I borrowed a GPS for my Florida trip, a Garmin GPSMAP 76 Waterproof Handheld and it performed well. I've given it back to the owner, with many thanks. Now I'm thinking about getting a GPS of my own for the sailboat.
There are so many to choose from and it's driving me nuts. I'm torn in two different directions. On one hand, I'd like a full color model complete with extensive navigational charts. The big problem with that is the cost. It's possible to spend more on electronic charts than the cost of the GPS unit itself. On the other end of the spectrum is something as simple as the Garmin eTrex H Handheld GPS Navigator, about as basic as one can get.
The eTrek is of little use without a chart. However, even if I got a top end model with all the electronic charts, I'd still want to have paper charts on-board. Electronics fail. For the sailing I've been doing, most navigation is by chart, compass, and binoculars. However, for times like when fog rolls in unexpectedly, having GPS capability is really nice to have.
What I really need to know is if the charting features are really worth it? Should I do without and save up for a top model? Maybe I should get a cheapo and have it right off? Is it worth buying a cheap one now and saving it as backup when I get a better one later?
I'm asking around to see what other people think. What's worked for you? Comments are welcome.
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