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  Color Chart Plotter for Montauk, Under $1,000, Pacific Coastal Waters

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Author Topic:   Color Chart Plotter for Montauk, Under $1,000, Pacific Coastal Waters
boatdryver posted 04-15-2006 10:31 AM ET (US)   Profile for boatdryver   Send Email to boatdryver  
Its time to decide on a COLOR chartplotter or chartplotter/sounder for my Montauk with no bimini.

The two [areas in which a decision have to be made] are:

--sunlight viewability;

--chart type

Only in the last year or two have the screens evolved to where they are supposedly bright in sunlight. I had a color screen device in c.1999 which was Ok inside a big boat's pilot house, but it was lousy in sun.

Garmin has a model new model 498 which is claimed to be preloaded with charts for the entire coastal US but in three visits to West Marine--uninformed sales people--Tomales Bay north of San Francisco shows depth information only when zoomed in so far that only a mile of water fits on the screen. This is unacceptible.

I'd appreciate any input from those of you who have purchased these sunlight viewable COLOR plotters ($800-$1000 range), 4- 5 inch screen units in the last year or so.

Also, any feedback re these new Garmin 498 units re the chart detail in areas just inside the coastline.

thanks very much


frostbite posted 04-15-2006 11:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for frostbite  Send Email to frostbite     
On my Montauk I have the Standard Horizon CP175C. The screen is easily viewable in bright sunlight.

The CP175C has operated flawlessly and I would not hesite to buy another.

Moe posted 04-15-2006 03:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Garmin chartplotters have a level of detail setting. I've found that this setting affects how far in you have to zoom to see soundings. It is possible that someone else using the display model set the detail level lower than normal.

For this and other reasons, I recommend downloading the owner's manual of a product and becoming familiar with it before evaluating it in the store. It's also a good idea to print the manual and bring it with you, since store personnel can sometimes not find the manual or other parts that came with display models.

You can download the owner's manual for the GPSMAP 498 at

Hope this helps,

boatdryver posted 04-15-2006 08:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver     
Thanks, Moe. I'll download those pages and try once more at West to get to the bottom of this with their demo unit


DWS posted 04-16-2006 03:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for DWS  Send Email to DWS     
I have the Garmin 198c and it is easily viewable in sunlight and it has accurate sounding and structure info from south of Ensenada Mexico to Oregon that I have looked at so far, When I say accurate I mean stuff that I already know is there shows up,so I assume the things that I see on the chart that I am not familiar with are there also, This unit went for $1100.00 at West marine where I went to look at it before finding it on line for $800 and change. DWS
jimh posted 04-16-2006 12:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
In somewhat direct opposition to Moe's advice--and this is not an unusual juxtaposition of our views--I tend to approach a new electronic device such as a chart plotter without reading the manual. This gives me a sense of how intuitive the controls and user interface will be. If I can figure out how to operate it without consulting the manual, then I think better of the unit.

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