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Old 26-08-2016, 12:57   #1
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Garmin GPSmap 78sc. Worth the extra cash?

Four options I am considering.
(A) Garmin 76 base model (no charts included but new in box. $75.
(B) Refurbished Garmin 78sc (which includes compass and charts) $210.
(C) Garmin 78 standard (no compass or charts). $160.
(D) Wait until Black Friday.

So here are my questions.

(1) If I bought the base model GPSmap 76, how hard would it be and how much would it cost to add the charts I want? Basically need Pacific Northwest and Southern California coastal.

(2) How useful is the compass. I have great compass on my boat already?

(3) Money is an issue and I need to cut costs so I can save up for an autotiller (I sail alone a lot). Any other makers that make marine GPS receivers at or below $200?

(4) Who uses a barometer anyway?

(5) Any experience out there with refurbished GPS units?

Thanks.

Alfred
Carried Away, Port Kelley, Wash.
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Old 26-08-2016, 14:09   #2
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Re: Garmin GPSmap 78sc. Worth the extra cash?

I would not waste money on a stand alone gps.

Get a used/ referbished) nexus 7 or samsung 7" tablet from fleabay and load opencpn ($10 google play and buy a $20 armorx water proof case for it and for about $100 you have a chartplotter. Both will have built in GPS. Plus other app's out there from AIS, to anchor alarm, etc. Alot more bang for the buck and far nicer then an old gps that only does gps.
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Old 26-08-2016, 14:43   #3
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Re: Garmin GPSmap 78sc. Worth the extra cash?

I already have a Samsung Galaxy 6 that has a decent size screen and I planned to use that for a backup, and good old fashion charts and compass. But I had heard that Marine GPS units are designed for just that. They use more satellites and are more reliable. Now I am starting to wonder if this is truly the case. I like your options. Then again, for $75 I can get the new 76 base model. Not certain what to do. If anyone wants to try and answer the other questions I had, that would be greatly appreciated. Or add more on the tablet route. Thanks.
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Old 26-08-2016, 17:25   #4
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Re: Garmin GPSmap 78sc. Worth the extra cash?

"Marine GPS"s are no more accurate that smartphones/tablets, use the same satellites in exactly the same way and are no more "reliable".

If you do go with a Garmin 78 and Bluecharts, make sure you do NOT get the g2 Vision card. I made that mistake. You can't turn the satellite imagery off and it makes the charts unusable on the small screen.

I've had a 78SC for many years but now it's relegated to a backup to phone/tablet and rarely gets switched on. I second SC's recommendation.
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Old 26-08-2016, 17:45   #5
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Re: Garmin GPSmap 78sc. Worth the extra cash?

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
"Marine GPS"s are no more accurate that smartphones/tablets, use the same satellites in exactly the same way and are no more "reliable".

If you do go with a Garmin 78 and Bluecharts, make sure you do NOT get the g2 Vision card. I made that mistake. You can't turn the satellite imagery off and it makes the charts unusable on the small screen.

I've had a 78SC for many years but now it's relegated to a backup to phone/tablet and rarely gets switched on. I second SC's recommendation.
I would disagree. marine chartplotters are far more reliable and readable in the daylight! I recently crossed lake ontario (45miles) and my ipad overheated on me three times, requiring a cooling down period where the ipad was unusable! not good enough! also if you leave the screen running 100% likee you would with a chartplotter, you're only good for about 5hrs tops with an ipad

biggest problem with marine chartplotters is that the costs haven't come down like they should as manu costs have plummeted!
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Old 26-08-2016, 18:54   #6
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Re: Garmin GPSmap 78sc. Worth the extra cash?

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I would disagree. marine chartplotters are far more reliable and readable in the daylight! I recently crossed lake ontario (45miles) and my ipad overheated on me three times, requiring a cooling down period where the ipad was unusable! not good enough! also if you leave the screen running 100% likee you would with a chartplotter, you're only good for about 5hrs tops with an ipad

biggest problem with marine chartplotters is that the costs haven't come down like they should as manu costs have plummeted!
Agree about the more readable, no evidence of lower reliability of a phone.tablet.

Your example shows why I avoid iDevices

I've covered almost the full length of the Queensland coast (about 800nm) and crossed the Coral Sea (470nm) several times with an Android tablet as the primary device and never had one overheat. (I also have USB sockets beside the wheel and at the nav station so can keep tablet on continuous charge if required).
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Old 26-08-2016, 19:27   #7
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Re: Garmin GPSmap 78sc. Worth the extra cash?

All you need is a laptop/notebook and Nimble Navigator.. a USB stick nav program loaded with CM93 charts of the world and all the bells and whistles add on capabilities you need like AIS etc..
Had mine for years and its safely guided me around the Marmaris, Med, Atlantic, Caribe, S Pacific and Indian Ocean.. and from 60N to 41S.. a snip @ $124
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Old 26-08-2016, 19:39   #8
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Re: Garmin GPSmap 78sc. Worth the extra cash?

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All you need is a laptop/notebook and Nimble Navigator.. a USB stick nav program loaded with CM93 charts of the world and all the bells and whistles add on capabilities you need like AIS etc..
Had mine for years and its safely guided me around the Marmaris, Med, Atlantic, Caribe, S Pacific and Indian Ocean.. and from 60N to 41S.. a snip @ $124
how do you use the laptop on deck in the rain?
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Old 26-08-2016, 21:35   #9
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Re: Garmin GPSmap 78sc. Worth the extra cash?

