Currently in the process of selecting a chartplotter
and would really appreciate some solid advice.
Consider a blank canvas
if you will, as I have almost zero knowledge of marine GPS
systems. I am able to wonder in to a local West Marine
, but my wallet may be too thin for the "advice" given (unit selected) from some of the "knowledgeable" staff. The hope here is for some good advice based on experience, be it good or bad.
I understand human error can cause folks to blame the manufacturer, however, when 20+ people say "------ is junk!" I might listen..and then ask those folks why they believe that..if it's a personal preference..that's another story (or thread). Same for "------ is the best!". Please enlighten the audience here.
The desire is for a unit that is:
1. Easy to use (e.g. - I want to go to '---' and I'd like to push a button or two to do that, similar to a automotive unit).
2. Preferably a lager (10"+) screen
, WELL LIT for daytime use. I'm okay with a smaller screen
IF it is easy to see / read.
3. Used (Craigslist or eBay) is acceptable if the price
makes sense. (I've bought some really, really nice "used" items, including electronics
for 10-30% of original cost and the items were still supported and worked well).
3a. - Sub-point: The product should be updateable with new maps. The product should offer free manufacturers technical support via telephone. The product should have easily replaceable parts
(or items found used which are fairly common and easy to find).
4. Will need: - Depth
, Direction (N,E,W,S) Would like: image of bottom IN FRONT of boat (not directly over). In other words, as I'm cruising in a narrow unknown channel I'd like to see the bottom terrain to decide what to do BEFORE running aground. I believe this is available. Color seems nice, but monotone (B/W) is fine if it meets all other criteria.
5. Used mostly (90%) on West coast
Easy, right? I hope so.. PLEASE voice your advice / opinion (and maybe why you suggest a certain device / brand / style / etc.)
Thank you in advance. Your advice will be appreciated.