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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:08 am 
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I would agree. If you have a GPS you don't need a compass, The GPS tells you where and how far to go.
Don't think they would ship to Aus.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:58 pm 
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I think I like the Garmin Nuvi 500 Waterproof Navigator. It will talk to me on the road (I get lonley), I just hope that will will not nag while I am on the water! If it drips it will sink and the battery life is 8hours. Most of my trips will not be that long.
I will be adding TOPO Australia

I would like you thoughts!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 9:02 pm 
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Location: South Florida
I have a car GPS (Nuvi 1490) and a couple outdoor GPS units. My car & outdoor units are vastly different. The Nuvi 500 is supposed to be a cross-over. In a car, to give your direction as NE, W, etc is ok--you are on a road and generally need to know that you are going N and not S. In a kayak or AI, I like to know the direction in deg, like 265 deg, not W. I also like to have a bearing (direction in degs to your destination) and a heading (actual direction in deg you are moving.) If the Nuvi 500, or any other GPS, did not provide that, I would not buy that GPS.

Other stats that I must have in an outdoor GPS is VMG (velocity made good), distance to next waypoint, distance to final destination, speed, average speed, and ability to change a route on the fly (like change a route while you are sailing your AI).

In a good outdoor GPS, you have data windows, e.g., speed, VMG, bearing, heading--all displayed on a page. I like to be able to change those easily, like change VMG to Average Speed, or replace bearing w/ altitude, and heading w/ Max Speed.

A good outdoor GPS should have a battery life of 15-30 hrs. On a trip, you don't like to carry a lot of extra batteries.

So, any GPS I buy would need those features.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:22 pm 
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Thanks for the info. Very staight forward stuff. I can go to the GPS shop and ask for those things in my GPS.

Regards Paul

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:33 pm 
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Location: South Florida (Coral Springs)
I had the Garmin 76S for years and really liked it. However, it recently gave in after a very thorough salt water bath. (Not its first) I replaced it with the Delorme PN-40. I highly recommend this GPS. I won't get into all the pros and cons, but I will say one of the primary reasons I got this GPS was for the maps. For only $30 a year you have unlimited downloads of color aerials, USGS Quad maps, and (drum roll) all of the NOAA Nautical charts that are easily overlayed onto your GPS screen.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:21 pm 
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That is definately a big plus, Flaneur. Garmin has been very difficult with respect to their proprietory maps. If there was a good alternative, I would consider it. The fact that you have used a Garmin 76 and like the PN-40 says a lot.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:40 am 
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Location: Punta Gorda, FL
Regarding why a boat needs a compass, I would point out that if you are actually relying on a GPS for navigation, it might fail.

While a GPS gives you your course over the ground, it can't give you your boat's heading, which is probably different on a sailboat. If you know which compass heading produces the desired course, you can keep steering it after a GPS failure and greatly improve your dead-reckoning navigation accuracy.

Of course, if your compass is part of your GPS, they'll probably both fail at the same time and for the same reason.

The Garmin Oregon has a compass, but I don't like it at all. So far, it has only served to confuse my wife. I'm going to have to see if I can figure out how to turn it off.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:13 am 
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Geez, Tom, I don't understand. Whether in a sail boat, kayak, walking or whatever, a heading is one of the most common pieces of outdoor GPS data. Every outdoor GPS I've ever owned provided a heading, and that is going back to 1993. I'm confused by your statement.

Do you need a compass on your sail boat? I put an analog compass in my "emergency" bag years ago. It is still there, but I never use it.

I don't consider dead batteries a "GPS failure." I do try to have batteries handy so they can be changed on the water.

Also, the only GPS that ever failed me on the water was my first one which I bought about 1993. Well, I did have a Magellan fail on land in Alaska, because of a combination of user/design errors which resulted in saltwater getting into its electronics. I had a backup--another GPS. I've never had a Garmin fail on water--although, because in the early years I did not protect them from seawater when kayaking, they failed to start at some point—usually at home. Today, our current 3 Garmins are 6-7 yrs old, have generally been kept in a dry bag of some sort, and are still going strong. They have never failed. I'm only slightly embarrassed to admit that I rely totally on my GPS when doing any trips, including 7-8 day kayak or sailing trips in Florida. I seldom take maps on any of my Florida trips. I do carefully lay out routes on computer digital maps, and upload them to our GPS’ (and other members of the group if they have Garmin GPS.) After that I rely on those routes to get me to my destination. If I am in new territory (like Yellowstone last summer), I carry maps, but still rely on routes I have put on my GPS. Years ago, I loved to stare at maps and dream of trips while at home. I don't do that anymore. Today, I stare at Google Earth and dream of trips, but I use my GPS to do trips.

