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Old 18-02-2013, 18:24   #1
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GPS handheld recommended?

I'm looking to buy a good GPS handheld as a backup unit for cruising.There are so many options out there and the ones I see on sale at West,etc often have poor reviews. Any suggestions for a good, proven, user friendly version appreciated! Joe
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Old 18-02-2013, 18:30   #2
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Re: GPS handheld recommended?

I carry a couple of the Garman GPSMap 76 series handhelds on the boat to use as backups. They double nicely for land-based use when I'm doing field work.
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Old 18-02-2013, 18:31   #3
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I can recommend against Delorme. I thought the new series was gonna be the cats ass, but it's a pita.

Can't go wrong with garman
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Old 18-02-2013, 18:39   #4
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Re: GPS handheld recommended?

They all do the basic job (i.e., determine position and velocity) pretty well. I think most have a simulator function built in, so why not spend some time at West Marine exploring the user (un)friendliness and the functionality and tell us which you like best?

I still have my old GPSMAP 76 with a b&w screen. The processor is a little slow refreshing the chart display, but otherwise the user interface and features are fine. Unfortunately, land-based activities seem to be the dominant market for the low end GPS devices and the marine oriented functions suffer as a result. One symptom is that Garmin no longer sells charts, only "water maps"
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Old 18-02-2013, 19:04   #5
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Re: GPS handheld recommended?

Another option I have been thinking about is my old Nokia phone. I am pretty shore it's gps worked without the net and you could get Lats & longs off of it as well as a plot of the surrounding land mass. Not perfect but when combined with paper charts and having it set to the correct time, it seemed to work.
Can anyone elaborate on this? It would be good to know if you can actually use it in an emergency?
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Old 18-02-2013, 19:21   #6
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Phone GPS continues to work out at sea even when out of phone call range. Heavy on battery though. I use an android one to transmit my location to my shore eta contact via free ais pm if want details
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Old 18-02-2013, 19:58   #7
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Re: GPS handheld recommended?

Many apps for phones and many discussions on them. I like MX Mariner

But there are several things that you ought to consider...Your phone battery may die and leave you with no phone and no backup gps. My handheld is waterproof, my phone is not (but my son's android is). And one thing I have done TWICE...you can lend out the extra GPS, but you need your phone.
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Old 18-02-2013, 20:35   #8
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Re: GPS handheld recommended?

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I carry a couple of the Garman GPSMap 76 series handhelds on the boat to use as backups. They double nicely for land-based use when I'm doing field work.
Second that recommendation. The 76 is a convenient size and good all around backup. I even use it as the primary on my power boat when offshore diving. But the built in charts are very limited so you will need to get the bluechart map chip for the US waters. Think it was $99 at West.
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Old 18-02-2013, 21:23   #9
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Re: GPS handheld recommended?

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Second that recommendation. The 76 is a convenient size and good all around backup. I even use it as the primary on my power boat when offshore diving. But the built in charts are very limited so you will need to get the bluechart map chip for the US waters. Think it was $99 at West.
Yeah. I built a mount to use one of mine on a sea kayak. Better than a deck-mounted compass, as far as I'm concerned. When is the last time you got SOG from your compass?

Feel free to ignore the above if you never need to worry about getting lost in the fog on a sea kayak.
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Old 18-02-2013, 21:34   #10
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Re: GPS handheld recommended?

Years ago I bought the Garmin 60CS which was pricey at the time but a very good unit, using the bluecharts downloadable from the laptop. Now a days it sits in a drawer on the boat as a spare. I have an Android based phone and an Android based pad, both have Navionics which are also spares. My main unit is a Garmin Plotter which is excellent. One tends to collect toys with newer and nicer bells and whistles, but at what point do we end up with too many spares? I also have a couple of laptops with Garmin Nroute and other Navigation programs. Maybe I am a tech junky.
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Old 18-02-2013, 21:44   #11
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Re: GPS handheld recommended?

I have an old gar in GPS...the yellow one...gives lat long...great basic GPA...with paper chart....

I use my android phone or tablet or iPad for chartplotter of I want

Navionics I like better than MX mariner, bit the android Google nexus seven does not get the navionics app...I emailed them and they said it was not coming anytime soon...I have navionics on the iPad and my phone... MX mariner on the nexus tablet...


Point I'm making is there are sooooo many options, just have a couiople so you have backups....my old android, I bought backup batteries from amazon...came from China...two batteries for fifteen dollars...I had eight batteries! Phone was HTC ego, actually, still in my basement..

Plenty of ways to do it, jus pick one:-) or several
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Old 18-02-2013, 22:05   #12
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Re: GPS handheld recommended?

I have 3 of the OLD Garmin Yello Boys!! LOL just lat and long, no charts, no nothing but your position! that and paper have gotten me all over the darn place !! Connie has her I-phone and her lap top with the Capt set up, we cross ck a couple of times a day! works for us and a lot cheaper then these fancy chart plotters !! and I don't need to have the darn lights at the wheel !I admit to being to old to change now ! and the money I would spent to put that type of stuff on board, will let me cruise a extra couple of months !!! Just my 2 cents
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Old 18-02-2013, 22:16   #13
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Re: GPS handheld recommended?

The yellow ones work...I had my first when I was in the marines....I got out back in 02 and gave it to my younger bro in law before he went to Iraq, he was a young Lt.....would have definitely been lost with just a comp as andmap;-).

I liked it so much, I went and got another!
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Old 19-02-2013, 06:44   #14
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Re: GPS handheld recommended?

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Yeah. I built a mount to use one of mine on a sea kayak. Better than a deck-mounted compass, as far as I'm concerned. When is the last time you got SOG from your compass?

Feel free to ignore the above if you never need to worry about getting lost in the fog on a sea kayak.
Well, we did just get our first kayaks but fog isn't too much of a problem in FL. Plus my wife isn't much into long paddle trips so unlikely we would get far enough from the launching point to get lost anyway.

But it was great going 20 miles offshore to dive. West coast of FL in spots is shallow pretty far offshore and you go far out of sight of land to get to the wreck dives.
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Old 19-02-2013, 06:59   #15
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Re: GPS handheld recommended?

If you can still find a Garmin Oregon (ebay perhaps??) with the marine charts rather than topo maps, they are fantastic little units. Garmin discontinued them a few years ago but it's worth looking for a good used one.
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