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  1. #1

    What GPS to get?

    I have search around some on this on the forums looking for help on this, but I am still not sure what to get really, and I have a couple questions below.
    I just bought a new 2009 Yamaha FX HO and have owned a 2002 FX140 since I bought it new in 2002. Because I only had 1 ski and took turns with others, I have not really explored some of the local lakes, and would hate to get lost now that I am looking to partner up.
    I am seriously thinking of buying a handheld GPS jsut encase I get lost with friends family with me.
    Things I am looking for in a marine GPS are.

    1. Waterproof and Floats, I have seen lots of people point to the etrex and other waterproof handhelds but I would really hate to drop the GPS in the water and watch it just sink to the bottom. I am not sure I really want to mount the unit, I would mostly just want to check it to get a bearing on how to a waypoint.

    2) An actual Map that I can use to find things on the water, maybe gas or restaurants etc, maybe also a big arrow once you set a course, and speed info that is big and readable would be nice also.

    3) I don't want to spend a ton of money, the unit I am looking at right now that seems to have all these above features is the Garmin GPSMAP 76 with the black and gray LCD map screen, its about 160$ on amazon. The memory is a little low, but I am not sure if I would need more detailed maps just to get local gas and restaurants close on the water?

    I currently own 2 GPS units for my cars, a built in Pioneer unit and a Garmin Nuvi 780, I am sued to car GPS units, but I have never used a Marine GPS unit before, can I expect the same kind of abilities on the water as a road GPS offers? like will it show me closest Gas Stations on the water? or Food? If I set waypoints will it steer me there by the waterways? I have seen others comment that if they set waypoints and are close to a street it will want to jump the closest road, I surely don't want that kind of experience out of a Marine GPS. so what can a expect?

    Any help is very appriciacted!


  2. #2
    lets race.... mikeFZR's Avatar
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    Here is how I did it http://www.greenhulk.net/forums/yama...-fzr-pics.html
    The map it comes with is just a base map but you can buy additional maps called Garmin Blue Charts which cost something like 100$ but they have everything you could ever think of on them. The gps I have does not float but with the tip zie, it is impossible to get out. I wave jump and race offshore with zero problems.

    Welcome to the fourm

  3. #3
    Thanks Mike, when you say everything you ever want, does that mean food, gas etc, updated enough to be useful? And I am considering a mount but not sure if I need it in front of me all the time really.

  4. #4
    Yea not sure what the deal is but if you look on Garmin's site for the map updates for the lakes around me, it does not mention things like food and gas, it has things listed like sat images and underwater 3d fish veiws that I could care less about, so that is why I am asking, maybe someone had tried these map updates linked below?
    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=254&pID=9854

    Also it seems the regular GPSMAP 76 is not listed as supported and does not have enough internal memory to store the 480megs of space needed for this map update.
    The GPSMAP 76 only has 8megs of RAM! crazy considering the price of flash ram now adays, I mean 8megs, thats was not much 5 years ago.
    So it seems I would need to spend quite a bit of money just to get a Garmin handheld GPS that floats and has ability to update with the local lake maps around me. atleast 230$ for a GPSMAP 76CSX, and it only comes with 128 meg SDcard, so I would have to upgrade that right away with a SDCard that hold atleast 480megs, some of this is really pretty sad on Garmins part.

  5. #5
    83Gator's Avatar
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    I've been using the Garmin 76 CSx for about 3 years now. I've pretty much beat the hell of it out on the water and it keeps on ticking - 110* surface temps on the ski to 25* air temps when left in the truck. The unit hasn't stopped yet. Spend the extra and get the CSx (water/shock proof & COLOR) - you'll be glad you did. I do quite a bit of extensive day riding & the memory has not been a problem, yet. (Except once and it really didn't matter)

    For marking trails on the water, you'll want US Inland Lakes. To get all the land based POIs, you'll need City Navigator. You can toggle between the two, all though it's a little clunky to do it. But, once you start "marking" your territory, you'll get away from the land based map.

    Finally you'll want to get MapSource, which is the software for managing all of your maps, trails, POIs,...

    I would say my biggest complaint w/this unit are the cost of the maps... but I've been using the same maps for 3 years and have had no problems.
    My next complaint would be memory, but that only happened once and that was when I was trying to load more than 20 diff. tracks for a total of 4-500 miles...

