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GPS Chartplotter Recommendations?

Old 05-06-2008, 08:15 PM
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Default GPS Chartplotter Recommendations?

I am new to boating off shore and am looking for a recommendation on a low cost GPS Chartplotter. I'll be boating in the Puget Sound area so will need plug in module capability for detailed maps. Any recommendations or brands to avoid? Thanks in advance.
Old 05-06-2008, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: GPS Chartplotter Recommendations?

All marine plotters are good. I would say avoid any hand held unit (screen is too small to be seen easily when underway) and avoid any automotive GPS (not waterproof and may not accept a marine chart).

But any fixed mount marine GPS is great. The truth is they all use the same chart. My Standard Horizon plotter uses the exact same C-MAP chart as Furuno and Lowrance and some others. I think there are three major electronic chart versions. C-MAP (most commonly used) Blue Chart (Garmin only) and whatever Humminbird uses. But all three are based on the exact same paper chart published by NOAA.

That said - you can not go wrong with a Garmin. They make good stuff. I went with Standard Horizon based on what was available at the time, price, and I wanted the DSC polling feature my Standard Horizon VHF was capable of.

But like I said - they are all good. So pick one based on price, features, and size. You will be happy with it.
Old 05-07-2008, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: GPS Chartplotter Recommendations?

I'd have to disagree with the above post. There are significant differences in the chartplotters themselves in terms of features, useability, quality, and performance. There is more than 1 chart also! My old Furuno Navnet units would run a C-Map or a Navionics chart. Bluecharts, NOAA, and now Furuno has jumped into the game with their Timezero charts, and there are others.

While each chart maker does start off with the same (hopefully) paper sources, what they do with them and how they present their data can be quite different. I've written a number of lengthy posts comparing some of them.

You're best off to look at a plotter or two for each type of chart in your area and decide what you like from the chart and the plotter. It is a marriage of sorts between the plotter and chart.

I used to prefer C-map over Navionics. I'm really hoping I like the Furuno charts now, since I've spent a ton of money putting them together.

Old 05-07-2008, 09:16 AM
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Default Re: GPS Chartplotter Recommendations?

If you are looking for plotter only (not FF) and don't want to break the bank, you can still find good deals on the Garmin 492c. It comes pre-loaded with the detailed cartography maps so you do not need to purchase additional ones, although it can take BlueChart cards if required. Right here for example: http://www.marinecloseout.com/ . $408 new. Internal antenna. This link is owned and operated by our friends at BOE Marine and they are great to deal with. I bought the exact same unit for the same price a few weeks back from here. Good luck -

Dave
Old 05-08-2008, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: GPS Chartplotter Recommendations?

Thanks everyone for the input. I just purchased the Garmin 492c.

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