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Thread: Handheld GPS?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Default Handheld GPS?

    It's time to replace my well used Garmin Colorado 400c. I read mixed reviews on the current crop of Garmins. Any reviews or recommendations?
    I have Navionics on my phone, but prefer a dedicated GPS.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Fairfield, CA
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    Default

    I am no help, as the Colorado is far newer than the one I am still using. It would be interested to hear what people recommend, for when my 76csx finally succumbs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS?

    I run Navionics on a Samsung tablet, and like it better than the Garmins with their tiny screens and painful data entry procedures. But no, it's not perfect either. But at least I can see where I am and where I'm going.
    -Dave

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Somerville, MA
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    399

    Default Re: Handheld GPS?

    There are only two good things about the Garmin handheld units. First, they last a long time, like a week, on a pair of AA batteries. Also, the screen is readable in sunlight.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Norwalk CT
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS?

    Why replace it? Does it no longer function?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    East Quogue,NY
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    23,988

    Default Re: Handheld GPS?

    Quote Originally Posted by photocurio View Post
    There are only two good things about the Garmin handheld units. First, they last a long time, like a week, on a pair of AA batteries. Also, the screen is readable in sunlight.

    I'd add," waterproof" and " floats" to the list of attributes

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Greater Northern Arizona Republic
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    839

    Default Re: Handheld GPS?

    What kind of functionality do you want? The eTrex series are still pretty hard to beat for the basics. The only way I've seen them break with any regularity is cracking or scratching the screen to the point it's hard to see the display. We run a ton of them for work and other than some issues with user error uploading new maps or not configuring the units with the right datum. Battery life is alright as long as you're not live tracking and have things set at reasonable intervals.

    For all around useful though, the Explorer+ units are where it's at. Slightly larger, but with a better radio and 2 way messaging to SMS, email, and other known devices. I use a 3rd party company (Everywhere Communications) for support and have nothing but good things to say. Really great team over there. Being able to pair with a phone or camera for geotagging photos makes organizing things easy.

    Anything fancier than that I'd look at Trimble and apologize to my wallet.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    NorCAL
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    18,492

    Default Re: Handheld GPS?

    I am all about the Garmin Mini. I wear it and it talks to my ipad mini displaying via navionics or Garmin tracking. It tracks me everywhere i go, sends pre recorded messages to love ones and will call for help should I need it.

    I mostly solo sail in rough conditions with lots of foredeck work all year around. It is invaluable. It also works when i go hiking or ride my motorcycle anywhere on the planet. down side is 10 dollars a month for the Garmin service.

    Screen Shot 2021-11-17 at 9.56.30 AM.jpg

    Skimping on safety and security is a unwise decision. 10 dollars a month is cheap insurance. It is reassuring that i can call for help if I see others in distress as well no matter where i am.

    carrying two iphones that are charged are good safe bets too.
    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 11-17-2021 at 01:08 PM.
    Without friends none of this is possible.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
    Location
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Handheld GPS?

    REI has the Garmin Minis on sale right now, too.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS?

    Thanks guys. I'll keep that Garmin Mini in mind next time I go offshore, assuming it is satellite communication. The big boat has VHF and EPIRB.
    My old Colorado still works, but no longer updates and it's pretty beat. Phones and tablets won't do, too little battery life, too sensitive to rain or overheating in sunlight. My plan is to use the old GPS for small boat adventures, and put a new one on the ketch.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Cushing, Maine
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS?

    I put a larger Garmin unit into a waterproof box which also holds a waterproof lithium battery. Unit runs for at least 48 continuous on a charge and works very nicely for a row/sail or rowing boat. I did a write up on this for SBM. Backup is the Garmin 78; it has a small screen but you can read it in bright light and change the batteries.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Sound Beach, NY
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS?

    Thanks Ben, I'm considering the Garmin 78S. Which is your larger Garmin?

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