It is my experience that modern, outdoor GPS units are very robust and reliable. They seem to last indefinitely if kept free from saltwater and, to a lesser degree, fresh water.

Also, I am a strong believer in learning how to use your outdoor GPS so that you can rely on it. They are great aids. Use it every time you are on your boat, when you go on a hike, when you walk around your neighborhood. Use it so much, it becomes second nature and far easier than a compass. A GPS provides much, much more info than a compass.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:27 am 
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Location: Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia
Tom Ray wrote:
We have a Garmin Oregon, the touchscreen color handheld. It's the iPhone of Garmins and we love it.

It likes water a lot better than iPhones do. Don't ask me how I know, that one is from the list of things I know, but shouldn't.


Those things are gorgeous bits of technology yet are still easy to operate, I would really love an Oregon.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:40 pm 
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Location: Germany;Formentera (Spain)
For me a Garmin etrex Venture HC with openstreetmap (FREE) maps is the best choice for my tours around Formentera by AI and bike around Cologne. Other etrex devices offer the posibility to have a real compass and nearly unlimited map resources, but the software restrictions seem to be the same (250 waypoints/route). Costs here in Germany less than 150 € e.g. at Amazon.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:53 pm 
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Ok, so I had the wrong GPS. I had a Bushnell Onix 400, and the first time I sailed the battery fell off the back of it and the whole thing shorted out in the spray.... So I'm hearing that the GPSMAP 78 might be the way to go, but what flavor? West Marine has a $299, $399 and $499 version. Is there anything that could justify an extra $200? Which version would you experts suggest?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:43 pm 
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Brady,

The Garmin gpsMAP 78 looks like an "upgrade" (read "higher prices") to the very popular gpsMAP 76. I've begun to see some fire sale deals on the 76--here is a link to one for $249
http://www.thegpsstore.com/Garmin-GPSMAP-76CSx-Color-Handheld-GPS-P880.aspx?gclid=CMXlmJe7-6ICFcHY5wodmVEhzA.
THAT IS A DEAL!

The different prices for the gpsmap 78 is probably a difference in preloaded maps vs no maps. If you want anything more than a very rudimentary base map, you are going to have to pay. You can pay more at purchase and get a preloaded map--you just have to be sure it is the one you want.

It does not matter which garmin you get, you will have to pay garmin for maps sooner or later to have reasonable maps on your unit. Personally, I would buy the cheaper unit, and and then buy the map(s) I need.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:43 pm 
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Location: Calga NSW, Australia
It's worth getting one with the color screen. The compass and altimeter are less necessary. I believe the GPSMap 60 series are the same, except they don't float, are a bit smaller (same size screen) and may be a bit cheaper. If you are looking for the cheapest option that ticks the important boxes, the GPSMap 60CX may be the way to go.

PS: I just saw Keith's post (he posted at the same time as I did). With that sale price, it looks like there is virtually no difference between the price of the 76CSX and the 60CX, plus you get the compass and altimeter with the 76CSX. All things being equal, if I had it to do over again, I think I might have gone for the more compact model, because it would fit into a RAM Aquabox.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:33 am 
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The 76csx at the GPS store for $249 does look like a great deal. Then I guess I need the "Bluechart G2 USA Chart on microSD/SD - HXUS039R" for $149 to give me all the water charts?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 5:41 am 
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Location: Naples, FL
You can find the unit I use on this thread,
http://www.hobiecat.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=26131
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The reason I bought it was simply cost effectiveness....

You get literally everything in one package for under $200.

There is a color version for around $400...

An added bonus is that this unit has the same footprint as the Hobie recommended unit and fits the RAM mount they provide.

There are plenty of other units with much more precise maps and displays but for a kayak this unit is fantastic.
I have found that I use the simple data screen, direction, depth, water temp, compass and speed, WAY more than the GPS. The GPS on this unit is very nice and is great for marking way points.

One HUGE reason I opted for this unit is the mounting stand. The mounting stand allows precise angular positioning and super quick and easy removal. This allowed me to purchase another sounding head and cable (approximately $80) and another mounting stand (approximately $20) to mount on my Adventure. So now I can simply take my battery box and Depth sounder/GPS unit and use it on either boat I choose to use.... and I built the battery box, installed the mounting hardware on both boats, and purchased the unit all for under $500.

Hope this helps.


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