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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Best GPS Receiver and Color Chart Plotter for $500
|Author||Topic: Best GPS Receiver and Color Chart Plotter for $500|
posted 01-18-2009 06:50 AM ET (US)
I am interested in a new GPS [probably means a GPS receiver and electronic chart plotter combination with color display] for my boat, and I am looking at the Standard Horizon CP180i and the Garmin 520. Any folks out there have experience with either of these units? Any recommendations on other units in the $500 price range? Best place to purchase?
posted 01-18-2009 10:10 AM ET (US)
These days a GPS receiver with excellent performance can be purchased for about $35. I have the GlobatSat BU-353. It works great.
The drawback to the BU-353 is you need a laptop to use it. If you want a stand-alone GPS receiver with a display you have to spend about $15 more. You can get a nice GPS receiver with built-in display that will give you your position, speed, and also record a track for less than $50:
However, I think you are really asking about a lot more than a GPS receiver. Based on the units you mentioned, you are probably looking for a GPS receiver and an electronic chart plotter with color display. Many of those units also include a SONAR, or they can be expanded to include a SONAR.
We had a long discussion recently on the topic of which one of these GPS and chart plotter units with color display gave you the best performance for the cost:
GPS Chartplotter Best Value
In general when this sort of discussion is solicited, it never seems to reach a consensus of opinion.
I have reviews of three GPS receivers combined with chart plotters and SONAR units in the REFERENCE section. The current prices of some of these units from discounted retailers will be in your price range.
Standard Horizon CP300
Lowrance LMS-500 Series
To locate the best place to purchase I suggest you use the GOOGLE product search.
posted 01-18-2009 11:04 AM ET (US)
The Standard Horizon CP180i is quite similar to the CP300 which I reviewed, so you may find my comments about it to be useful. I believe the differences are confined to the size of the display (the CP180i is smaller) and the lack of soft keys on the front panel (the CP180i does not have them).
posted 01-19-2009 07:09 PM ET (US)
Keep in mind that depending on where you are boating and which model you buy, you may need to purchase additional electronic charts. I believe the Garmin G2 Vision charts run about 300 bucks per area of coverage...
posted 01-19-2009 07:26 PM ET (US)
You may want to consider the Garmin Oregon 400C hand held GPS. It won't provide a fish finder but it has a WAAS receiver and is an accurate unit with good maps installed. A seperate fish finder can be purchased at a resonable price. Lowrance makes well respected fish finders at less cost than some.
If a good multifunction color unit with a five inch screen is what you require I believe your budget will require an increase.
I source for the aforementioned device is Jim at BOE.com.
posted 01-20-2009 10:05 PM ET (US)
Thks for the info. I went with the Standard Horizon 180I. I liked the 5" screen and the 3 yr warranty.
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