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Old 12-12-2012, 03:36 PM   #1
TeneRay OP
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Marine GPS Unit

GPS related. Figure this was a good place to ask.

So, my father told me he wants to trailer the boat from MO to FL and cruise to the Bahamas next year.

He doesn't own a single GPS device, not even a car navigator, so he's clueless. I haven't gotten him a X-mas present this year so I figure this could suffice for a belated gift. However, I don't know what to look for when it comes to marine-grade units; I'd rather stick to land.

I doubt he needs the top of the line, especially since this is maybe a one time thing.

Suggestions?
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:54 PM   #2
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The Garmin 78S is a Marine/Handheld unit which would do well if he had the right maps on it. It doesn't come with any, but Garmin sells Marine maps, and there may even be free ones around.



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Old 12-12-2012, 06:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by rbmgf7 View Post
GPS related. Figure this was a good place to ask.

So, my father told me he wants to trailer the boat from MO to FL and cruise to the Bahamas next year.

He doesn't own a single GPS device, not even a car navigator, so he's clueless. I haven't gotten him a X-mas present this year so I figure this could suffice for a belated gift. However, I don't know what to look for when it comes to marine-grade units; I'd rather stick to land.

I doubt he needs the top of the line, especially since this is maybe a one time thing.

Suggestions?
Before I blunder into making suggestions, what the heck is your Father planning to do for Navigation?

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Old 12-12-2012, 07:30 PM   #4
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I have a garmin 76cx from West Marine and its actually considered a marine handheld unit by garmin.But if your dad is kind of old school and isnt up on using high tech gadgets he really should look into taking some navigation classes from the coast guard and learning how to use his onboard navigation equipment to its fullest extent.Hand held gps units are considered back up units at sea.I had problems using my gps in the mojave desert becuse of lack of experience using the unit.Also lookup Lowrance brand gps for marine apps.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:08 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by rbmgf7 View Post
Suggestions?
This may sound a little harsh, but my suggestion is: Don't rely on a GPS for navigation unless you are willing to learn to use it, especially in the open ocean.

And if you are going to buy one, spend the amount commensurate with the value you place on your father's life, and then make sure he spends LOTS of time learning to use it before his adventure.

Garmin makes lots of marine units suitable for ocean navigation, check out their website and then go find some marine experts. Someone's life may depend on it.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 9Dave View Post
This may sound a little harsh, but my suggestion is: Don't rely on a GPS for navigation unless you are willing to learn to use it, especially in the open ocean.

And if you are going to buy one, spend the amount commensurate with the value you place on your father's life, and then make sure he spends LOTS of time learning to use it before his adventure.

Garmin makes lots of marine units suitable for ocean navigation, check out their website and then go find some marine experts. Someone's life may depend on it.

GPS is only one aid to navigation. FWIW master mariners now dont get taught astral navigation any more, so GPS is the main method of reconciling your location on a map.

Anyhow, having done some ocean time, I recommend staying away from the handheld crossover units. A decent maranised fixed GPS is more reliable and has less chance of suffering from water damage.

Raymarine, Lowrance, Garmin, Simrad... all make good units. More commercial stuff seems to come from JRC, but I dont know what consumer grade stuff they do.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Andy_P View Post
GPS is only one aid to navigation. FWIW master mariners now dont get taught astral navigation any more, so GPS is the main method of reconciling your location on a map.
Yep - I took my USPS Safe Boating course years ago. And I can still plot a course.

I also know how many people buy a GPS and think it is the be all, end all to navigation. On land it can be a dangerous and deadly choice. At sea you multiply that risk by a bazillion.
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9Dave screwed with this post 12-13-2012 at 02:47 AM
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:19 AM   #8
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Not Enough Information

It would be hard to make more than a guess as to what might be the 'right' GPS (or even a passable one) for your dad with what we currently know. What boat he has, his experience and knowledge will have great bearing on which unit might be suitable. As already noted, a GPS is properly considered an aid in navigation and is no substitute for the ability to read a chart, plot a course and calculate a dead reconing position. Those things are not all that hard to learn or do ... on a nice big table, in a class room. Being on an underway vessel in less than ideal conditions makes for a lot more challenges!
Even the most rudimentary GPS will (if it has chart software) perform the needed navigation functions to point him in 'the right direction' or confirm that he is where his charts say he should be. That said, conditions often change dramaticaly and quickly, the unit that was easy to read in the den can become useless on a pitching boat in the dark. Power, sail, big or small all have bearing on what would be a useful addition to the boat.
If he is already a competent offshore navigator, all that matters is that you find a unit that will hold and clearly display useable charts of the region(s) he plans to travel. If he is not, no unit will fill that gap under less than ideal conditions.


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Old 12-13-2012, 10:40 AM   #9
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Ipad with built in GPS, and a APP

First let me start off with a bit of background,so people don't go sideways

A couple to truthful statements,

I have the paper charts for the complete west coast from Washington to Alaska, and know how to use them.
I have a Sextant, and can calculate my exact position ( noon sighting ) within 15N miles in about 20mins
I have a Laptop ( Compass Rose - Coastal Explorer ) that interfaces nicely with my main GPS, which I still use when letting the Autopilot steer the vessel
The iPad works great, needs no sim card or cell tower to be accurate, and is as accurate as my Furuno main unit



But... the unit i use the most in the last couple of years is my iPad c/w Navionic's APP, and a waterproof cover and it is a excellent cockpit companion

For running around on the inflatable, I also have the same make App loaded on my iPhone

Navigation and so much more, my 2

navi screwed with this post 12-13-2012 at 10:43 AM Reason: fix some but not all the spelling mistakes
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