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Best GPS/Chartplotter

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Old 02-09-2011, 11:40 AM
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Kap,

I'm gonna chime in here I have the 740s in our DCB. On JOTJ we got hit with rain and wind and everything was wet. It still functioned for me, and I was using the "zoom in and out" as we came into Hampton and then Portsmith as we not familiar with where to go. Worked for me........ I think with any test, youtube or whatever, someone can always find a failure or success story.
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:17 PM
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Garmin 4212. It wouldn't fit on the dash, so I made a home for it. Real-time satellite weather, video in/out, XM radio in/out, linked to the VHF for distress/DSC calling/locations, and - - - - - wireless remote control.

They make an 8" version as well.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:08 PM
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Hey Dre and C-Spray:

Dre I initially wanted the 740 for the touch screen aspect but the demostration video shook my confidence. I will primarily use it for salt water and we are close to Mexican waters I do not want to guess about anything.

The 4212 was the next model the electronics guy at West Marine recommended and it is huge. Do you take it out of the boat during storage?

I would cringe if I had to leave it in the boat due to theft.

KAP

P.S. They have a great class on navigation I want to take. So I can improve my overall boating skills namely plotting in the ocean and tracking returns in the darkest nights.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:33 PM
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I am a fan of the 5212 by Garmin. it is by far the easiest and most intuitive unit I have used. We had the hd radar built in, and it would overlay over the chartplotter. I also found it to be incredibly accurate, both distance to a channel mark and depths. With the size of the screen it was also very easy to pan around and look at the surroundings, even when using the split screen with a depth sounder and chart plotter. Also very easy to see even in direct sunlight.

We would routinely hose it off, and completely soak it because it was in a rigid inflatable and get all the salt off the boat after towing it from Florida to the Bahamas, never once had a problem with it not working or responding because of the water.

The only problem I really found with the unit was if you are out in the dark, and turn it on, the brightness will really screw with your night vision until you turn the brightness down on the unit, on full brightness the unit puts out a whole lot of light.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:15 PM
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Garmin GPSMap 546S- couple of friends at the marina recently bought the 546S and I'm considering one. The unit is small, displays are clear, seems pretty simple to use, and the price is right for someone that will only use it a few times a year. Options include weather, sonar, road maps (?), but no radar. They only have a 5" screen which can be a downside but I have very limited space for one so the small size works for me. I might look at the 740....
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kap328 View Post
Hey Dre and C-Spray:
...The 4212 was the next model the electronics guy at West Marine recommended and it is huge. Do you take it out of the boat during storage?...
Like I said - check the 4208 (or 5208 if you want a touchscreen). My boat lives in a locked drystack, so I don't worry. If I do want to remove it, it only takes 2 screws and 2 connectors.

Check your options here:
Garmin Chartplotters
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:55 AM
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I have a Garmin 545s from my previous boat, which is the predicesor to the 546s. It is great. I like it so much I am thinking of replacing the Garmin 176 that came on my Formula. Not sure yet which is better. Bigger screen would be great but for the money it is easy to use .
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perlmudder View Post
I am a fan of the 5212 by Garmin. it is by far the easiest and most intuitive unit I have used. We had the hd radar built in, and it would overlay over the chartplotter. I also found it to be incredibly accurate, both distance to a channel mark and depths. With the size of the screen it was also very easy to pan around and look at the surroundings, even when using the split screen with a depth sounder and chart plotter. Also very easy to see even in direct sunlight.

We would routinely hose it off, and completely soak it because it was in a rigid inflatable and get all the salt off the boat after towing it from Florida to the Bahamas, never once had a problem with it not working or responding because of the water.

The only problem I really found with the unit was if you are out in the dark, and turn it on, the brightness will really screw with your night vision until you turn the brightness down on the unit, on full brightness the unit puts out a whole lot of light.
I'm seriously looking at the 5212 for my skater dash. where's a good place to buy?
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:54 PM
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Been in the electronics business 30 yrs. Familiar with all units. For hp boats I recommend the Garmin products. Ease of uses. Heres the deal. There are many models some touch some not. The 4200 series is button operated last generation. 5200 series touch last generation. The latest is the 6200/7200series button or touch. These units have a much faster processor/full screen video. The redraw is much better especially running fast on a zoomed in chart level. Also Garmin is best with interfacing with engine packages that support nmea 2000.
For me the 740 is a good inexpensive unit but no video input and the screen is a little small for me.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:19 PM
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Well my college roommate has a 34 Bertram, he has a $15k Furuno Navnet, it's GPS/Radar/Sounder. It's incredible, but it's BIG and expensive, but I've never seen ANY plotter due what this thing could do. You might want to check into Furuno.
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