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Old 25 August 2010, 20:57   #1
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what GPS?

I am planning on buying a gps for my 5.6m rib as I will be doing a bit of cruising around the west coast of scotland and wondering if anyone has any suggestions? Is there any that I shouldn't buy? I have seen some secondhand ones on ebay and wondering if purchasing one thats a couple of years old would be ok? Any advice appreciated!
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Old 26 August 2010, 03:30   #2
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In general - your decision depends on whether you want charts on it or not. IMHO having a GPS on a small, open, fast boat is much more useful if it plots your position on some sort of chart for you.

Re: Second hand - provided its in OK condition and seems to work ok when you turn it on then the GPS will still be giving the right position out. More modern ones might, have better displays (better back light, higher resolution), longer battery life, faster satelite acquisition and/or better reception in general (not a problem on a small open boat). If it is really old (say 10 yrs+) then it may not have WAAS which will make the position precision poorer (so it will till you where you are to about 100m rather than 10m ish). Without protection from the elements etc - it will be hard to hand "plot" a position more accurately than this anyway except in the very best conditions.

Finally, beware, if you want to upload/download data from a PC the cables to do this can often cost 40 ish, if not included (some systems now use a data card).
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Old 26 August 2010, 05:09   #3
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Also if you have a small console, the footprint of the unit may also be significant. I don't have space on mine for a full plotter, and so I have a Garmin handheld in a cradle with a lot of waypoints in memory so that if visibility drops I can still find my way to shelter / fuel etc.

Plotters will all chuck position out so your radio (if fitted with DSC) can use the big red "help" button wiithout you having to type your lat / long in before you sink. Not all handhelds do, so might be worth checking & spending a few more pennies if for no other reason than to future proof yourself.
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Old 26 August 2010, 06:13   #4
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Garmingpsmap vs lowrance

Hi, hal8 beat me to a post on this. And rather than start a new one I thought I would add my question to this one

I currently have lowrance colour chart plotter (can't remember model), about 3.6 inch screen with nauti charts. I want to upgrade to between 5.5 - 8 inch screen. I have been looking at the lowrance hds vs gamin.

Anyone have any experience or thoughts on either?

Thanks
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Old 26 August 2010, 06:35   #5
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Gdog,
On the subject of Garmin v Lowrance, decide now whether you might want to play with side scan sonar in the future which is only available on Lowrance. I just ordered a Garmin 556s for my new boat and now wished I had thought about this earlier!
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Old 26 August 2010, 06:55   #6
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I was leaning towards lowrance, but came across a US forum with talk about leaking screen/case on the hds units, but have not been able to find it again.

But I am heading to Southampton boatshow to hopefully talk with lowrance, gamin and possibly ray marine.
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Old 26 August 2010, 07:41   #7
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Many thanks guys, I already have a dsc radio so will go with a fullsize plotter that can be hooked up to this.
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Old 26 August 2010, 07:45   #8
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I have a garmin 550 chart plotter a class bit of kit. If you purchase one make sure you seal the external antenna port. Try Malthouse he gave me a good deal and very good after sales service on mine..TSM
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Old 26 August 2010, 09:21   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hal8 View Post
Many thanks guys, I already have a dsc radio so will go with a fullsize plotter that can be hooked up to this.
Ah sorry I hadn't realised your interest was in a plotter rather than a handheld. That throws a few other things into the mix:

- screen size
- colour v's b/w
- brand (and ease of use)
- chart choice / availability / cost
- compatibility with fishfinder modules etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdog
I was leaning towards lowrance
I have a handheld lowrance and whilst it is functional and effective (and cheap!) I would be put off getting another lowrance due to their innability to write an instruction manual. You can download them online (and I think get a simulator for the User Interface) so you might want to see if their menus and manual match up with your logic.
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Old 26 August 2010, 12:21   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdog View Post
I was leaning towards lowrance, but came across a US forum with talk about leaking screen/case on the hds units, but have not been able to find it again.
FWIW, I had the same problem on a Lowrance pre-HDS unit. Lowrance replaced the entire unit after about 9 months (I'm surprised it made it through the mail, as the case coninued to leak a significant amount of water.)

Seems to be an on-going issue, but as far as I can tell, it's not just Lowrance, but marine electronics in general.

jky
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