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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Raymarine A65: Garmin 3210
|Author||Topic: Raymarine A65: Garmin 3210|
posted 05-01-2006 12:23 AM ET (US)
I have been reading a number of discussions about the Raymarine A65 combination color display, chart plotter, GPS receiver, and SONAR. It sounded like an interesting device. I was at the marine (toy) store today, and I made a point to locate the A65 on the shelf and check it out.
I was quite surprised by its size: I thought it would be bigger.
Sitting next to it was this HUGE Garmin 3210 display. Oh boy--things are hopeless now. I am ruined. Once you see this monster Garmin, your life is changed. It is like the question raised in musical form following World War I:
"How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm After They've Seen Paree?"
Or like the Chrysler Intrepid commercial: "This changes everything."
I have to go over to the boat and measure the helm console--I want to make sure there IS NOT ENOUGH room for the Garmin 3210. If it turns out there IS enough room, I don't know what I am going to do. This thing costs more than most boats!
It should be against the law to show these things at the marine store. The display is beautiful. It was probably only a few years ago that you could only find something like this on an aircraft carrier--a nuclear aircraft carrier. And now you can put one on your recreational trailer boat!
posted 05-01-2006 08:00 AM ET (US)
Jim - I went through the same thing while picking out electronics for my 235 Conquest. When you go to the toy store and actually look at some of these sonar/GPS units, you realize that the magazine ads you have been studying show things 4X actual size. It's hard to imagine getting much useful information from a 4.5" or even 6" screen while running in a 2' chop amd trying to keep a responsible lookout at the same time.
I ended up with a Lowrance with a 10" display. There wasn't enough room on the Conquest dash for it, so I made a special bracket and hung it from underneath the hardtop about 2' in front of the helm seat. Now I just glance up and this beautiful display is right there and very easy to read. With the bigger screen I can split it GPS/sonar, and still read both accurately.
Amazing technology, but it sure does punch a hole in your wallet.
posted 05-01-2006 09:00 AM ET (US)
It surprises me that Garmin hasn't put more pixels on those
big screens. They've been stuck at 640x480 for a long time.
I'm sitting here using a 15" 1600x1280 laptop that cost
about the same as a Garmin 3210, and it has a hard drive,
DVD-R, 2G of Ram, a real keyboard, and TWO mouse-like devices.
I'da thunk Garin would have gotten to 1024x768 by now. Given
the volumes for that size going into laptops, they should
be able to get them for about the same price as the 640x480.
The Raymarine A65 would would seem to compete more with the
posted 05-01-2006 10:34 PM ET (US)
I agree Jimh, there should be a special room at the toy, er...I mean, marine store. There should be a special employee with a tuxedo and a towel folded neatly over one arm monitoring the entrance of said room, making certain only those with the proper size yachts can enter. This way, when some chump like me with stars in his eyes comes near, he could step in front of me and it would go something like this:
Tuxedo Guy: "Excuse me, sir, are you lost?"
Me:, "um, I think I might want one of those big screen Garmin units in there"
Tuxedo Guy: "Beat it buddy, this room's got nothing you need"
Me: "Er, thanks, yeah, I guess you're right"
Tuxedo Guy: "Of course I am, you Dolt, that thing costs as much as a helicopter. You don't have a helicopter on that boat of yours, do you, Mr. Royboy? Yeah, I didn't think so, now move it along".
At this point I go and look at handheld units, and settle for one in black and white with a 2 inch screen, that costs no more than a decent steak dinner. I find that I can see it when it's flat calm, but not actually read it. Oh well, it'll save on batteries.
posted 05-01-2006 11:37 PM ET (US)
Roy, you made me laugh out loud!
Jimh, remember, the display always looks smaller when it's mounted on your boat. I just installed my old monochrome Garmin 130 GPS because it is actually easier to read the display than the early color Garmin that came with the boat. I like the idea of a redundant system, and it cost me nothing more than the $5 for a new coaxial fitting for the antenna cable. I am sure it made me almost as happy as one of those big shiny color jobs you mentioned.
posted 05-03-2006 07:53 AM ET (US)
I fell into the same exact trap last weekend at the local marine store. Saw the Garmin, played with the Garmin. One sweet unit!
