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-   -   Garmin quality? (https://www.thehulltruth.com/marine-electronics-forum/439200-garmin-quality.html)

granpafish 07-08-2012 10:38 AM

Garmin quality?
 
I know that a Q like this could start a war and that is not my intent. I have been away from any electronics discussion for a couple of years and am just looking for some (hopefully unbiased) insight. I'm an old guy and have found Garmin to be the best for me because it is so user friendly for a non tech type. I remember that the last time I was paying attention to electronics discussion the was a growing buzz that Garmin was headed in the wrong direction quality wise. (maybe sold or different assembly outfit, etc)
Have those concerns been addressed, confirmed or shown to be unfounded? I'm in the market again for a GPS/sounder. Thanks for any insight. Granpa

semperfifishing 07-08-2012 12:27 PM

Garmin are user friendly and units like the 700 series have an excellent track record...and very popular.
The 4000 series has been around for a good deal of time for a very simple reason...they work and are cost effective.
Add the new GSD24 sonar module with any 4000, 5000, 6000 & 7000 unit .....an excellent sonar system...with reliable MFD's.

sailfish18 07-08-2012 12:49 PM

We have a Garmin and northstar on the hatteras. Hands down the Garmin is much better. Easier to see in the sun and very user friendly with great charts. We also have a Furuno Navnet on the albury (not the 3-D) and I love it to, however for the price this up coming fall were replacing the unit with a Garmin instead of another Furuno. With all that being said I think its more of a personal opinion.

thataway 07-08-2012 01:42 PM

No evidence of problems with Garmin Quality. In fact I find their units even easier to use than 15 years ago...

MikeBador 07-08-2012 01:46 PM

Garmin is not Amy worse than other brands when it comes to quality.
Definitely user friendly and simple to use.
That being said, I feel that Garmin is a little outdated. Their current system rely on the 4xxx/5xxx technology that is now 7 years old.
The best price/feature/reliability/ease of use currently on the market IMO is the Simrad NSS line.

gerg 07-08-2012 07:18 PM


Originally Posted by MikeBador (Post 4749446)
Garmin is not Amy worse than other brands when it comes to quality.
Definitely user friendly and simple to use.
That being said, I feel that Garmin is a little outdated. Their current system rely on the 4xxx/5xxx technology that is now 7 years old.
The best price/feature/reliability/ease of use currently on the market IMO is the Simrad NSS line.

Not to quibble, but their current line is the 6xxx/7xxx and it was just released last year.

Flatout71 07-08-2012 07:28 PM

I have owned 10+ Garmin units over the last several years. Easiest to use by far. Not one problem.

kaz911 07-08-2012 09:00 PM


Originally Posted by gerg (Post 4750173)
Not to quibble, but their current line is the 6xxx/7xxx and it was just released last year.

that is simply not correct. The 6000/7000 series was launched in November 2009 (so almost 3 years ago). The 4000/5000 series was launched in June 2007. (so 5 years ago). The 7x0 series was launched in January 2010 - so 2 1/2 years ago.

So I think we are due a major refresh very soon. I guess the new models will be launched sometime this year - together with the "wifi" remote control products like Bluecharts Mobile.

On my santa wish list is a 10 inch touch screen model :-) There is a huge gap in the Garmin range from the 8.4 - 12 inch. Only thing in between is the 4010 and that is very outdated by now.

But despite being so old - I still thing the Garmins hold there stance pretty well. So we can blame the other manufactures for not being innovative enough to put pressure on Garmin to release new products. If it was mobile phones the product cycle would be 9-12 months. Garmin has a product cycle of about 2 1/2 to 3 years. That is incredible when you talk electronics.

snapperkid 07-08-2012 09:32 PM

Go Garmin and never look back. Great products. The refurbs are a good buy and backed by Garmin Factory Warranty.

MikeBador 07-09-2012 02:51 AM


Originally Posted by gerg (Post 4750173)
Not to quibble, but their current line is the 6xxx/7xxx and it was just released last year.

