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Old 26-03-2015, 12:22   #31
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Re: Best GPS Under $1k

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Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
If they both failed with a year, which is within the warranty period, why didn't you return them to Garmin for repair or replacement?

Both units you mentioned are waterproof to IPX7, which is 1m immersion, so shouldn't be failing due to salt spray, as you put it. They also float for 30 minutes.

In fact, since they discontinued the 72, it is highly desirable and frequently bought and sold on Ebay, due to its ruggedness and simplicity. Sold my 72 when I bought the 78, and got almost my purchase price back.
Yea, they would have been covered by warranty, but i bought them both in the States and then went sailing. The first one failed at some point between Galapagos and Pitcairn, so returning it wasn't really an option. The second was between the Canaries and Antigua. I probably could have returned that one from Bermuda but the customs regulations here are a pain in the arse and it would have cost me more for the shipping, duty (have to pay duty on repairs here.......) and hassle than it was worth.

They do claim to be waterproof but i just can't see it. The seal on the battery compartment isn't that good and from there there's a hole right through to the circuit board!
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Old 26-03-2015, 12:29   #32
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Re: Best GPS Under $1k

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Originally Posted by Chuck Hawley View Post
I currently have a Zeus 7 by B&G and I am very happy with it. It uses a combination of touch screen and finger controls which I find logical. It's the central device in a NMEA 2000 network, so I can see all of the information from the B&G instruments and sensors, plus operate the autopilot, plus get AIS from the radio, etc.

The only negatives are that the screen is a little small for my increasingly older eyes, and I think the number of features makes it a little hard to explain to less experienced sailors.

I also really like the Garmin 7" touchscreen series (720, 740, 741, etc). I used to work for a major marine supplier and those Garmin units were incredible popular. They just hit a sweet spot for thousands of boats. I would always recommend getting the fishfinder combo since a good sonar is helpful even if you don't fish.

Both of these are "on special" from time to time for $999, especially at the end of their model year "life". Can't beat them.

Chuck
What about compatibility with chart formats? Are they pretty good? It would be nice to have one that's made for sailing rather than fishing!
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Old 26-03-2015, 13:42   #33
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Re: Best GPS Under $1k

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I haven't got my head round the various chart formats yet. Is that good in terms of compatibility? I like their website - very straight forward. But what's the quality of their units like?

The make high quality gear that last, intuitive to use and the customer support for older units is way better than Garmin, plus I like the fact they use readily available chart cards. Garmins use of proprietary charts is one of the reason I went to SH, I had used their vhf radios for years with never a problem is another reason I went with them. My personal opinion is their plotters aren't as widely used as some of the other manufacturers but their quality is excellent, customer support is 2nd to none and their warranty 3 years is better than most.


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Old 30-03-2015, 06:46   #34
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Re: Best GPS Under $1k

After much deliberation I bit the bullet and took advantage of the defender sale by ordering a B&G zeus. I like that it's compatible with a wide range of different non-proprietary charts, i like that it's made for sailors instead of fishermen, and most of all i like that it was cheap! I guess it's being superceded by the zeus^2 so they're trying to get rid of all the 'old' units.

Otherwise it would have been the Furuno for it's basic, reliable functionality. I am biased against Garmin though from my experiences, not just from the handhelds but also from using a Garmin on a trans-Atlantic on a friend's boat last year. It worked fine until it got wet, then the touch screen was a nightmare.

Cheers for all the replies guys. Hopefully there's a lot of info in here that will also be of use to others.
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Old 30-03-2015, 16:06   #35
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Re: Best GPS Under $1k

Please report back on your experiences once you have a few hours of use!
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Old 31-03-2015, 07:40   #36
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Re: Best GPS Under $1k

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Please report back on your experiences once you have a few hours of use!
Yup i can certainly do that. Unfortunately it will be a while though. I won't get my hands on it until i'm down in the Caribbean at the end of April............ oh the suspense!
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Old 02-04-2015, 04:48   #37
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Re: Best GPS Under $1k

Both my Garmin unit screens went black on me so I purchased a Matsutec HP33 GPS and HP-33A GPS with AIS for less than it would have cost me for a new Garmin. I too am not enchanted by them although a Garmin 12XL main and Garmin 128 below deck GPS got me across the Pacific and Coral Seas without incident.
There is some issues with uploading way points from the PC to the GPS units easily. Not as easy as with the Garmin units. Actually, I haven't been able to do it yet but that is another discussion on a thread in this forum. If you want to hook it up to your PC it works fine with OpenCPN. The screens are bright and large for my old eyes, very easy to read and about the same size as the old 128. My landed cost were under $650USD for both units.
Delivery was to Malaysia where I am at present.
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