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Is there a GPS that keeps you from running in shallow water??

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Old 05-21-2011, 10:34 PM
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Default Is there a GPS that keeps you from running in shallow water??

just bought my first big boat and there are shallow places in my lake and I don't want to run into the situation of running the boat around them. I was wondering if there was a GPS out there that would keep me from ever getting in those situations?

It would be great if it was a map of the lake floor with the depth...I don't even know if something like this exists...if it did would be very nice to have!
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:04 AM
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charts (those big paper things) and gps chart plotters have depth markings. I would not rely on either. They will help give you a general idea, but you are on the great lakes. Water depth fluctuates. Sand bars get bigger, smaller and move around. theres rockpiles, unknown/unmarked shallow spots. So there is nothing better than knowing the body of water your boating in.

There are several members in your neck of the woods, buy em some beer and take them for a few boat rides and have them teach you the lake. Beer and boat rides for local members that know they area will be cheaper in the long run then relying on out of date data while trashing props and outdrives.
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:17 AM
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Doesn't the GPS have a variance of accuracy of with in 50yards/feet?
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Old 05-22-2011, 04:15 AM
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If you have an Android based phone or an iPhone, Navionics makes a lake map app. It has depth data and allows you to setup alarms based upon that.

It seems to be very accurate for the lakes that I've used it on but that has only been a couple.
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:47 AM
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Lake St. Clair is scary. You just need to learn the lake. Watch out for sand island and be very careful to stay in the channels around Harsens Island and both Rivers. When I am running in a channel I keep a watch on my GPS and if depth drops below 30' I know I am out of the channel. I shut down and figure out where I am. Beware of the "middle ground" in the Detroit River by Belle Isle. There are some nasty shoals in the lower Detroit River and the buoys can be confusing because there are so many of them. Be careful in Anchor Bay. I don't even go up there. The rest of the lake is pretty safe if you stay away from shore. Once I was exiting the main channel from Harsens into the lake and got too far North and found myself in less than 1' of water. I raised the drive and shut it down. I had to get in the water and lift the stern and walk the boat to deeper water! At least the bottom is mostly sand and muck. There was no damage. Your chartplotter will be your best friend but I highly recommend getting a paper chart and studying it.
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:07 AM
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If you have a color GPS unit, you can buy the chip that's specific for your lake or waterway that you frequent. All of the different depths are marked in different easily read colors than the others.

The 182-C I have in my Skater works great in shallow areas on our lake by clearly marking what's shallow & what's deep.

It also worked great on Lake Michigan when I bought the chip for that area, as well as the South Florida chip for when I'm running around Fort Lauderdale & Miami, or down in the Keys.
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phragle View Post
charts (those big paper things) and gps chart plotters have depth markings. I would not rely on either. They will help give you a general idea, but you are on the great lakes. Water depth fluctuates. Sand bars get bigger, smaller and move around. theres rockpiles, unknown/unmarked shallow spots. So there is nothing better than knowing the body of water your boating in.

There are several members in your neck of the woods, buy em some beer and take them for a few boat rides and have them teach you the lake. Beer and boat rides for local members that know they area will be cheaper in the long run then relying on out of date data while trashing props and outdrives.
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:40 AM
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You have the right attitude about this. Get a current paper chart and study it along with a chart plotter that has the Google earth option on it and study them but don't rely on them alone.

If you get into an area you are unfamiliar with, slow down to a crawl, dont risk going hard aground. If your following another boat and all of a sudden they slow way down and shoot up a roostertail of mud, thats a bad sign. :-)

NOTHING BEATS "LOCAL KNOWLEDGE"
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FullAuto9 View Post
You have the right attitude about this. Get a current paper chart and study it along with a chart plotter that has the Google earth option on it and study them but don't rely on them alone.

If you get into an area you are unfamiliar with, slow down to a crawl, dont risk going hard aground. If your following another boat and all of a sudden they slow way down and shoot up a roostertail of mud, thats a bad sign. :-)

NOTHING BEATS "LOCAL KNOWLEDGE"
THAT is the right answer. The charts do not go out of date. The channels are dredged. Sand Island has always been there. Go slow, learn the lake and don't assume that someone else knows what they are doing. Use your chartplotter and learn where the buoys are. You'll learn the lake and hopefully not the hard way.
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:03 AM
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Do you have Google earth on your computer? If so, use it to look at your boating area, you will be able to tell where most people are getting into trouble by the amount of skeg and prop trails across the sea grass bottoms.
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