD card. The screen is 5" or so.

It does sound like a good deal if someone were planning on staying close to the US. I may bring the boat to Europe. At that point I have to start buying Garmin charts. That's where they get you.
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Old 22-04-2008, 19:45   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Baier View Post
Charlie, We have the Standard Horizon with C-Map which we like a lot for a fraction of the cost of Garmin or Raymarine. Our $204.00 (wholesale) chip covers the entire US East coast, Bahamas, western caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. This is the newest chip and not an outdated one.
I'll look into the Standard Horizon at the show they looked like a good unit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
Yeah, got the Standard Horizon as well.

C-map/MAX...$199.00 for the East Coast of Florida and the Bahamas.

Never bought the chip however, using the thing as a fancy GPS, all ya need...
Is C-Map good for the Caribbean?
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Old 22-04-2008, 20:49   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
It does sound like a good deal if someone were planning on staying close to the US. I may bring the boat to Europe. At that point I have to start buying Garmin charts. That's where they get you.
I dunno. When I bought the Garmin 540, I spent some time on the phone with the Garmin folks and I learned a) that the Garmin SD cards for the Caribbean as an example were not too expensive, and b) that I could get retailers like West Marine to provide combo deals on multiple areas and formats (eg SD card and CD). Garmin licenses West and others to sell their charts.

I'll be adding some Caribbean charts in a year or so, and I'll know then what the additional cost will be.

You could probably get some quotes from West Marine for the GARMIN SD card Europe charts.
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Old 22-04-2008, 22:06   #8
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I've found that the Garmin charts are expensive and don't cover a wide area. That is my experience. Yours may be different.
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Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 23-04-2008, 01:04   #9
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I dunno..I'm still doing paper and trading charts and borrowing, then copying at a copy place. Works for me but hell...I tend to be an antique about modern stuff.
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Old 23-04-2008, 13:08   #10
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I do not like copies of charts, unless it shows all the colors. It is easy to miss something when every thing is in shades of gray......just personal experience, and lucky to be alive........LOL
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Old 23-04-2008, 13:43   #11
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I've got one foot on each. I have the plotter and paper charts for everywhere I go to. I don't use the paper charts as much but they are really good for giving me an overview of what is going on.
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Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
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Old 23-04-2008, 13:46   #12
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Charlie,

We found that our C-Map charts were spot on for the Caribbean, except for some slightly off the beaten track spots like Barbuda and Los Roques. In these locations, the charts weren't incorrect - the landmasses where the right shape and the depths were correct. They just needed to be offset a bit. As a result, our position as displayed on our plotter did not line up with our real life location. You can see what I mean in the picture in the blog post below, where our plotter shows us sailing right through an island.
Mata'irea: March 15 - 18, 2007 - Los Roques, Venezuela
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