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Best GPS/Chartplotter

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Old 02-08-2011, 11:42 AM
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Default Best GPS/Chartplotter

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Looking for real world experience on a GPS Chartplotter unit. The brand preference is Garmin because I have a few of these if you can suggest a certain model it would be much appreciated.

NOTE: I am not set in stone on this brand if you can recommend alternate unit it is just a first choice preference.

The pros and cons would be appreciated not just X because it is what I run...rather the facts that support the recommendation...WHY!

I looked at a Garmin 740 touch screen and found out it is not a good choice when sprayed with water it will not work. Requirements are NEMA 2000 or equivalent and not a huge screen due to dash size.

Anyother comments are appreciated--- use will be mainly in saltwater. I'd rather obtain some input from boaters than hear a sales persons pitch.

KAP
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:41 PM
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Don't know about the water issue. It says on the specifications that it's waterproof to IPX7 standards:
Garmin 740 specs.

I'm using one (in a canopied boat) and love it. Livorsi makes a really nice billet bezel for them, too.

I've owned about five different Garmin devices, starting with a small hand-held almost 20 years ago up to 12" chartplotters, and have been happy with both their operation and support.
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:06 PM
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Garmin seems to have the best all around ease of use and reliability.

Lowrance seem harder to operate, but if that's what you know it's easy.


Tried to use a Navico once, again, a little difficult, but if used often I'm sure it's easier.

Probably of no use for ya Kap, but you asked,lol.
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:13 PM
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I use a 12" Raymarine on one side and a 10 Lowrance on the other. LEI has some good topo software. The Ray is hooked set up as radar also. LEI is set to bottom also... both are GPS.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by C_Spray View Post
Don't know about the water issue. It says on the specifications that it's waterproof to IPX7 standards:
Garmin 740 specs.

I'm using one (in a canopied boat) and love it. Livorsi makes a really nice billet bezel for them, too.

I've owned about five different Garmin devices, starting with a small hand-held almost 20 years ago up to 12" chartplotters, and have been happy with both their operation and support.
Hello C-Spray:

Their is a great video demonstration on You Tube wherein the testers sprays water on the screen and you cannot use the touch screen function due to water on the screen. Uh! no thanks to that unit I can only imagine some light rain, fog, condensation and not being able to use it.

Oh! I agree we own several Garmin devices and enjoy them but I wanna get the right one. I would like to upgrade but rather than base my decision on what I read on the net reviews--- I'd rather hear someone say Hey! Kap this the one... to have... a must have item if your gonna spend the cash.

Plus, an actual user will say these are the main features you will use...X or Y. Whereas, some units you need to be an electrical engineer to recall exactly how to use it.

KAP
P.S. So far I'm undecided... I want one that is easy to use good value,and works.

Last edited by kap328; 02-09-2011 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:38 AM
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Can you control the radio through any of these Garmin units? I currently have a Lowrance HD screen (color) and like it. Any Lowrance models worth looking at? Doesn't Raymarine offer a unit that ties everything together (audio, video, etc)???

Last edited by frickstyle; 02-09-2011 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:39 AM
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Comment:

I'm beginning to really believe the majority of people with chartplotters and GPS units do not know how to use them or know enough about them to comment.

Now the commercial fisherman and charter guys would probably be a better source of information. Only problem is they will recommend something far in excess of what my needs are not to mention dash space.

KAP
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:16 AM
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I hear ya. the only experience I have is with the Lowrance unit that is better suited as a fish finder, etc. I would like to know what unit is best for a recreational/speed boat. I like simplicity, but if you can operate media through it, I feel it would condense the need to add individual controllers everywhere.
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:36 AM
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Hey Frickstyle:

I agree it would be nice to have a recommendation about a speed performance boat gps chartplotter unit.

You see all these big screens in the bigger boats and I would bet the owners do not have a clue on how to use them properly. I can recall one evening coming in when the fog rolled in glad I had a handheld unit to help navigate back. It is even better when the screen stays lite up constantly at night versus going into a power save feature.

I will talk to some captains and see if they can help me or point me in the right direction. It is a big hole to cut in the dash only to find out later you really only need X or Y.

KAP
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:47 AM
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My thoughts exactly. I'm removing the compass and want to chop a hole in the dash, but really would like recommendations on units before I permanently change something.
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