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Old 24-03-2015, 14:09   #1
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Best GPS Under $1k

Hey guys and girls. I'm wondering if I might pick your brains for some opinions. My old workhorse GPS from the early 1990s has finally packed in and I'm thinking it might be time to upgrade. Budget is $1000. Necessary features are:

Chartplotter
AIS compatible
Internal aerial

I'm looking at something like the Furuno GP-1670 or GP-1870. Not a fan of Garmin since my last two handhelds made by them have failed within a year. Looking for suggestions. What do you have, and why? Does anyone have either of these furuno models? If so, what do you think of it? Pros and cons?
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Old 24-03-2015, 14:22   #2
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Re: Best GPS Under $1k

Quote:
Originally Posted by DefinitelyMe View Post
Hey guys and girls. I'm wondering if I might pick your brains for some opinions. My old workhorse GPS from the early 1990s has finally packed in and I'm thinking it might be time to upgrade. Budget is $1000. Necessary features are:

Chartplotter
AIS compatible
Internal aerial

I'm looking at something like the Furuno GP-1670 or GP-1870. Not a fan of Garmin since my last two handhelds made by them have failed within a year. Looking for suggestions. What do you have, and why? Does anyone have either of these furuno models? If so, what do you think of it? Pros and cons?
You will be spoiled for choice these days. The new Raymarine 7" plotters are really nice. You can remote control them directly over wifi, if I correctly understand. B&G Zeus 7" will also be in your budget, and this has a few advantages: (a) sailing features; (b) compatibility with multiple chart publishers; (c) compatibility with CW radars. Can also be remote controlled over wifi, but you need a separate router. I think the Garmin plotters are also worth looking at -- quality not represented by their handhelds. I don't know the new Furunos, but they're bound to be extremely good but somewhat clunky to use -- judging by past models. I think you just need to try them all out and decide which one feels best to you.

Good luck and let us know your impressions.
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Old 24-03-2015, 14:51   #3
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Re: Best GPS Under $1k

Laptop computer with latest low energy processor $600. GPS puck$70. OpenCpn $0.00.

All-in $670-$700

End! Optional waterproof display $300ish.


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Old 24-03-2015, 15:11   #4
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Re: Best GPS Under $1k

Cheers guys. Snore i do use a laptop occasionally (with open cpn) although i don't have the GPS input and i have a lot of paper charts so i usually use them for navigation and use the laptop more for planning. Definitely worth getting a GPS thingy though. You're not the first one to recommend them to me and it's probably about time i took the advice!

Dockhead i've been trying to figure out all the different chart formats but haven't got there yet. Cheers for the advice re B&G. Compatibility is definitely worth adding to the list of important things methinks. Wifi compatibility not so important but maybe i'll change my mind and come around to it in a few years!
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Old 24-03-2015, 16:18   #5
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Re: Best GPS Under $1k

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Originally Posted by Snore View Post
Laptop computer with latest low energy processor $600. GPS puck$70. OpenCpn $0.00.

All-in $670-$700

End! Optional waterproof display $300ish.


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This is what I just did. Refurbished Toshiba Click2 Pro ($628.), Garmin 18X puck ($65). Now if I could just figure out where Windows 8.1 hid my GPS drivers...
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Old 24-03-2015, 16:34   #6
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Best GPS Under $1k

I installed a Garmin 741XS last year before the price went down and couldn't be happier. I think you can get one for $999 now ....JD sailing supply had the best prices....I should also say I use an iPad which can Bluetooth with Garmin (Active Captain and a hotspot ).....good luck


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Old 24-03-2015, 16:35   #7
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Re: Best GPS Under $1k

I like Garmin fixed GPS's.. And love my IPad with BlueChat and Active Captain. You also could read a book or post here.
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Old 24-03-2015, 16:56   #8
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Re: Best GPS Under $1k

Quote:
Originally Posted by DefinitelyMe View Post
Hey guys and girls. I'm wondering if I might pick your brains for some opinions. My old workhorse GPS from the early 1990s has finally packed in and I'm thinking it might be time to upgrade. Budget is $1000. Necessary features are:

Chartplotter
AIS compatible
Internal aerial

I'm looking at something like the Furuno GP-1670 or GP-1870. Not a fan of Garmin since my last two handhelds made by them have failed within a year. Looking for suggestions. What do you have, and why? Does anyone have either of these furuno models? If so, what do you think of it? Pros and cons?
Curious... what was your 90s unit and are you sure it isn't a faulty external antenna.

