New person hear. This is a great site.
I just bought a boat and wanted to buy an affordable GPS/Chartplotter. Can anyone give me some advice? I'm looking in the $400-600 range if possible. I have been all over the net trying to find good reviews but have not been real succesful. Have found a few though. I will be keeping my boat on Lake St. Claire and look forward to meeting some of you. Thanks in advance for your help.
After several months of research and asking around (especially here) I deceided on the Garmin 176C GPS/Chartplotter. Add the Lk St Clair - Lake Erie chip and you are covered from Oscoda in the north all the way to Buffalo, N.Y. in the east.
No, but I found that GPSCity had it for $525.95. That is about $73 bucks less than what I bought mine for at West Marine(which was $599.95. Actually, I got 10% off at the time because they had a 10% off all electronics sale. But still, with tax that brought it up to $571.00. I don't think you pay tax on that sit. Only shipping.
Oh yah, I forgot......the color screen is fine. Sometimes in certain light, I have to raise my sun glasses to read it, but other than that it's awesome. If you do any night runnin' you will really love the color. Besides, it looks really cool mounted on your dash.
I boughtmine at Boat/US. Was $599.99 and got $30.00 for promo deal, then another $60.00 for member reward points. West marine ahs a great deal going on for the next 2 weeks I beleive for it, the card, power plugs and chip burning software. Check it out. Boat/US will most likely match it if they are closer to you or you rather deal with them.
I will be mounting mine in a few weeks on teh dash, but have been playing with it around the house, and in the truck. Love it and the color screen is great, especially at night. Cant wait to try it out ont he water.
I bought my GPSMAP 76 from Boatfix around Christmas 2001. I found it a few dollars cheaper at some other sites, but I've gotten so much help from the owner, George Van Parys (he moderates the Engines forum at boatered.com), that I'd much rather steer my business to him when I can. His prices are ususally much better than the big chains and he charges actual costs for shipping.
Another good site for parts is www.hlsm.com. At the bottom of the page are a couple of marinas with Mercruiser parts lists and diagrams. I'm not sure about their prices, but it's a good place to find part numbers.
Last season I bid on a Garmin GPS76S in E-Bay. It took me a few bids but I finally got one brand new in the box from an electronic store on the internet for $350.00.. That was quite a savings. It works fine and any extra's that you may want for it they have at Boatus such as a dash mount, wiring harness and so on. Try looking on E-Bay and see what they have. They are brand new in the box and mine works fine... If I remember the name of the sore from where I bid on I'll come back and give their name... Rich
Thanks everyone for all the respones. It is a GREAT help!! Has anyone had any experience with Navman? I was checking another forum (boatered) and they were raving about the Navman 5500 and 5600. I don't know anything about them but have seen them for sale. They use the C-Map chips but seem to be much cheaper in price in comparison to the Garmin 182C. Do you have any opinions about C-map ve Bluechart vs Navionics???? Sorry to keep bringing this up but so many choices and so little time
Scott you can go to Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and get registered for free Outdoor Skills Workshop classes on GPS. They discuss basic operations and features and may help you make your decision. The class schedule can be found here.
I have a Standard Horizon CP150 that uses C-Map chips. No complaints. The map is detailed enough to show which side of the Clinton River I'm on at the moment. It displays all depths marked on the Lake St Clair charts and has the entrance to Metro Beach marked with a nice line sticking about a mile out that is nice to follow since the buoys everywhere here are so tiny compared to the rest of the world.
If you get a C-Map make sure you get the chart for Lake Erie/Ontario as the Lake Huron chart only has the north half of Lake St Clair on it. The Lake Erie/Lake Ontario chart has all of Lake St Clair and the southern half of Lake Huron. Or spend the extra $100 and get the extra memory chip that combines the 2 and has all the great lakes on it.
I've never seen a Garmin Chartplotter outside of the store so I don't know how well the maps actually look.