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  1. #1

    Handheld Marine GPS

    I picked up my skis to primarily use down in the Florida keys. I would like a gps to guide me to a couple snorkeling spots and the mangroves in Islamorada. Also, I'd like it to help keep me off of shoals or other dangerously shallow areas (if that's even something you have to worry about on a jet ski).

    What handheld marine gps would you guys recommend, or would you just use say the Garmin Blue Chart app on an iPhone (which I already have the app and purchased maps for). My only reservation with the latter is that's i'd want the phone out and exposed while I'm driving. Even with a waterproof case, that seems like it's asking for trouble. Anyway, just wanted to get some opinions from others more experienced with these things.


  2. #2
    I've been looking into this as well.

    And for the same reason.

    Take a look at this,

    http://www.rammount.com/reviews/iphoneaquaboxrailbase

    And depending on your ski, you can rig up a nice mount depending on your setup etc..

  3. #3
    Firestomper247's Avatar
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    I got a garmin 78cs. Waterproof...has blue charts on it....floats..

  4. #4
    That definitely seems like it'd be ideal and a lot less than the cost of a gps unit. Curious what happens when it gets wet and you try to wipe it off how it affects the screen of the phone.

    I'm also wondering if I'm being too cautious down there. On a boat I know you have to look out, but a jetski may very well just be able to roam anywhere you want (that is legal).

    Firestomper: does that come with the marine charts on it, or was that purchased in addition?

  5. #5
    RGUN's Avatar
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    Sorry for sending you to another thread but people (including myself) posted useful information in this thread that never really took off.

    http://www.greenhulk.net/forums/show...=1#post2518414

    Montana 600 is what I'm using and is pictured in that post. Great unit, easy to read in all scenarios with the possible exception of combined extremely bright sun, polarized sunglasses, and certain viewing angles.

  6. #6
    JT jpt7779's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is my Garmin 76cs's in a 2004-2008 RXT/GTX glove box and 2010 RXT-X RAM mount.

    The Garmin 78 replaced the 76 and is specifically built for the marine environment. I added a detailed microchip of the southern states that is extremely detailed with lake depths, creek channels and info. It is nice having a past track path displayed that lasts years.

    Both my 76's are 2006/2010 vintage and are still working perfectly.

  7. #7
    Xspook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaltyBones View Post
    I picked up my skis to primarily use down in the Florida keys. I would like a gps to guide me to a couple snorkeling spots and the mangroves in Islamorada. Also, I'd like it to help keep me off of shoals or other dangerously shallow areas (if that's even something you have to worry about on a jet ski).
    Shallow water is definitely a concern - especially in the keys as I found out last year on my trip to Marathon.

    Quote Originally Posted by SaltyBones View Post
    What handheld marine gps would you guys recommend, or would you just use say the Garmin Blue Chart app on an iPhone (which I already have the app and purchased maps for). My only reservation with the latter is that's i'd want the phone out and exposed while I'm driving. Even with a waterproof case, that seems like it's asking for trouble. Anyway, just wanted to get some opinions from others more experienced with these things.
    I've tried using my iPhone, but cannot see the screen in sunlight, so I use a Garmin GPSMap78sc.

    There are a few forum posts out there on recommended GPS's:


    http://www.greenhulk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=228714

    http://www.greenhulk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=227074

    This site has a nice Florida topo map for free download.


    One thing I do before a trip is research the area's points of interest (snorkeling spots, navigation channels, water front restaurants, etc) look them up on Google Maps, right click the point of interest and choose What's Here?. That will allow you to get the GPS coordinates and program them into the GPS device.

  8. #8
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaltyBones View Post
    ... a gps to guide me to a couple snorkeling spots and the mangroves in Islamorada. Also, I'd like it to help keep me off of shoals or other dangerously shallow areas (if that's even something you have to worry about on a jet ski).

    What handheld marine gps ...
    There are also areas which are off limits to PWC. I do not know whether the available electronic charts do a good job of showing those boundaries and what the restrictions are.

    Handheld, are you intending to actually hold it in your hand while you ride? I would expect that most guys here use a mount for the unit so they have both hands available for actual riding control.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SaltyBones View Post
    ... a gps to guide me to a couple snorkeling spots and the mangroves in Islamorada. Also, I'd like it to help keep me off of shoals or other dangerously shallow areas (if that's even something you have to worry about on a jet ski).

    What handheld marine gps ...
    There are also areas which are off limits to PWC. I do not know whether the available electronic charts do a good job of showing those boundaries and what the restrictions are.

    Handheld, are you intending to actually hold it in your hand while you ride? I would expect that most guys here use a mount for the unit so they have both hands available for actual riding control.
    i definitely would like it mounted so that I could keep a close watch while I'm traveling closer to land when docking at restaurants and the such. Other than that, I really only would use it to pinpoint a couple snorkel spots that don't already have large landmarks.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Xspook View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SaltyBones View Post
    I picked up my skis to primarily use down in the Florida keys. I would like a gps to guide me to a couple snorkeling spots and the mangroves in Islamorada. Also, I'd like it to help keep me off of shoals or other dangerously shallow areas (if that's even something you have to worry about on a jet ski).
    Shallow water is definitely a concern - especially in the keys as I found out last year on my trip to Marathon.

    Quote Originally Posted by SaltyBones View Post
    What handheld marine gps would you guys recommend, or would you just use say the Garmin Blue Chart app on an iPhone (which I already have the app and purchased maps for). My only reservation with the latter is that's i'd want the phone out and exposed while I'm driving. Even with a waterproof case, that seems like it's asking for trouble. Anyway, just wanted to get some opinions from others more experienced with these things.
    I've tried using my iPhone, but cannot see the screen in sunlight, so I use a Garmin GPSMap78sc.

    There are a few forum posts out there on recommended GPS's:


    http://www.greenhulk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=228714

    http://www.greenhulk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=227074

    This site has a nice Florida topo map for free download.


    One thing I do before a trip is research the area's points of interest (snorkeling spots, navigation channels, water front restaurants, etc) look them up on Google Maps, right click the point of interest and choose What's Here?. That will allow you to get the GPS coordinates and program them into the GPS device.
    This is exactly what my intentions are. I'm just concerned about when approaching those restaurants and such that I'll run aground or through sea grass or whatever. Not sure the GPS will completely prevent that and haven't quite figured out how to best keep from doing so.

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