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Author Topic:   Garmin 492 GPS and Sounder
gcl posted 03-02-2007 09:45 AM ET (US)   Profile for gcl  
I'm considering purchasing a combination GPS and depth sounder. I'm looking at the Garmin 492, which is currently priced at $679.99 at Bass Pro Shop. Are any of you familar with this equipment ? If so, are your experiences good, bad or indifferent ? Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
gcl posted 03-02-2007 01:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for gcl    
Forgot to mention: I would be installing the equipment on my 1971 Boston Whaler Nauset.
swist posted 03-02-2007 06:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
Since the product has been discontinued by Garmin, you might Froogle around for a better price than that - I have seen it under $500.
Royboy posted 03-02-2007 08:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
The Garmin 492 is the chartplotter only model; the 498 is the one with both GPS and Sounder. I just bought the Garmin 492 today at my local West Marine for $425 with the internal antenna. They are having a clearance sale on electronics.


Royboy posted 03-02-2007 08:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
I forgot to answer your question! Obviously I thought it was a worthy product, or I wouldn't have purchased one. I already had a Garmin GPSMAP 76CS, and I like it a lot, except the screen is a bit too small for my 47 year old eyes. The 492 has a nearly identical user interface as my handheld unit and I have found it easy to learn and easy to remember.

The unit comes preloaded with the G2 basemap that includes coastal charts for all of the United States, including the Great Lakes, Alaska, and Hawaii. I haven't used it yet, so I'm not sure how the detail compares to my Bluechart software that I have on the handheld.

The only thing I don't like so far, is the fact that there is no USB port to connect the unit to a laptop. If I buy a data card and read/write device (for around another $100 total) I can load waypoints, tracks, inland lake maps, and Bluecharts from my computer.

I also already have a nice color sounder (NAVMAN 4380), so I didn't need that capability, although the 492 will display sounder data from a compatable sounder.

It's DSC capable (my handheld is not, or at least I'm not smart enough to make it work). Hopefully, I'll have better luck with a unit that is advertised as having the capability.


swist posted 03-03-2007 07:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
A Garmin 492 at $425 is a great deal. I am thinking of replacing my 276 with a 492 if that's the price.

Yeah it is a little weird replacing a current model (although the 276 has been current for a long time now) with a discontinued one, but as I'm sure a lot of people can attest to, the small screen is a real limitation on a Montauk bouncing around in the ocean. The 5" screen on the 49x models is significantly bigger. And I never take the 276 off the boat, so the portability I don't need.

Royboy posted 03-03-2007 08:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
I can understand your hesitation swist, I took quite a bit of soul searching to upgrade from my handheld. However, I boat mostly on the Great Lakes in my 17 Outrage II, and I found myself coming off plane and putting my glasses on to read my plotter.

I do use my handheld in my truck on long trips, and I'll probably keep it for that use, and as a back-up to the 492.

$425 is a great price, considering the MSRP was $728. I would imagine the price may drop more until the stock is exhausted and the new 4XX and 5XX units hit the store shelves, but it will likely get difficult to find one too.

Now, if there wasn't an ice sheet a foot thick around the boat launch, I could go check this puppy out!


gcl posted 03-05-2007 08:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for gcl    
Thanks for the comments. Perhaps I should look into the 489 model. Bass Pro Shop has the model available for $779.99.
Royboy posted 03-05-2007 12:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
West has the Garmin 498 from $619 to $679, depending on configuration (transducer, antenna, etc). Local stores may have them marked down even more (the store near me does).


jmorgan40 posted 03-05-2007 03:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for jmorgan40  Send Email to jmorgan40 has the 492 for $562 with the Internal Antenna.
Royboy posted 03-05-2007 04:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
West Marine has the 492 for $499 right now. I got one even less ($425) because it had a damaged box.


lasersailor posted 03-05-2007 09:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for lasersailor  Send Email to lasersailor     
The 498 is down to 670 ish at west now including the transducer, trying to decide between that and the new GPSMAP 440, at 635 without transducer, I guess it can't hurt to wait a month or two and see if they drop the 498 price again.
swist posted 03-06-2007 08:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
I agree it is a good time to wait a bit - for one thing few if any of the 2007 models have hit the streets so you'll never get a deal on those. As soon as there is some volume out in the market you'll start to see discounts on those too, and at some point 49x prices will stop dropping as the supply dries up. Making the decision on whether you want to get the old or new will involve different numbers than it does now.

