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Hi All,

What does everyone have for a GPS unit that they use on the water? Do you like its features or is there anything about it which would lead you to not recommend it?

I'm not interested in the philosophical debate in re traditional navigation techniques versus use of electronics. ;)

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QUOTE(Kevin B @ Feb 1 2008, 08:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi All,

What does everyone have for a GPS unit that they use on the water? Do you like its features or is there anything about it which would lead you to not recommend it?

I'm not interested in the philosophical debate in re traditional navigation techniques versus use of electronics. ;)

Geeze, Kevin, get with the program, here. Message boards are all about heated philosophical debates.

Anyway - Garmin eTrex Vista, here. I'm on my second one. The first one bit the dust - too much salt water in the receiver killed it after maybe 3 years. It's supposedly waterproof. My main use of the thing is to force me to keep up my knottage when I'm working on my forward stroke.

It's pretty cost effective and has everything I'd want, except for detailed maps. It has only a very coarse map. It can download, and save waypoints. You can program a route that takes you through waypoints. You can save a trip and download it to a computer, and display your route on top of a map. My greatest affection for this model was when I did a couple of crossings from Mt. Desert to the Cranberries in thick fog - although my map and compass work was fine, it was reassuring to have the waypoints click off. If this one goes belly up, I'm not sure what I'd get. - I might just get another Vista. So, there's a testimonial, I suppose.

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QUOTE(Kevin B @ Feb 1 2008, 08:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi All,

What does everyone have for a GPS unit that they use on the water? Do you like its features or is there anything about it which would lead you to not recommend it?

I'm not interested in the philosophical debate in re traditional navigation techniques versus use of electronics. ;)

I have an older 60C that works well. Go to this site, Gamin makes easy to select multiple units and do a direct comparison of features.

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=145

Not to debate navigation techniques, but I have found that I don't use mine that often. If I was was doing an expedition, I would definitely take it. If I wanted to just keep track of my speed for fitness etc. I would take it along. If you are just looking for fitness training stuff, the most basic inexpensive units without mapping will do that fine.

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....I don't use mine that often. If I was was doing an expedition, I would definitely take it.

Ditto. I've got an entry level Garmin____ (yellow, ~$95). I usually pack this in a dry case for expeditions or short camping trips. Helps to have pre-programmed certain waypoints into the GPS in the area you'll be exploring on such trips, or at least a pre-printed list of landmarks/islands in your chart case or flip side of laminated chart (willing to share such a list for the Stonington archipelago; send private message). As John said, GPS is comforting reassurance for your traditional navigation techniques. The GPS was on standby last year on the Jewell trip, as we crossed fog-bound Luckse Sound from Long to Cliff. Probably a good back-up on any nocturnal journies as well.

I have no interest in paying the extra $ for downloadable charts, route diagrams, etc. I just want it to give me waypoints, which are available for free at topozone.com, and occasionally, kayak speed, for dead rekoning.

Also use the GPS for bushwacking or geocaching.

Gary

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same here...lowest level eTrex (yellow model)....had it forever. kayaking or backpacking, I really only use it to save a record of where I've been, and load it later onto topo maps back home. only once have I **really** used it to determine where I was (that was very complex canyon country in central utah), but it is nice to know that there is a fallback with lat/lon available.

i've looked at, but never bought the units with maps...the maps always looked useless (at least for serious hiking, not sure about kayaking). when they have a unit that I can download detailed topos into, then perhaps i'll be interested. my opinion: keep it cheap and simple.

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same here...lowest level eTrex (yellow model)....had it forever. kayaking or backpacking, I really only use it to save a record of where I've been, and load it later onto topo maps back home. only once have I **really** used it to determine where I was (that was very complex canyon country in central utah), but it is nice to know that there is a fallback with lat/lon available.

i've looked at, but never bought the units with maps...the maps always looked useless (at least for serious hiking, not sure about kayaking). when they have a unit that I can download detailed topos into, then perhaps i'll be interested. my opinion: keep it cheap and simple.

The more expensive units with with mapping do have nice topo's available (xtra $) as well as Blue Charts (xtra $) for water navigation. The Blue Charts are really nice. Here is a screen capture from my Blue Charts: http://www.kayakpics.com/gallery/album70/rescue?full=1

You can also add streets software (xtra $) to the higher end units and use it in your car.

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I picked up an eTrex Legend CX last year as a primary unit for the yak, and as a backup for the bigger one in my boat I'm using the BlueChart software on both).

I've been pretty happy with it so far- it's gone swimming (on a leash) a couple of times, and no problems to date.....

Oh- and in the same way I taught my kids to tell time with a clock with hands, and to tie sneakers instead of just using velcro, I also carry (and can use) a compass and chart... ;-))

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QUOTE(Kevin B @ Feb 1 2008, 08:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi All,

What does everyone have for a GPS unit that they use on the water? Do you like its features or is there anything about it which would lead you to not recommend it?