Like I said, the technology is old. The 6/7xxx series is nothing but a glorified 4/5xxxx.
They added another processor to speed up redraw time, because let's face it, it sucked otherwise with a G2 vision card in it.
The software is exactly the same with the same limitation as the 4/5xxx units.

hopeitfloats 07-09-2012 07:24 AM

Garmin 441
 
My Garmin 441 works great! Common sense plus my Garmin keep me safe!

scooperfl 07-09-2012 09:10 AM

Yes, Garmins are simple to use, but there are limitations. Some common sense features are missing (cant customize data bars anymore, cumbersome to change settings, waypoints are not shared between units automatically, sea state control is buried in menus, I could go on)


Their pricing for the 4xxx, 5xxx, and accessories are fair. For the 6xxx and 7xxx price point, I think there are better choices.


For many years I had Garmins and they seemed indestructible. My 10 year old GPSMAP 210C still works great. However, in the last couple of years I have had a 4210 fail, an autopilot pump fail, and a VHF 100 fail. All within 2 years of purchase, which makes my MTBF experience poor. Now with this latest update, the 4210's will not turn back on after you turn them off with the power button until you remove input power. Still waiting for an answer on this one.


Yes, they are very nice and willing to fix things out of warranty, but waiting 30 minutes on hold is not a pleasant experience and not having the gear for the better part of a month is also not good.

After telling me several times I did not know how to work it, they finally admitted the 4210 has a design issue with the backlighting that they would not/could not fix.


So yes, I think Garmin's quality is not what it used to be.

MikeBador 07-09-2012 04:53 PM

Downgrade the software. My Garmin rep told me yesterday not to use it t all. They are having a lot of issues with it.

gerg 07-09-2012 05:52 PM

Now you are quibling. ;)

The press release was 2009. http://garmin.blogs.com/pr/2009/11/g...nchId=newsroom

It wasn't due to release until 2010 and in reality it wasn't shipping until 2011.

No matter. I'm not a cheerleader. But, the 6xxx/7xxx is not the same animal as the 5xxx/6xxx, outside of a similar sw suite. But that's like saying a new pc is the same as a 5 year old one just because it runs the same os.

I'll leave the coke/pepsi war to you guys though.

Trayder 07-09-2012 07:23 PM

I love my Garmin 5212 BUT

I have a Northstar 952 and a 10.4 Furuno NavNet on board as well.

The 5212 is the easiest to use, has the most features, and breaks down the most

I can't trust it like my Furuno the Furuno unit is bulletproof, the only issue I ever had was the trackball sticking but as there are ways to use the unit without the trackball so that issue was not fatal

The Garmin.. Well it freezes always has and even with the latest software it stil does, drives me nuts as I use it with NMEA 2000 as the brains of the boat with fuel data and course intel so when it freezes and I do not notice.....I lose how many gallons I burned, was it out 1 min, 5 mins? Etc. I have back up fuel monitoring but the freezing is unacceptable to me and as such has me second guessing the quality of Garmin. I also have had issues with my Garmin Autopilot and XM weather module, both resolved now

Compared to the "plug in and turn on and work" Furuno the Garmin "plug in and update all the time to work out bugs" has me a bit sour but I still like it enough not to replace

mrdonzi 07-10-2012 04:07 AM

one of the best units for the money

Mobee13 07-11-2012 06:19 PM


Originally Posted by MikeBador (Post 4749446)
Garmin is not Amy worse than other brands when it comes to quality.
Definitely user friendly and simple to use.
That being said, I feel that Garmin is a little outdated. Their current system rely on the 4xxx/5xxx technology that is now 7 years old.
The best price/feature/reliability/ease of use currently on the market IMO is the Simrad NSS line.

Sorry Mike, but I could not be comfortable telling anyone to to use a Simrad product, even if their technology is newer. Their customer service and support are horrendous, many dealers won't even sell or service their stuff. It is a disgrace what those people have done to what used to be a great company.

