Jump to content

Which GPS for Kayaking?


Recommended Posts

I have a fat REI dividend check and that is always a reason to splurge. While my outdoor side decries anything but simple, essentail gear, my geeky side thinks being able to load charts onto a GPS would be a neat thing to have, especially on foggy days in Maine. So the question, which GPS unit is useful and capable for using while kayaking and has the ability to be loaded up easily with nautical charts? And where do you get the charts to load? TIA

Ed Lawson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One option is the Garmin gpsmap60:


Most models don't allow a download of charts, although the gpsmap60 does allow this.

I have a Garmin e-trex vista, which allows waypoints and route transfers, but not maps.

The general caveat is not to use these as a substitute for good map and compass work. Actually, the single best thing I've gotten out of the units is a continual monitoring of velocity. This is great for improving your forward stroke through direct feedback.

Units have been sometimes known to fail when they were counted on - batteries, dampness, lack of sattelite signals. Still, they can be fun to have on-board.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the e-trex vista and like it. I would buy something with a color screen next time. I still stick to maps and compass but the GPS is fun to see where you have been, how fast you were paddling etc. I also like to have it available in case I become truly lost, fog etc. It can be difficult to read while underway. Plan on spending an extra $125 for the Bluechart software if you want that for your PC. You will also need to purchase street map software if you intend to use it in the car.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was looking at GPS Map 76csx is a new one:

It floats.


Takes micro SD cards.

Built in Electronic compass

Barometric altimeter with automatic pressure trend recording.

Supports Blue chart charts.

Suport transfers over USB instead of a serial port.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a Garmin Map 76 (16 MB)which accomodates the Bluechart Software and I love it. I do wish I had bought the color version and 64 MB of memory so I would not have to reload charts so often.The color version has now come down significantly in price. I also use it in my car often. Easy download of data from my laptop.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

>I was looking at GPS Map 76csx is a new one:

>It floats.

>Is IPX7

>Takes micro SD cards.

>Built in Electronic compass

>Barometric altimeter with automatic pressure trend


>Supports Blue chart charts.

>Suport transfers over USB instead of a serial port.

I have the Garmin GPSMap 76CS (not x) and like it. The microSD card is a great addition. I think mine will transfer over USB if I update the firmware. But I'm a tad jealous of the card. ;-))

On the water, it's great having an actual chart on a screen. I used that once to thread through questionable channels in the Great Marsh, and on other occasions to pinpoint myself quite easily. (Of course, you should cultivate always knowing where you are on a regular chart, and not get lazy with the GPS.)

It did twice lose its ability to acquire satellites, apparently because something killed the internal parameter tables. But Garmin turned it around quickly and ultimately replaced it when it was obviously a persisting problem.

So, if you want to spend that much money, I'd recommend it. But be prepared to even more money on BlueChart software and, if you want, CitySelect road maps (it's nice in the car too).


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

I just bought the Uniden Mystic. It is a gps/vhf combo and has downloadable capabilities. So far I love it, you wont be clipping this vhf on your PDF but it hangs nicely in front of you while paddling and only costs $289 but add $100 to get the Bluenav cd for map downloading.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...