  6. #6
    Can it be used to find the closest gas on the lake when low? I would hope for 100$ you would get that kind of info.

    Thanks, the 76 Csx looks good

  7. #7
    8upwitHDs's Avatar
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    +1 on getting the color. I use the 76CSX and the Nuvi 550, both are awesome. I actually prefer the Nuvi 550 for cruising around. It has a larger screen that is very visible even in direct sunlight. You can't go wrong with either.

  8. #8
    mjh3ides's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsdeprey View Post
    Yea not sure what the deal is but if you look on Garmin's site for the map updates for the lakes around me, it does not mention things like food and gas, it has things listed like sat images and underwater 3d fish veiws that I could care less about, so that is why I am asking, maybe someone had tried these map updates linked below?
    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=254&pID=9854
    Also it seems the regular GPSMAP 76 is not listed as supported and does not have enough internal memory to store the 480megs of space needed for this map update.
    The GPSMAP 76 only has 8megs of RAM! crazy considering the price of flash ram now adays, I mean 8megs, thats was not much 5 years ago.
    So it seems I would need to spend quite a bit of money just to get a Garmin handheld GPS that floats and has ability to update with the local lake maps around me. atleast 230$ for a GPSMAP 76CSX, and it only comes with 128 meg SDcard, so I would have to upgrade that right away with a SDCard that hold atleast 480megs, some of this is really pretty sad on Garmins part.
    The internal memory on the 76 series is only used for waypoints, track logs & saved routes. The maps get loaded to the micro SD card. Getting a bigger card is not expensive...~$5-6 for a 1GB card, which should be plenty of space for the Inland Lakes software.

    The new "Vision" maps you are looking at are not compatible with the base model 76 units. You will need the 76Cx, 78CSx or new 78 series units to use that software. The nicest features of the vision maps is the auto-guidance & satellite image overlay. I believe the vision maps are more detailed, have more POI & show more land detail like nearby roads, highways etc. compared to the standard(non vision) "Inland Lakes" maps. The older non vision maps give you very limited info on local services like food & fuel. The inland maps are pretty cheap compared to the marine G2 Vision charts. I just bought a 640 to replace my 76CSx & although it's already preloaded with G2 Blucharts, the Vision upgrade for JUST FL's east coast is $300+.

    I've had a 76CSX for a few years & it's a great unit but is now a discontinued model, so if you want a little more future proofing you might want to consider the new 78 series. As you mentioned, the internal memory on the 76CSx is pretty small & it does take some time to render the map image when you zoom in/out or pan, & may be even slower with the more detailed Vision maps. I'm betting the much larger internal memory on the 78 series will handle these tasks much faster, as well as having more capacity for saved waypoints & track logs. Having larger internal memory also gives you the capability to load maps directly to the unit instead of having it on an SD card, so that should probably speed it up as well.

  9. #9
    83Gator's Avatar
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    "the Vision upgrade for JUST FL's east coast is $300+."

    Yikes, Mark - that is a lot of wampum for a small, regional map! I'm not familiar w/the 78 models... of course, I hope I'm not in the market for a few more years either. And I wasn't aware that any of the new Vision maps were compatible w/the 76's (If I understood you correctly).

    And, jsdeprey: I'm not sure who fails where when it comes to "building" a map for the public, but I know of places on some of my area water-ways that don't show on any of the maps. And some of them have been doing business (selling beer & gas on the water) for 25 plus years. I guess what I mean to say is that you still have to figure out some of the navigation yourself. The GPS units/maps are great tools, but they are not all knowing. Use them as a guide, only.

  10. #10
    83Gator's Avatar
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    "the Vision upgrade for JUST FL's east coast is $300+."

    Yikes, Mark - that is a lot of wampum for a small, regional map! I'm not familiar w/the 78 models... of course, I hope I'm not in the market for a few more years either. And I wasn't aware that any of the new Vision maps were compatible w/the 76's (If I understood you correctly).

    And, jsdeprey: I'm not sure who fails when it comes to "building" a map for the public, but I know of places on some of my area water-ways that don't show on any of the maps. And some of them have been doing business (selling beer & gas on the water) for 25 plus years. I guess what I mean to say is that you still have to figure out some of the navigation yourself. The GPS units/maps are great tools, but they are not all knowing. Use them as a guide, only.

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