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Floating GPS Units

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As along as its spring and electronics is among us, it looks like Garmin has a new GPS out that is a cost effective replacement for the rock solid GPS 12, namely the WAAS GPS 72. Non mapping which is what you lose when you give up the premium that I have in my mapping GPS, which I bought mostly because of the screen and the fact that it floats.

Floating seems to be a key in the easy to read GPS business: means no deck bag. Which means that you can read it if you have it on deck, and especially if you make a little foam wedge to hold it. I have managed to give my Meridian Marine plenty of soakings and it seems to be holding up nicely. The other floaters are the Magellan Sport track series and the Garmin GPS 76 series, which get more expensive really fast when you get mapping.

Any one had any experience with the readibility in glare at 3' of the GPS 72 or basic Sportrack?

Ben Fuller, Cushing Maine

where the fog likes to creep

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Ben, I believe all the Garmin units are waterproof (though as you indicate, not all float). I use my trusty Legend (mapping), tied via lanyard to my deck and then have it just sit loosely on my spray skirt. It occasionally flies off into the water because of strong winds or waves, and it doesn't seem to be affected by this. I think the main thing is just having it secured to your boat. I used it last summer for a 200 km trip in the Vinalhaven, Isle au Haut, Deer Isle region, and it worked flawlessly for getting around in fog, etc.


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