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Author Topic:   GPS Advice
compounder posted 11-24-2000 10:53 PM ET (US)   Profile for compounder   Send Email to compounder  
I'm thinking of putting GPS on my Christmas list. Would appreciate input as to specific models you would recommend and exactly why. Use will be primarily for navigating on ICW in and around South Carolina plus a little off-shore use.
Tsuriki BW posted 11-25-2000 02:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     

I am partial to Garmin, own 3 of them. 2 have map function, 1, came with my Dauntless, that doesn't. It has advandages of built in antenna but.. My suggestion is that no matter what brand to get, look SERIOUSLY at the models that accept a chart module. They are great and open up a whole diffeerent world of navigation to you.


Peter posted 11-25-2000 11:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
I've got the Garmin GPS 175 handheld. Great compact cartographic capable unit that fits well on a small center console when seated in the gimble mounting bracket. Have had it for two years with no problems. My advice is whatever brand you go with, have Santa spend the extra $ on a cartographic capable unit. You'll be very happy Santa did.
dfmcintyre posted 11-25-2000 04:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
I'd also vote for Garmin. I've got a 195 (avaition handheld same case as the 175) and a three year old 135 sounder/gps combo unit, thats no longer in production) I picked up the 135 for three reasons: it uses much of the same keystrokes as the 195, it has a small footprint (same size screen as the 175/195's) and was able to be flush mounted into the console.

I like the way most of the units that Garmin makes allows for flushmounting, and are waterproof. The 135, and later models have the ability to accept chart cartridges. Having said that, I still carry (and recommend anyone that has a chart/gps) paper charts. The sounder also has different transducer options.... I went with the paddlewheeled unit that gives speed over water too. Nice for cross checking against speed over ground. It's also very accurate for depth and fishing.

Good luck on the decision and Santa!


dfmcintyre posted 11-25-2000 04:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
One other point on mounting an external antenna.

When I picked up the unit, I had not made a decision on where to mount the antenna. It came with enough wire to run it up forward to the small foredeck of my 73 21' outrage. Also gave some thought about somewhere on the top of the console (pretty limited area though) or up on the grab rails (might have to modify the mooring/trailering canvas). Decisions, decisions.

In the meantime, I mounted the unit, flush in the console (just cut out the console slowly, make sure it fits snug, and apply a thin bead of silicone)

While out cruising, I'd just take the antenna out of the console, tiewrap it to the console grabrail. Excellent signal.

One day while cruising, I noticed that the signal had degraded..._slightly_. Hmmmm. Then realized that the antenna WAS STILL LYING ON THE FLOOR, INSIDE THE CONSOLE. Huh?

So I wedged the little puppy up ahead of the flushmount compass, right at the front of the console, still inside (read under one piece of 3/4" plywood and a layer of fiberglass) and the unit receives a very good to excellent signal. Never lost it's position.

John Flook saw the unit up at the get togeather this summer, and can also remark to it.

So play around with the antenna position before mounting is my recommendation. And don't worry about mounting it under canvas.


jimh posted 11-25-2000 06:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
For a story of some fun you can have with your GPS, see:

Having a chart-plotting type instrument can really add a whole new dimension to navigation.


kingfish posted 11-25-2000 10:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I did indeed see Don's rig, and it blew me away after all the agonizing I had done about placing my GPS antenna. Chuck Tribolet had pretty much convinced me that it was OK under the suntop with his story about using his antenna as a place to keep his hat, but I was still bouncing around between mounting it on the console deck, or up higher on the "shepherd crook" rail in front of the windshield. Don has obviated that there is a whole lot of latitude in where you can put it and still get reception!

And BTW, I have a Garmin 235 chart-plotter/sounder with DGPS, and I love it. I am hoping Santa will bring me a hand-held for back up this Christmas, so I am paying attention to the comments about hand-helds here, for some guidance for old Saint Nick.

FISHNFF posted 11-26-2000 12:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for FISHNFF  Send Email to FISHNFF     
I am very happy with my Garmin 162 with the built in antennae. I had a handheld Garmin, then a 120 with the separate ant and 25 feet of cable. I mounted the ant 6 inches from my unit, so the cable was coiled up under the console. The 162 is clear, compact, has tide info for anywhere, and gives good map detail of bouys and piers in memory. I haven't figured out the detailed CD download, but it is great w/o. I give it 2 Thumbs Up!
DIVE 1 posted 11-26-2000 08:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for DIVE 1    
We have 3 GPS/Chartplotters, all different brands, various reasons. All 3 use c-map nt cards. The c-map cards seem to offer the most detail in our area.

1. Interphase Chartmaster 7M1, black & white 6" screen, built in antenna - nice size chartplotter for smaller console, built in antenna works great under sun top.

2. Magellan NAV 6000, handheld, nice size screen, snap-in mount or take anywhere portable, watertight, floats.

3.Sitex Prism 10NT, 10" screen, remote DGPS antenna, easy to read at WOT in rough conditions.

bigz posted 11-26-2000 10:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Joe since your using it on a Montauk the smaller screen size units would be what I would focus on.

You mentioned,I think, you already had a depth finder so that feature isn't necessary --- for "real" navigation with chart ability would look at the Simrad, Furuno, Si-Tex and Interphase units --- they are all top of the line --- I might add after looking at the various chart set ups C-Map offers the best for the $$$ unless of course you have an on board PC laptop then the MapTech CD-ROM's can't be beat ;)--- on the lower end ($$) of still quality units the Garmin's and Lowrance units offer the DIY map create programs and a few of the units offer map cartridge capabilities if $$$$ come into play ---

Just a few thoughts -- still up to you to make the decision --- Tom

PS don't forget a full powered VHF radio -- think you said you just had a handheld ---

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