Cutting edge is fine - if you want toys, not if you want a piece of important equipment. Garmin has a solid produuct and their charts are by far the best in the Bahamas and I have used Northstar (old and new), Furuno (several different models), Raytheon, and Simrad. If you want a reliable, easy to use and understand product, backed by a company who understands customer service (although Raytheon has the best customer service) GARMIN has stood out in recent years.

MikeBador 07-11-2012 07:03 PM


Originally Posted by Mobee13 (Post 4759318)
Sorry Mike, but I could not be comfortable telling anyone to to use a Simrad product, even if their technology is newer. Their customer service and support are horrendous, many dealers won't even sell or service their stuff. It is a disgrace what those people have done to what used to be a great company.

Cutting edge is fine - if you want toys, not if you want a piece of important equipment. Garmin has a solid produuct and their charts are by far the best in the Bahamas and I have used Northstar (old and new), Furuno (several different models), Raytheon, and Simrad. If you want a reliable, easy to use and understand product, backed by a company who understands customer service (although Raytheon has the best customer service) GARMIN has stood out in recent years.

I would have agreed with you a few years ago. They however turned things around and their customer service is much better.
They will ship a replacement unit within 48hours of calling them (without having the bad unit).
Raymarine seems to be the new Navico when it comes to repairs these days. :-)
And yes, Garmin's support is great!

Mobee13 07-12-2012 08:50 AM

My most recent bad experience with Simrad was this past Winter, so I cannot see any change. Oh and obviously you realized my coments about Raytheon were actually aimed at Raymarine-sorry after 30 yrs in the industry some of the names blend together.

proline16 07-12-2012 08:55 AM

Garmin has great electronics, but I love my hds gen 2.

BeachTyme 07-12-2012 11:43 AM

Just had this discussion with my neighbor (at work) who works on boats and cars. He and I both agreed that Garmin has the easier, more intuitive interface when it comes to MFD's.

bradmd 07-12-2012 11:50 AM

I have had a garmin 4012. After it tore up for the 3rd or 4th time, I requested that they give me MSRP trade in for it and they did, if I'd buy a 6012 at MSRP. So, I did that. I've had the 6012 for a yr now. I went out to start the boat up the other day........LCD wouldnt come on. Checked everything out, getting power, could hear it beep when the sd card would be inserted, but LCD wouldnt come on. I called Garmin, and wanted them to ship a unit out by giving them a cc, but the guy said since the 6000 series is fairly new, they will not do that. It is a repair only unit, not replace. Tells me the turnaround time will be over 2 wks. I'm pissed...........I grouched at him a bit and he offered overnight return service comp'd.
I think their cust svc is pretty good, but my track record with their chartplotters is poor. I cant recall sending in any other units I've had in the past 5 yrs, and that's quite alot of marine stuff......garmin radar, furuno 585 x 2, humminbird 989 and 1197c. Now that I think about it, I did have to send a leaking autopilot pump into Garmin.

txbonds 07-12-2012 12:33 PM

I use only garmin products in cars and on previous boats I've always used garmin too going all the way back to Garmin 176C and 276C Car/Boat units.

When I went to outfit my small center console boat this time around though, I ended up with a Simrad NSS-7. I like the Garmin 740S and the Raymarine E7 but for my style of use the Simrad had great features.

The Garmin to me was slower to use because it is all touch screen. I found it faster to operate the raymarine and the simrad because they have both a rotary knob and the touchscreen.

In the end though, the Simrad has been great so far. I'm looking forward to one day adding another display and some of the add on's like structurescan.

I think Garmin is great though and it all comes down to personal preference and what unit has the features you need in particular these days.

Ironworker 07-13-2012 05:02 AM

I own a 4208 and last year bought a 4212 for another boat. I am very pleased with the units. Very easy to use. I have the GSD 22 on one boat with a TM 260 (which made it into an new FF) and I have the GSD 24 with a TM 260 on the 4212. I'm not sold on the GSD 24 yet. The GSD 24 works pretty well on the 200 hz side but Garmin still needs to do some software work on the 50 hz side (I have the latest SW update). Amittedly, I am using the unit in probably the most demanding place possible which is North Eleuthera.

