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View Full Version : GPS "Deal or no deal?"


Bruce
03-04-2007, 01:28 PM
Academy Sports has a Garmin ETREX GPS on sale for $70 usually $100. My speedometer on my Maristar is way off. All I need is accurate speed. Would this do what I need or is there a better way to go? (dealer could never get speedometer right so that is not an option). So, as Howie would say "deal or no deal?"

ProTour X9
03-04-2007, 01:32 PM
If you need one go for it, but I would say find a friend with a GPS:D

Doug G
03-04-2007, 01:41 PM
I borrowed a friends for an afternoon and used it for about 10 min to set the speedo and then just played with it for the rest of the day. If you aren't going to use it for anything else I would also go with the borrow from a friend.

Bruce
03-04-2007, 01:47 PM
When I pull my kids/grandkids on board/skis I know the speed they like and would need it to hold them at that speed.

erkoehler
03-04-2007, 01:58 PM
There is really no reason why your speedos shouldn't be accurate....do you know how to calibrate them?

You should be able to set them at the beginning of the year, and have them stay accurate for the remainder of the season.

Bruce
03-04-2007, 02:29 PM
1999 230VRS single speedometer. Dealer informed previous owner thet tried. No I don't know how to calibrate. Heard somewhere that paddle wheel location was historic problem.

bigmac
03-04-2007, 02:47 PM
The paddlewheel location is problematic in using Perfect Pass to maintaining a contant speed for wakeboarding/hydrofoiling, but as an actual speedometer, I've found the system to be accurate +/- 1 mph or less on my 230 VRS.

Bruce
03-05-2007, 05:17 PM
After all is said and done will the hand held do the job? I.E. can I check the boat speed and maybe reference it to rpms? Since the dealer could not fix speedometer maybe this would be a band aid until someone can figure out speedometer problem.

east tx skier
03-05-2007, 06:43 PM
Did they switch to paddle wheels in 1999? I'd say go for it. Our etrex has come in handy time and time again over the years (paid $99).

ProTour X9
03-05-2007, 07:02 PM
Garmin Rhino, don't know about the other ones but this will tell you the resturaunts gas stations, etc at every exit.

bigmac
03-05-2007, 08:11 PM
Garmin Rhino, don't know about the other ones but this will tell you the resturaunts gas stations, etc at every exit.The Etrex has no mapping capabilities, not even a built-in base map. Most of the others do to varying degrees of memory, including the Rino series. The Etrex is just a basic navigation unit, though.

east tx skier
03-05-2007, 09:03 PM
The Etrex has no mapping capabilities, not even a built-in base map. Most of the others do to varying degrees of memory, including the Rino series. The Etrex is just a basic navigation unit, though.

The basic etrex does not, but the variants of the etrex, i.e., etrex legend does. From the price, I'm sure he's looking at the basic model. It does have waypoint info, etc., which can be usefull. The speedo and a few waypoints is all I've ever used mine for, but for the money, it has always worked and is durable.

FrankSchwab
03-06-2007, 01:08 AM
For basic speed, the ETrex will work fine for you. The Speedo on my boat is also, well, ok, completely unuseable.

I use a Garmin GPS-III+ (top-of-the-line previous generation; more or less equivalent to the ETrex Legend).

For Skiing or tubing, it's perfect - put it into big-numbers mode on one of the screens, it'll update speed once a second, and you'll be fine. I tend to use the tach and the engine sound to judge speed for those activities, using the GPS to calibrate my ear or the tach every 10 seconds or so.

For the purposes of hydrofoiling, it's not quite sufficient. My boat is in the transition between planing/non-planing at the 18-20 mph we like to pull at. I find that the GPS will occasionally miss an update or two; after a couple of seconds, I can be 2 or 3 mph off on my speed, even though the tach hasn't moved. I've learned to deal with it, though my wife hasn't. You should recognize this will happen. No other GPS will be better for the purpose, so your only option really is a PerfectPass.

I say go for the Etrex, and start saving your pennies for the PP. My buddy and I are too cheap to do that, so we have a paper design for our own equivalent (between us, we'll save the $2500 or so for a pair of Perfect Pass units, but we'll spend $1000 on parts and 200 hours of our time. Penny wise, and pound foolish, I guess).

/frank

87 TriStar 190
03-07-2007, 12:23 AM
I have the basic Garmin etrex. It's perfect for what you are after. My daughter swivels and the speedo is not accurate at 12.5 MPH. The etrex updates plenty fast and has eliminated the "faster dad, slower dad" signals I used to get. We also use it for boarding at 17 to 20 depending on who's out. At slalom it's not needed. It's durable and batteries last several outings. I also take it whenever I travel. It's a great toy, even without the mapping. You can always get back. I paid $102 about six years ago. Depending on weight in the boat, your engine rpm can vary with speed, but the GPS is always accurate. One thing to remember, if you are on a river, it's tracking with respect to land speed and you'll need to get used to the current.

Bruce
03-07-2007, 02:24 PM
Thanks all, I decided after reading replies and figuring I had everything worthwhile that $69.99 would buy, to get it. Now all I have to do is figure out how to use it. Bear in mind that my kids and grandkids are excited that I have learned to set the clock on the VCR.( Did not tell them i found the directions.
TriStar you are right on. My grandkids give me more thumbs up and thumbs down for speed than than Roman Gladiators got from their efforts in the ring!

87 TriStar 190
03-07-2007, 11:18 PM
I used to drive 'B' team practices and shows for the ski club and those kids are brutal for speed accuracy. You'll enjoy it. Read the directions, use a week, and read them again. You'll get a lot more the second time through. Have fun with it.

Leroy
03-07-2007, 11:34 PM
You are with it Bruce! I think you will find more uses for the GPS.

The 99 didn't come stock with a paddle wheel, I think it was 2002 (year after mine) that it was stock. You should have pitok tubes and could be partial blockage there or could be leak in the tubing, but dealer should have found. ON mine there is +/- button next to speedo that would adjust it for calibration.

Bruce
03-08-2007, 12:08 AM
Thanks again Guys. Leroy about the paddle wheel. Doug raised the same question about 99's having a wheel. It does in fact have a wheel. it is a few inches to the left(port) exhaust and about flush with bottom. Also there is no calibration. It appears that was only on dual speedo's.
GPS should be fun. It will take awhile but I'll get. After all I moved from 8 track to CD's.!

FrankSchwab
03-08-2007, 12:55 AM
Feel free to ask anything about the GPS. I'm sure you'll get some help.

And, yes, my '98 Maristar also came with a paddle wheel on the transom.

east tx skier
03-08-2007, 12:57 AM
Feel free to ask anything about the GPS. I'm sure you'll get some help.

And, yes, my '98 Maristar also came with a paddle wheel on the transom.

Was that a Maristar thing? My father-in-law's 98 205 runs airguides and the classic pitot pickups.