I currently am using a 90s Apollo and just recently the 3rd antenna is failing intermittently. This time I will probably upgrade to "modern" unit so I also am looking forward to what others recommend here.

Thanks for raising the question
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Old 25-03-2015, 08:22   #9
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Re: Best GPS Under $1k

Arrrgh! There are too many of them! OK, so according to their website, the B&G Zeus 7 goes for $1200, which is a little pricey. Also no mention of compatibility with AIS.
The raymarine systems……… the ‘dragonfly’ doesn’t mention AIS compatibility. The ‘a-series’ also doesn’t mention AIS and furthermore it looks like they only support Raymarine charts. These things can’t possibly be right can they? Am I misunderstanding the information on the website?
Very interesting to hear from all you happy Garmin owners. Judging by the specs, the GPSmap 620 looks very competitive and has everything I’m looking for. How compatible are garmin systems with the various chart formats?
It keeps coming back to the Furuno though. They just seem to make decent, solid stuff.
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Old 25-03-2015, 08:27   #10
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Re: Best GPS Under $1k

Back in the day I bought a boat that had a Garmin 120. First time I used it was in Biscayne Bay to get from Miami down and thru Featherbed.
The Garmin took me to within 10 feet of the marker, I'm sold on Garmin since then...............
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Old 25-03-2015, 08:33   #11
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Re: Best GPS Under $1k

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Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Curious... what was your 90s unit and are you sure it isn't a faulty external antenna.

I currently am using a 90s Apollo and just recently the 3rd antenna is failing intermittently. This time I will probably upgrade to "modern" unit so I also am looking forward to what others recommend here.

Thanks for raising the question
Nah it's definitely expired unfortunately. I've also been through 2 or 3 aerials but it's not that this time, and the display is starting to pack in and getting quite hard to see now. I'm not sure exactly what model it is but i just read the above post and googled for an image and it looks like one of those - a Garmin 120 i think. Very limited functions but it used to very reliably tell me where i was, and that's the main thing! It also used very little power indeed with the little LCD screen.
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Old 25-03-2015, 12:01   #12
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Re: Best GPS Under $1k

I am having the same problem.

My Magellan 4000Ds are slowly packing up with battery connectors corroding and plastic windows slowly making the readouts unreadable. I thought I had the answer with a A$300 GME 450X which has a download/upload facility via RS232 (no problem with a USB to RS232 converter) but it turned out that the file format is not .gpx but .txt so I cannot download waypoints and routes from OpenCPN. I am looking for a converter program but no luck yet.

The GP450X looked ideal for the job as it has NMEA 0183 in a number of versions, comes standard with an external antenna (I have a steel boat) pulls 240mA (2.8 Watts) and appears fairly well built.

I have a dedicated nav computer and three USB GPS modules and have used it to drive the autopilot but have found it a little tricky to set up and it crashes occasionally so would feel more comfortable with route planning on the computer and transfer to a reliable, stand alone GPS. I do this with the Magellans but since they do not have a connection to the computer I have to transfer the waypoints by hand and then set up the routes and this is tedious.
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Old 25-03-2015, 12:23   #13
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Re: Best GPS Under $1k

My Standard Horizon cp300i 7" does everything you want, I bought it used on eBay for $350.00 3 years ago, it uses C-Map NT, NT+ and Max. With a Si-Tex MDS scanner and junction box you can add radar.


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Old 25-03-2015, 15:10   #14
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Re: Best GPS Under $1k

After 20 years of fiddling around I have ended up using an old Toshiba Portege Laptop with an external USB puck type GPS.
The Toshiba can run on raw 12 volts and is fast enough for the purpose.
I have run the charting programmes of "Endeavour, Maxsea and Open CPN".
Using either raster or vector constructed electronic charting (C-MAP at present).
The unit can drive NMEA run equipment such as Autohelm.
Have also associated with skippers using smart phones and Tablets with inbuilt GPS's and charting apps.
But beware , you might be anchored next to a software pirate.
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Old 25-03-2015, 15:18   #15
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Re: Best GPS Under $1k

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I think the Garmin plotters are also worth looking at -- quality not represented by their handhelds.
I've had my Garmin 78SC marine handheld for 5 years now, and it works like new. Build quality seems to be way above the typical handheld device. If the plotters are equally as well made, I'd definitely buy one.
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