View Full Version : Opinions on GPS Chart Plotters
02-26-2008, 08:50 PM
Anyone using a Garmin, etc GPS chart plotter?
I just moved to a new area and don't know the lakes, plus all the lakes are very low. I was thinking about one to "see" the low spots and avoid hitting anything with my new X-2 ... that would SUCK!
I'm looking at the Garmin GPSMap 535 or 430. I've gotta figure out where to mount it, but first thing first ... anyone using one of these or similar? Are they worthwhile to have?
The demo in the store was pretty impressive ... in the "fish eye view" you are looking from behind your boat, beneath the water and there is a scale showing the distance from the bottom of the boat to the bottom of the lake. You can see ahead the topography that is upcoming. You can set a danger depth and it color codes it so you can see potential hazards. Looks pretty cool, but demo's do not always reflect reality. Any input would be appreciated.
02-26-2008, 09:09 PM
jsnipes, I run the West Marine in Columbia. Shoot me an email or stop by the store and I'll give you the honest low-down on it. What lake are you on?
02-26-2008, 11:25 PM
Hartwell/Keowee/Jocassee...shoot me a PM.
02-27-2008, 12:02 AM
Oh, didn't see this before I replied to your email. Get a GARMIN! Unless you are down in Columbia, go see Paula at the West Marine in Anderson. If you take in your bill of sale for your new x-2, proving you bought a new-to-you boat she will hook you up! with our New Boat Owner's Program.
02-27-2008, 12:07 AM
Got your email ... thanks!
535 or 430? Is the resolution of the 430 pretty good, eventhough the screen is 4"?
02-27-2008, 12:18 AM
Going from the 430 to the 535 you are stepping up in size and resolution the logicial step-up would be the 530 (same resolution, larger screen), the 535 (bigger size and higher resolution)is the next step up. But, this being a wakeboard boat, I might be thinking SMALLER is better. As I said in the email, I would recommend the sounder version. You will have the depth finder, as well as being able to see bottom structure, as well has higher resale if you decide to upgrade later. And it's not that much more expensive.
02-27-2008, 09:45 AM
Yep ... "where to put it" is going to be the next challenge.
If the 430 resolution is good then I'll probably go with that one. I think 4" screen should be good enough.
Thanks for the help!
02-27-2008, 10:08 AM
Have you thought about any of the more "portable" units like the 478?
Ole Miss Rebels
02-27-2008, 12:04 PM
i have the 376 C and love it. i don't use the chartplotter however because i stay on my home lake and it is only 4700 acres. i bought a RAM windshield suction mount and it works really well. strong, stiff, large and heavy-duty suction cup that has never turned loose. also, MC makes a stanchion (sp?) mount that allows you to mount it dit=rectly to the windshield post in the walkway. my frined did that and it is solid. it does get bumped from time to time by passengers but it is a strong mount. good luck.
02-27-2008, 01:20 PM
H2O, I took a look at the 478 and similar. They would be good if height dimension is a concern for the others. Otherwise they are quite expensive, I guess because of the street mapping capability. Don't need that ... already have one in my car!
Does the 478 do everything the 430/530/535 versions do?
Thanks for the input, Ole Miss.
Ole Miss Rebels
02-27-2008, 02:02 PM
you are welcome, i forgot to mention the most valuable use for my 376 C is that it has the ability to receive live weather radar. you have to subscribe for the service from XM. i pay $30 month for the sailor package but it has saved our tails from getting caught in sever thunderstorms countless times. you can zoom out to as wide as the entire north american continent and zoom in to as close as 50 feet. we usually keep ours set on about a 200 mile radius. when we see the storms lining up and heading our way we quietly make our way to the public launch and get out before getting stuck at the boat ramp during a 50 mph squall line. when not in the boat , i take the unit with me in the car and on long trips i know when to stop for meals and let the storms pass by or whether to keep going to try to stay ahead of impending bad weather. the live radar is far more valuable to me than any other uses the unit can offer. good luck again.
02-27-2008, 07:34 PM
Great advice...thanks! I was kind of dismissing the usefullness of that, but you've got me thinking now.
02-27-2008, 09:27 PM
The 376/478 family cannot do the "vision" features (satalite photography, fish eye view) I like it a lot, considering those features to me are just "cool factor" features.
Eagle Lake Rebel
02-27-2008, 09:28 PM
I have the Garmin 378 and use the MC mounting bracket. Both work great. Can't say enough about having the weather at your fingertips. You can also buy a memory card and most of the time download a region of lakes to store in the unit(or buy a card preloaded). The lake detail is quite good. The whole system is a bit $$ but well worth it to avoid storms and boat dammage. If you would like pictures of the install let me know.
02-27-2008, 11:01 PM
Eagle Lake Rebel, please check your email. Thanks!