I looked at the newer stuff but hands down for the price on the 42XX models they were the best deal. I'd rather buy moderate priced stuff and change it out every 5 or 6 years to new stuff that to buy top of the line marine electronics.

My one complaint about both units is the quality of the power cables. They are just too light for marine use

gerg 07-13-2012 05:28 AM


Originally Posted by Ironworker (Post 4763039)
I own a 4208 and last year bought a 4212 for another boat. I am very pleased with the units. Very easy to use. I have the GSD 22 on one boat with a TM 260 (which made it into an new FF) and I have the GSD 24 with a TM 260 on the 4212. I'm not sold on the GSD 24 yet. The GSD 24 works pretty well on the 200 hz side but Garmin still needs to do some software work on the 50 hz side (I have the latest SW update). Amittedly, I am using the unit in probably the most demanding place possible which is North Eleuthera.

I looked at the newer stuff but hands down for the price on the 42XX models they were the best deal. I'd rather buy moderate priced stuff and change it out every 5 or 6 years to new stuff that to buy top of the line marine electronics.

I've had the same experience with the gsd24 in deep water. The resolution falls waaaayyy off past 600 feet for all depth levels. I's not that I care what is 600 feet or 1000 feet down, I don't. I care what is between 50 and 300 feet down, and it shows those returns like little dots trying to scale to the full depth. Even when zoomed it's pretty useless.

At one point, I had a huge school of porpi playing around and under my boat, but damned if I could see a hint of it on the sounder. If I were in 150 feet, the screen would have been ablaze.

And this is the rub I have with Garmin. They are a lot like microsoft. They engineer their products wide and shallow for the 80% of boaters who use their gear four or five times a season. To them, a heavy duty cycle is 100 hours. That's three trips for me.

So I catch crap when I say they are a consumer class company. If you want commercial quality, buy it. Otherwise put up with getting 80% of what you want or need.

Ironworker 07-13-2012 04:05 PM


Originally Posted by gerg (Post 4763110)
I've had the same experience with the gsd24 in deep water. The resolution falls waaaayyy off past 600 feet for all depth levels. I's not that I care what is 600 feet or 1000 feet down, I don't. I care what is between 50 and 300 feet down, and it shows those returns like little dots trying to scale to the full depth. Even when zoomed it's pretty useless.

At one point, I had a huge school of porpi playing around and under my boat, but damned if I could see a hint of it on the sounder. If I were in 150 feet, the screen would have been ablaze.

And this is the rub I have with Garmin. They are a lot like microsoft. They engineer their products wide and shallow for the 80% of boaters who use their gear four or five times a season. To them, a heavy duty cycle is 100 hours. That's three trips for me.

So I catch crap when I say they are a consumer class company. If you want commercial quality, buy it. Otherwise put up with getting 80% of what you want or need.


Gerg,

I share your experience with the GSD 24. Its a decent unit up to about 450 to 500' but after that its just not up to snuff. I'm waiting on the Furuno Chirp units.

sailfish18 07-13-2012 06:04 PM

For me its always been Garmin Gps and Furuno bottom machine

georgito1 07-14-2012 02:07 AM

I bought a 720s unit just so I had something to get a boat i bought in MDR Ca. to Ensenada Mexico. I was planing on putting it on one of my smaller boats later, turns out I like that little sucker, even went & bought a 1200 dollar xducer for it and a Blue whatever card for it as well ( been away haven't tried the card yet) The only dissapointment I have with the 720 s is I cannot interface it with more Garmin screens so it will remain a stand alone unit on the new boat.
If you are looking for a simple sounder/gpsmap unit I would recomend the 720s Garmin product. Also I would recommend buying it from BOE marine electronics, those people have done right by me. Good luck

keithelder 07-14-2012 09:12 AM

I've never owned anything but Garmin and I've never had a repair issue knock on fiberglass. Customer service has been excellent when I've called with some questions and I really like their HomePort software (just started really playing around with it). And their units are easy to use.

I have no complaints.


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