Boy, does my 198c look tiny now!
posted 05-03-2006 09:11 PM ET (US)
If Garmin used your Idea as a preconception in a commercial they would have a winner.
You had me laughing out loud
posted 05-04-2006 11:53 AM ET (US)
In actuality, I bought a Garmin GPSMAP 76CS and BlueChart Americas. It works wonderfully, but the screen is way too small for my tired old eyes. I have to put my reading glasses on to take advantage of the small chart details. Paradoxically, it's perfect for the car, or on my bicycle. In retrospect, I should have bought a fixed unit witrh a bigger screen, but now I like the handheld so well for other uses, I'll end up buying another unit.
If I really want a big screen, I could buy a cheap laptop on eBay and hook up my handheld to it. The interface is seamless. Not sure where or how to secure it on my console, however. Anybody know where it's o.k to drive a screw though a laptop without tearing up its guts? I'm thinking through the "tilde" key, I never use that anyway.
posted 05-04-2006 05:59 PM ET (US)
i have a 3010 on my 230 outrage it is SWEET!!!!!!!
posted 05-11-2006 10:14 PM ET (US)
The tuxedo guy must have gone to see a guy about a horse, and I got a close peek at the Garmin 3210. I was a bit surprised to find out that it does not come preloaded with any Blue Chart regions. You drop a couple of large and you have nothing but coastline info? That seems wrong somehow, but I guess if you can afford the unit another hundy or two for chips is not a big deal.
posted 05-11-2006 10:34 PM ET (US)
Your laptop display is generally useless in the bright sunlight encountered aboard your boat. It would be a seriously disappointing chartplotting unit except for nighttime use.
All that said, I too have tried to get by the guy in the Tuxedo a few times to take a look at that Garmin unit. It's quite a cool thing, and my GPS 168 would be a nice backup....
...but then I realized that I can buy that little 15' Lymann I've been looking at for the same price!
posted 05-11-2006 11:53 PM ET (US)
Royboy, the 3210 does come preloaded. That's the big difference
between it and the predecessor 3010. See:
posted 05-12-2006 09:14 AM ET (US)
Well, Chuck, that makes more sense. I believe the one I was looking at was indeed a 3010, but I had to be quick; the tuxedo guy was coming back. Glad to see Garmin got it right on later introductions.
I'm sure your right about the laptop, Dave. It's something I'm not likely to try anyway. Mostly, I'm watching the rod tips and the fish finder. My handheld GPS is easy enough to read to see whether I'm still in the channel or not, and If I need more detail I'm more likly to break out the paper chart than to zoom around on the GPS. I generally know my course before I get on the water, so I more or less just use the GPS to track my way back to where I came from, and to keep track of speed, distance, and time. For now the GPSMAP 76 CS is fine for this. The color screen, while small, is very sharp and easy to read in the direct sun, and it's backlighted if I need a little more, or for at night.
posted 05-12-2006 09:38 AM ET (US)
It's not a matter of Garmin getting it right but rather of
memory prices dropping sufficiently that they can get all
the charts in one reasonably priced flash memory.
Where I think Garmin (and the industry) have fallen behind
posted 05-12-2006 02:29 PM ET (US)
Not sure how much use higher resolutions would be on 6-10 inch screens. Do you think there is that much detail on a GPS to use the additional real estate?
I have a Garmin 3006 on my Conquest and it works just fine for my purposes. A larger sreen than the 5 in on the 3006 would be better, but real estate is tough on a boat.
posted 05-12-2006 03:27 PM ET (US)
Bigger screen too. ;-)
Like maybe the IBM 9 Megapixel (3500ish by 2500ish) 28"ish
Actually, I can see a "glass cockpit" with a big display
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