Are the 2007 models on display at West yet? Seeing a screen in person would help a lot.

blackdog54 posted 03-07-2007 12:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog54  Send Email to blackdog54     
A few weeks back, when West Marine figured out that Garmin was going to sunset much of its line, I picked up the 498 for $599. I bought the option transducer for $70, for temp, depth, FF.

The 492 is a give away at my West marine last Sat. for, guess what $492.

West marine is almost out of the 498 online but the stores are still loaded. Ask them to match the web price.

They are also out of the internal antannae but the external is still to be had for a deal.

gcl posted 03-07-2007 12:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for gcl    
Thanks for all the replies. I just ordered the Garmin 498, with internal ant. from Defender Industries for $634.99, including the transducer. The item is back-ordered with re-inventory projected for March 9'th.

When pricing the unit, I noticed that some vendors' prices included the transducer, while others' did not. So, "heads up" while making your comparisons.

Thanks again.

gcl posted 03-09-2007 03:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for gcl    
Received the Garmin GPS 498 from Defender Industries, today. Pretty sharp. Can't wait for spring commissioning !

FYI, if you aren't familar with Defender Industries, check them out on the web at They are a Connecticut based company, with a substantial catalog and web business, which I understand is "global". Also bear in mind that it pays to call them, because there is flucuation in pricing especially on electronics. The price they gave me over the phone was much better than the catalog.

By the way, I have no affiliation with Defender Industries, other than being an occasional customer. Thanks again for your comments.

swist posted 03-11-2007 06:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
Whoa, I just noticed something. The 492 (5" diagonal) has a screen resolution of 320x240. The Garmin 276 I am thinking of replacing (because its screen is too small - 3.8" diagonal) has a resolution of 480x320.

The larger screen has less resolution? Maybe this change isn't such a good idea? Has anyone seen these displays side by side, or does anyone know the practical affects of this difference?

blackdog54 posted 03-11-2007 10:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog54  Send Email to blackdog54     

I did the side-by-side comparison. I will tell you the smaller units 276 and 476 or 478 (portables) have remarkable resolution compared to the 492/498. I forget which one also had XM satellite capacity, and I subscribe to XM, so that was alluring.

That said, I came home with the 498. I just liked the bigger screen and the resolution is much improved over my older unit.

If you have the space, I'd go with the bigger screen. I am quite happy with my 498, though I have only used it once.

Good luck.

boatct posted 03-19-2007 01:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for boatct  Send Email to boatct     
Sort of in the same thought area here. I have a 276c but getting a bigger boat. Travel in the CT river and the sound. When it states that the 492 has builtin maps - are they the same level of detail as the BlueChart stuff or are they just general not very useful and you still need to do the BlueChart detail.
Feejer posted 03-20-2007 05:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     
Their are 2 things you must watch for on the Garmin products. The 1st is the screen coating coming off when you wipe it. As soon as you get your unit buy some purplemoo or another coatng to put over the screen. The second problem is fogging. I had a Garmin 2110C that went back to them 2X for the fogging problem. That was 2 years ago. I would hope by now the problems are corrected.
Feejer posted 03-20-2007 05:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     
Also, make sure you look at the screen with your polarized sunglasses ON. Nothing like having to cock your head a certain way so you can read the screen. Not all LCD screen are created equal.
blackdog54 posted 03-25-2007 12:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog54  Send Email to blackdog54     
OK so yesterday was my first "real" day out with the new Garmin 498 with optional transducer. Wow.

(In another thread I talked about the new Garmin line with touch-screen and someone responded that touch-screen might have some downsides. I would have to agree. Mine is not touch-screen but the screens do get marked up pretty quickly from fingerprints).

My transducer install was successful, no rooster tail. All transducer functions, except fish finder, are great. So why can't I see any fish? The little Hummingbird FF I had picked them up. Suggestions? Settings?

Either way you go, the 492 and 498 have a lot to offer, I am really happy.

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