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how do you use the laptop on deck in the rain?
Or on deck in the sun?
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Old 27-08-2016, 11:40   #10
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Re: Garmin GPSmap 78sc. Worth the extra cash?

I have the 76SC, the 72H (my preferred unit), the 78SC, and the 73. I am also a dealer of these and other units. Save your money. The 78sc has charts but it is a very small screen. They are all good units but of limited usefulness. The 78sc does NOT give you a lat and long. When I am traveling up and down the coast I use paper charts and if I have a question I use the 72H to confirm my lat and long. Do you desire to navigate or to just follow an arrow? If you just want to follow an arrow, get the 78sc. If you want to navigate, get a chart (paper) and get a unit that shows the latitude and longitude. I like the 72H, although the 73 has a great back light (much better than the 78 and 78SC) albeit with a smaller lat and long display (Garmin, what were you thinking?)

Refurbished units, if coming from the factory, will be fine.

The compass unit is more for those hiking or those without a proper marine compass. It is not terribly useful on the boat.

The 78s, 76s, 72s, and 73 float. That's useful if you are in a dinghy, at the dock, etc. If you are moving, good luck turning around and finding it. Use a lanyard or affix it to the boat.

Did I mention you should save your money? The 78SC has all sorts of bells and whistles that you will never need although it does come with charts and a tiny screen. A basic Garmin chart, assuming you can upload it, will still cost you between $150 and $180. A paper chart will be much more useful and will give you much, much better situational awareness. Use the basic Garmin to confirm your position if you get lost.

I wouldn't buy a unit without a page that displays the latitude and longitude.

Regardless of what route you take, I wish you the best of luck and fair winds.
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Old 27-08-2016, 12:14   #11
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Re: Garmin GPSmap 78sc. Worth the extra cash?

We keep the Garmin 78sc as a backup plotter and in our ditch bag with a fold up solar panel - Just in case.

Its also convenient to mount next to our pilot berth and the VHF for the off watch to keep an eye on things. However, I would probably not use it as our primary plotter.

Most of the new iPads have overcome the overheating issue - they took care of that issue with the ones that started coming out in 2014. I'm not against using the iPad as a navigation device but for us, its a planning and backup device... not our primary plotter.

I would agree with SailorChic... spend the extra $100 and get a real chartplotter.
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Old 27-08-2016, 12:55   #12
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Re: Garmin GPSmap 78sc. Worth the extra cash?

Alfred,

If you have a smartphone you don't need another gps. Navionics is a good nav program on android phones and charts are reasonably priced.

If using a android tablet or windows computer load OpenCPN (it is free, the guy on Playstore is charging $10 for something that is free everywhere else). Then you can get any/all US Gov't charts for free.

The Garmin (and any other) standalone GPS's are unneeded now.
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Old 27-08-2016, 13:05   #13
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Re: Garmin GPSmap 78sc. Worth the extra cash?

ArmyDaveNY (an all),

Thanks for the heads up. I checked out manuals for both the 76 and 78 models. The 76 showed lat and lon on the GPS information page. But the 78 manual had no information on lat and lon and where to get it. Seems weird that it doesn't list the option since you need lat and lon to put in a waypoints, I would think.

Regardless. I have a great deal lined up on a new 76 (still in box) for $75. And if I am correct, it will give me lat and lon.

And yes, I plan to do my own chart plotting. But have a chart screen pointing your way is nice too.

While I can go with the tablet or cell phone, neither float or are water resistant. So after hearing all that has been written, I am not spending the extra money for a 78sc. I got a great compass and I have never used a barometer.

I will still equip my Samsung with Navionics or some other app. And then I will decide which to use as the main GPS receiver and which to use as the backup. But the bottom line is, my phones is worth $300, and I don't want it getting wet or going overboard. And those water tight cases are a pain. I already lost two good phones to the deep.

Thanks for the info. If this 76 doesn't give lat and lon please let me know. But it looks like it does. And like I said, it is a great price for a new model.

Alfred
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Old 27-08-2016, 13:11   #14
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Re: Garmin GPSmap 78sc. Worth the extra cash?

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Originally Posted by alfreddiaz View Post
ArmyDaveNY (an all),

Thanks for the heads up. I checked out manuals for both the 76 and 78 models. The 76 showed lat and lon on the GPS information page. But the 78 manual had no information on lat and lon and where to get it. Seems weird that it doesn't list the option since you need lat and lon to put in a waypoints, I would think.

Regardless. I have a great deal lined up on a new 76 (still in box) for $75. And if I am correct, it will give me lat and lon.
You are very welcome. I am pretty sure the 78 does NOT have a page that shows the latitude and Longitude. I have checked and even asked both the our Garmin rep and their tech support and no one could show me where it was. This tells me that even if it is there (and I'm pretty sure it is not) then it is pretty useless.

Good luck and let us know how it works out.

Cheers,

Dave
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Old 27-08-2016, 13:24   #15
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Re: Garmin GPSmap 78sc. Worth the extra cash?

Here is page 28 from the GPSmap 76 model, in case anyone is wondering. I found nothing like this on the 78 model.



Thanks.
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