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Old 21-03-2010, 07:47   #1
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Help with Picking Out a GPS!

My husband and I are just getting our first sailboat! We are so excited, yet it is very light on electronics. It doesn't have a GPS/chartplotter and there are so many to choose from.

It is a 34ft hunter.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! Thanks scubagal.
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Old 21-03-2010, 07:51   #2
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Hmm, if you are looking for sensible prices and good back up then the small Garmin 4xx and 5xx range would be a good choice. You also need to think were you are going to fit it. In the crowed waters of the Solent and English channel we have ours on the steering pedestal rather than a compass. Under the sprayhood is also popular but if you mount it at the chart table then the driver can't see it.

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Old 21-03-2010, 09:06   #3
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I have the 545 garmin and have been very happy with it.

Though, I now find that I want to add Radar, which this unit does not interface with.
So, I am looking at the " new" 700 series chartplotters ( 740) It will accept radar, Ais, and Sat. weather. This unit is due to come out this month. It's a touchscreen.
Check it out.
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Old 21-03-2010, 11:19   #4
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It seems like the Garmin is more reccommended than the raymarine. We have some Raymarine electronics already and will want to link them all together as time and of course money premits!

Thanks!
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Old 21-03-2010, 11:32   #5
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Garmin if you just want Plotter. If you want radar as well look at Furuno.
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Old 21-03-2010, 14:58   #6
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We've got a Raymarine system (C Series) and it works pretty well. It came with the boat when we purchased her. It seems that a lot of the commercial boats have Foruno Radar but I've talked to a couple of people who claim that their systems are a little arcane. I've also got a Garmin chartplotter that I like. I'd think that you could interface any good radar to a good Garmin chartplotter using NMEA protocols. Check out this website for more info Peter Bennett's GPS and NMEA Site

My issue with Garmin is the way that they control and download charts. The Raymarine (Navionics) charts are a bit easier and you get more coverage per buck. But Garmin allows you to install the charts on two devices, e.g., your chartplotter and your laptop. I haven't checked out the relative accuracy of Garmin charts vs Navionics charts. I suspect it depends on exactly where on earth you are sailing. But, I'm sure that every so often your chartplotter will put you on top of a cliff instead of the harbor.

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Old 21-03-2010, 18:14   #7
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It is hard to say - you can get a touch-screen, you can go without any ...

Depends on where you sail.

I use a Garmin 72 and it is great - good enough for round-the-world.

Would I buy one of the 620/640 series? Well, depends on the cruising ground. I love them, I adore them, I desire them, but I do not NEED them ;-)

If you are in a fjordland or an area with a lot of shallows, etc. it makes sense to have a plotter (a GPS unit with an e-chart in it - it shows you your location against the e-map and plays other nice tricks (like showing AIS equipped ships) too).

If you are in an area where navigation is easy and you do not have to many hazards/fog ... why bother?

Just make sure you have a compass, good binnocs and other 'regular' stuff before you go for a GPS unit!

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Old 21-03-2010, 18:16   #8
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I highly recommend the i180:



It has been impressive from day 1 and easy to hook up AIS, DCS radio and auto-pilot.
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Old 21-03-2010, 19:05   #9
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Doh - the Standard Horizon 180 model - I have seen it and I like it just as much as Garmin's 620/640 - AIS in and great interface!

It rocks, it delivers. The price is just ausome.

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Old 22-03-2010, 05:08   #10
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Thanks everyone! We will look into the I180 vs the garmin's. Still so many choices.
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Old 22-03-2010, 05:53   #11
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Scubagal,
You might want to check out e-bay before your buy. I've been looking for a larger screen plotter that will allow me to set up a radar overlay to replace my elderly Garmin and I found prices for new units there substantially lower than in some of the marine stores.
GPS and chart plotters are great conveniences but IMHO you should get used to sailing without one even when you have one aboard and hooked up. It's very easy to become dependent on a chartplotter because they make navigation so much simpler but they can be off -- even if only by a little -- and should be used just as you would use any other navigation tool to get you close enough to where you can complete the journey using visual sightings
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Old 22-03-2010, 08:10   #12
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Looks like that Standard Horizon unit is another "death by a thousand cuts" model like Garmin used to peddle.

The idea that a $179 chip would be needed when ever you went somewhere new is an issue for me. Why does SH not follow Garmin's current marketing model and include the charts with the unit? It just seems silly in this age of $79 Tom Tom's that know were all 39,891 WalMarts are in CONUS....
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Old 22-03-2010, 11:00   #13
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The idea that a $179 chip would be needed when ever you went somewhere new is an issue for me.
'

Don-t know about that, sailed with my i180 for 2 years before I bougth a chart.
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Old 23-03-2010, 19:26   #14
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Originally Posted by s/v 'Faith' View Post

The idea that a $179 chip would be needed when ever you went somewhere new is an issue for me. Why does SH not follow Garmin's current marketing model and include the charts with the unit?
Well, they do in Europe. You get a local small with it.

Nice font, though ;-)

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