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Old 19-02-2013, 06:53   #16
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Re: GPS handheld recommended?

I bought a Garmin 76 Cx last year as my main GPS for Great Lakes and it will now be my backup for living aboard in VA and Carib. Once I mastered the learning curve I enjoyed using it for the 40 mile jaunts we would take on Lake Ontario. I probably didn't even need it with cell phone and ipad, but was thinking ahead to offshore trips.
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Old 19-02-2013, 07:14   #17
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Re: GPS handheld recommended?

I have a new Garmen with SE Caribbean charts. Works well for approaching a bay. To small for large areas. I have different charts on a computer and paper. By using all three, I generally get a good idea of the approach. Not all charts show everything. I find that if only one of the three shows a rock, I stay clear!
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Old 19-02-2013, 08:37   #18
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Re: GPS handheld recommended?

Whatever you get, make sure you get a mount to keep the thing secured, and a power cord leading to a 12 VDC socket. Continuous use of a GPS seems to kill a couple of AAs in 2 to 3 hours, something that is constant between my 14 year old Magellan 300 and my one-year old Garmin 72H, both basic non-charting GPS, except the Garmin acquires satellites in one-quarter the time and is generally more accurate.
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Old 19-02-2013, 09:25   #19
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Re: GPS handheld recommended?

I bought a monochrome Garmin Etrek Vista from ebay for about $100 about 4 years ago. it will run on AA or 12v plug. I believe the life on AA was actually quite good. It has a small screen but there's a rudimentary marine map, and of course you can enter and follow waypoints. It's been great as back-up.

I also snagged an old Lowrance handheld at a flea market for $5... and it works!
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Old 19-02-2013, 10:32   #20
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I have paddled literally thousands of miles using the Garmin 7* series. The older gray scale 76 is great the color one rocks.

There are some issues with the 7* series. First is that the battery cover while good in a sailboat or a single day use on a kayak, will allow water in after 3-4 days of hard kayaking. This can be mitigated by smearing dielectric grease on the lip of the battery cover to enhance its waterproof rating. The same for the data ports.

Finally, in zero visibility you MUST have a magnetic compass. I discovered the hard way in the middle of the night while fighting an outgoing tide that there is a lag on the compass. FWIW, I would carry a cheap compass in my kayak PFD as a backup, just like you have a compass mounted on a sailboat

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Old 19-02-2013, 19:58   #21
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Re: GPS handheld recommended?

I am not sure if this is what u want or not...but garmin makes a 396 and a 496 now both of thes have been discontinued by garmin but look on ebay...whats good about these is they are in color and they are both land sea and they have the ability to hook up a weather xm and its much cheaper than the newer 541's and 546's with weather...I took the 396 out of my plane when i sold it and put it on my boat and used it for two years before getting my current 541s...wished i had it back..
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Old 19-02-2013, 20:29   #22
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Re: GPS handheld recommended?

Garmin Etrex Colour, great little handheld loaded with bluechart maps. It does tide predictions, sunrise/set, moon phases and some wanky best time to fish thing. Lasts about 16 hours on a couple of those little batteries.
I used to be undecided but now I'm not so sure.
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