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Author Topic:   GPS Chart Plotter with Inland and Coastal Cartography
Larry posted 05-12-2006 01:33 PM ET (US)   Profile for Larry   Send Email to Larry  
[Give me a] suggestion for a GPS receiver with cartography for both for coastal and inland cruising. I would like not to have to change data cards. The Garmin IQUE and the new handheld Lowrance "yellow unit?" caught my eye. Would like to keep it under $500. Thanks for your thoughts.
crabby posted 05-13-2006 02:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for crabby  Send Email to crabby     
GArmin map76Csx is what I am lusting for at the moment...

About $435 [from on-line vendors].

Larrydl posted 05-13-2006 06:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Larrydl  Send Email to Larrydl     
i use a Garmin Street Pilot III.
I have a card for the street (easy to change)
and another card with software for Buoys and waterways.
It has color screen and voice controls, but they only work with the street guidance.
And you can use it with AC/DC or batteries.
Larry posted 05-15-2006 12:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Larry  Send Email to Larry     
the Lowrance unit I meant is the iFinder Go. Unbelieveable what it can do for around 100.00.
bluewaterpirate posted 05-15-2006 08:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Garmin 378 or 486 Salwater series ....... you get a ton of features for the money ..... heres some info. By the way, this is the replacement for the 376c model so you might find a great deal on one of these.

I use my 376c both on my Whaler and in my truck.

Tightlines .......


bluewaterpirate posted 05-15-2006 08:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate sitebuilderpictures/helm1.jpg

Corrected link ..... sorry

Royboy posted 05-15-2006 11:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
I have a Garmin GPSMAP 76CS with BlueChart Americas on it. I like all of the features except the screen; it's getting too small for my aging eyes to see the small details when underway. If I stop and put my reading glasses on, it's fine. In my truck, oddly enough, the detail is good for most of what I use it for (like seeing when my exit is coming up). I also like the tripometer, and an accurate speed reading is a good thing. I don't mess with the barometer much. I like knowing what my heading is.

I also like the portability of the unit, and even bought a mount for my mountain bike so I know how many miles I ride. If I had it to do over again, (or if I could sell this unit for a reasonable price), I'd buy a fixed unit with a bigger screen, and a cheaper handheld for truck/bike use. I'll probably end up just buying a fixed unit exclusively for the boat and use my 76CS for truck and bike, although it's overkill for that.


jimh posted 05-16-2006 11:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I don't think you can find digital chart cartography that covers all inland lakes AND all coastal waters in one package with high resolution.
highanddry posted 05-17-2006 04:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
Navionics offers a USA all in one Hot Maps and a USA all in one Navionics Silver. I doubt it is as detailed as the individual maps but it may do for most.
Royboy posted 05-17-2006 01:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
You can have them both on a single unit (like my Garmin 76CS) but not turned on at the same time. It's like laying a paper chart on a table in that regard; you can have one or the other on "top". It's a bit of a pain keeping track of which map to turn "on" and which one to turn "off", but it can certainly be done. I have only the Bluechip Americas, but I can also load lake maps from the inland lake series of maps available from Garmin. Apparently, Garmin has simplified this a bit by offering the maps on chips, so it's just a matter of plugging in the appropraite chip (Coastal or Lake) and going from there. I have to download individual maps (or groups of them) from a CD to my unit, and then manage them (on or off) with display menus.


Larry posted 05-19-2006 11:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Larry  Send Email to Larry     
I don't mind changing maps for rare inland lake use but wanted to use highway and coastal maps and charts without the clutter and cost of chips for different areas.
jimh posted 05-19-2006 07:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Digital cartography of highways is an entirely different consideration than inland and coastal navigation charts. While marine navigation electronic charting seems to be heading toward a free government data distribution, highway cartography seems to be firmly in the realm of private developers with proprietary formats.

There is a great commercial opportunity in providing highway cartography as the maps can also provide a great deal of information about the destinations and businesses along the highway. Mixing this with marine charting will be a hard combination for anyone to master.

scubastevebiz posted 05-27-2006 12:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for scubastevebiz  Send Email to scubastevebiz     
If you are looking for something to use both on the boat and in the car I would recommend looking at either the Garmin 376C, 378C or 478C or the Garmin 76Cx or 76CSx. All are good units and will work well going between land and sea. The 376C is not preloaded with any maps so youw would need to purchase the bluechart and city select cds for maps. The Garmin data chips are available up to 512MB which will hold a fair amount of maps. It also has XM weather capabilities. The 378C is preloaded with the City Navigator maps and Inland Lakes. While the 478C is preloaded with both City Navigator and Bluechart G2 maps. Downside is they start around $800 and go up. More than your $500 budget.

The other option is the Garmn 76Cx/CSx or the 60Cx/CSx. These units use SD cards up to the 2GB size (at least in the 76 series), you will need to purchase the CDs to load and a larger SD card. The 60Cx starts around $365 + the cost of the maps which will put you close to your target probably around $525-550. The 76 series and 60CSx go up in prices some.

Give me a call if you need some additional help. My site is

Larry posted 08-14-2006 04:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Larry  Send Email to Larry     
Just wanted to update the thread. I selected the Lowrance H20 Plus. For a little over 200.00 it does almost everything I was looking for. It has a built in data base of the whole world with extra detail of the US, roads and coast. With th "Plus" comes six cd's with much more detail that can be down loaded to any generic MMC or SD card. Works wonderfully even on the shift consule of my Explorer.
Only negative is to get the higher detail nautical charts with depths, tides etc needs a Nautic (sp?) card for another 100.00. As the screen is handheld size I'm not sure it would be that useful. I also did not see an advantage to a color screen for my usage.
Bottom line is it works in the car and in the boat for just a few bucks, waterproof too!
whalerwanter posted 08-20-2006 12:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalerwanter    
Larry, I, too, have found that 'handheld' means just that. My hands are held very close to my face, in order to see the screen.
an86carrera posted 08-21-2006 11:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for an86carrera  Send Email to an86carrera     
I have tthe Garmin IQue 3600 it is probably the worst piece of electronic equiptment I have ever owned. I purchased it in Jan 2004.

The sytem crashes regularly (loosing all user waypoints), the battery has never lasted more that 10 minutes running the gps, the voice direction system stops working when it feels like, the screen CAN NOT be seen in daylight...etc.

I have sent it back to Garmin numerous times, they have replaced it a couple of times they are all the same.

Cost 800.00 at the time acessories and cables are ridiculously priced. Bought a humminbird 97 Matrix two years ago has been flawless in its operation.


Riverwhaler posted 08-29-2006 07:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Riverwhaler  Send Email to Riverwhaler     
Love the units with preloaded charts but there is no way currently to update the built in map data. On recent trip from Norfolk to NY had two Garmins, one with built in charts and another with Garmin version 8 updated data on a chip. Big difference in readability in shallow areas. Different coloring and much easier to read depths. What about the bouys that have been moved or taken out? Garmin needs to address this.
Larry posted 08-30-2006 10:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for Larry  Send Email to Larry     
I personally do like the idea of needing chips for different areas. They can get expensive, especially for areas I might visit every few years. The Lowrance Map 6 cds cover the whole US. I load whatever area and what ever amount of detail I need. After a few years the Map 6 data will be old but at that time if I want I can purchase new cds. However I have updated charts of the areas I frequent so it is not that much of an issue for me. Another problem with chips is that they frequently bisec areas with no over lap so I would have to buy two chips for one area.

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