I'm not interested in the philosophical debate in re traditional navigation techniques versus use of electronics. ;)

I have a Garmin Map76 that I have had and used for the last 3 years. It's supposedly waterproof, but I keep it in a drybag designed for GPS. I use the Bluewater nav charts with it. It has lots of features, but the best thing is you see the chart on the screen. I wish I would have bought the color screen in retrospect, but at the time they were expensive. The price has come way down.

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we have an old Magellan that has the quad helix antenna....it is a lower end model but has a better antenna than the patch ones you find now...

also have the basic etrex.....

i would rather bring the magellan.....

the problem with both of these is that neither downloads very well....well we do not have the cables......plus i do not think that the magellan actually downloads anything...

r

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I have been using the Garmin eTrex Vista color for two years. I have used it onm the water with no problems. I added the Blue Chart software which is nice and quite useful both on the unit and on the PC itself for looking in detail at the areas we kayak.

With Google Earth there is a quick interface with the Garmin (and most other GPS's) that alow you to overlay your track over the maps and aerial photos.

I have also used the eTrex while flying - nice and small and the battery lasts a long time.

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I have also used the eTrex while flying .....

For what purposes Brian? Speed? Altitude? Supposedly the latter parameter is more difficult to pinpoint, given the technical challenges? How does the readout on the GPS compare to the instrument panel (I'm assuming you are piloting), and which one do you trust more?

Gary

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I use the Garmin 76c. The base map (not blue chart) includes includes most of the navigational aids along the coast. I especially like being able to know the exact tide for the closest tide buoy. The 76c floats (even if it does tend to float away :) ) The waterproofing is good when new, but the battery seals do tend to wear out after a few years.

There are 2 newer models that I am considering for my next gps. The 76csx has a more accurate chip. This is not useful for boating, but I would enjoy it for Geocaching. The Garmin Colorado has some interesting features, but again, not much additional use for boating.

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For what purposes Brian? Speed? Altitude? Supposedly the latter parameter is more difficult to pinpoint, given the technical challenges? How does the readout on the GPS compare to the instrument panel (I'm assuming you are piloting), and which one do you trust more?

Gary

Hi Gary;

I use it as a passenger in commercial planes. As long as I am near a window it works well. Besides seeing what I am flying over (what I like best about it), I can see the speed (ground speed of course) and the altitude. As long as there are 4 satellites in view (not always possible with the small aperture one has through the window) the position and altitude works fine. Altitude is just the third dimension being calculated and is no different than the lat/long calculation.

I used to use one when piloting, but that was several years ago. Black and white, no real moving maps like today, etc. But the position, speed, true altitude and ability to use these to determine wind speed, wind direction, etc. was great. It worked fine in a small aircraft.

I also use GPS in rockets where all of these are necessary: speed, position, and altitude. Unfortunately, all commercial GPS signals are 1 hertz which is way too slow for exact calculations of something moving greater than 1 Mach.

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QUOTE(Kevin B @ Feb 1 2008, 08:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi All,

What does everyone have for a GPS unit that they use on the water? Do you like its features or is there anything about it which would lead you to not recommend it?

I'm not interested in the philosophical debate in re traditional navigation techniques versus use of electronics. ;)

Kevin-before you decide you might want to check out the latest:

Colorado™ 400c

by Garmin

The Colorado™ 400c is made with the saltwater mariner in mind. Packed with features, it includes a high-sensitivity receiver, barometric altimeter, electronic compass, SD card slot, color display, picture viewer and more. Even exchange tracks, waypoints, routes and geocaches wirelessly between similar units. Colorado comes with built-in BlueChart® g2 coastal charts and a worldwide basemap with imagery — perfect for all your outdoor pursuits. Map detail includes includes shorelines, depth contours, navaids, harbors, marinas, port plans coastal roads for the U.S. and Bahamas.

Web Site: www.garmin.com/

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Kevin-before you decide you might want to check out the latest:

Colorado™ 400c

by Garmin

The Colorado™ 400c is made with the saltwater mariner in mind. Packed with features, it includes a high-sensitivity receiver, barometric altimeter, electronic compass, SD card slot, color display, picture viewer and more. Even exchange tracks, waypoints, routes and geocaches wirelessly between similar units. Colorado comes with built-in BlueChart® g2 coastal charts and a worldwide basemap with imagery — perfect for all your outdoor pursuits. Map detail includes includes shorelines, depth contours, navaids, harbors, marinas, port plans coastal roads for the U.S. and Bahamas.

Web Site: www.garmin.com/

Actually, the unit that Brian uses seems to have the best reviews so far. The Colorado series is quite expensive ( MSRP.)

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