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Old 24 December 2011, 08:44   #1
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Handheld GPS

Merry xmas fellow "blow ups"

Can anyone give advise on the quality of handheld GPS units that can take maps/charts. I'm not interested in a fitted unit, but I'm wondering if the newer hand held units with mapping ability are any good.

Comments and recommendations will be welcome.
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Old 24 December 2011, 09:23   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zodiac Spindrift View Post
Merry xmas fellow "blow ups"

Can anyone give advise on the quality of handheld GPS units that can take maps/charts. I'm not interested in a fitted unit, but I'm wondering if the newer hand held units with mapping ability are any good.

Comments and recommendations will be welcome.
I've got a Garmin Montana 650 which can display Garmin Bluecharts, GB os maps & anything else you can chuck at it. Not cheap but a nice bit of kit with a 4" touch screen.
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Old 24 December 2011, 20:49   #3
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Personally, I don't think there's a huge difference between HH and fixed units aside from size, and the controls you can fit (due to the former.) I've opened up my old Lowrance fixed unit; it was mostly air inside. I would expect accuracy and such to be about the same between the two types.

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Old 25 December 2011, 03:47   #4
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I have Garmin C60x I bought when I was cat sailing, brilliant unit, has proper buttons and NMEA connector.
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Old 25 December 2011, 12:56   #5
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Do you already have a depth finder? That is the big reason to get a fixed mount. We use handhelds for lot of different hobbies and sports. They work excellent! Here in the USA we have some that already have the marine maps loaded in them made by Garmin. Not sure what is available in your country though.
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Old 26 December 2011, 12:48   #6
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Hi Peter, I don't have any fixed electronics in my Zodiac. This is to keep weight down, leave plenty of space and to spare me from carrying "substantial" batteries on board.

I'd prefer to use handheld kit than can be easily stowed and carried on the Zodiac, and I accept that you'll never get the quality of the type of fixed kit I have on the yacht. So hopefully from the experience on here I may get a heads up as to what is good or not so good before I start begging my wife for some pocket money .

Merry Xmas and Happy Hogmany.
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Old 26 December 2011, 15:29   #7
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Having owned boats with and without depth finders, and boating in murky water, I now have a strong appreciation for a depth finder. Your area may not require one if you can easily see the bottom or do not have rocky shallows to kill props on.

If you ever do want to add a battery I am sure it is much like here in the USA where we are required to use an approved battery box. I use one similar to the one below with an AGM sealed battery. I have a C-tek battery charger for home use, but I also installed a regulator/rectifier for charging while running.
NOCO Group U1 Battery Box: BatteryMart.com

Garmin handhelds work pretty well.
https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=161
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Old 26 December 2011, 21:38   #8
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A Garmin is very hard to beat. We use them and are very happy with the accuracy. I run the boat at night using the handheld unit.
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Old 27 December 2011, 03:33   #9
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I use a garmin colorado 300, I have different maps loaded on to SD cards so it also comes in handy for cycling, walking and off roading. Only down side is that it gets through batterys but they are AA so spares are easy to carry and find.
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Old 27 December 2011, 04:11   #10
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I have a Garmin Etrex Venture Cx handheld and it is excellent. I've been smallcraft boating again for the past few years after a 15yr gap and it's the thing that's impresed me most in the advance of tech devices.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Garmin-eTrex...4977164&sr=8-1

Mine is small but has a colour screen and full Bluechart mapping. To see detail mapping on something that fits in your pocket never ceases to amaze.

It's also useful when arriving home to upload all track data for display on the PC.

My Etrex is waterproof (but not floating) and has been completely reliable despite several years of bumping and splashing about on holiday around Scotland.

It takes ordinary AA batteries and a pair will last a long day out with lots of looking at the screen (screen times out after a selectable period). I'd far rather this battery arrangement as a couple of spare batteries are easily stored in the pocket. I had looked at upgrading to a similar unit with larger screen but that had a fixed internal rechargeable battery which would have rendered the unit useless once it went flat out on the water.
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