Quick review Cheapest and best GPS alternative

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by HallOfDreams, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. Handsome Transom

    Handsome Transom Active Member

    563
    Jan 26, 2018
    Penetanguishene Ontario Canada
    1989 SeaRay Sundancer 268 454 Bravo
    454 Mercruiser bravo drive
    If you ever do replace I am a local buyer for some if your dated gear as mine is better described as ancient lol, ,It still works mind you and that combined with budgetary concerns has kept me out of the market from buying a combined chatplotter fishfinder this year. . I did get a free tablet from Roger's this year and will put navionics pro on it for preplanning and backup. Here's a shot of my current backups
     

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    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  2. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer, Raymarine C80 suite with radar, Mercury 310 Hypalon w/8hp Yammie 2stk
    2X 454 carbs w/ vDrives
    Those are some oldies! I have an old Garmin handheld as well that I leave on the boat. Not sure why to be honest. I never use it. I did use it on my first boat that only had a fishfinder and paper charts.
     
  3. marks737

    marks737 Active Member

    328
    Sep 15, 2009
    NJ
    2005 390 Sundancer
    Cummins QSB 5.9
    Navionics is a fantastic app. My friend bought a new 45 Sabre, $mil dollar boat, with touch screen Garmins and still uses Navionics for primary navigation. You can't beat the auto-route function and crowd source depth updates.
     
    Todd320 and Mike sandor like this.
  4. The Bill Collector

    The Bill Collector Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    1998 450 Sundancer, Achilles dinghy w/15hp
    3126 Cat's
    1) a127 Raymarine w/Navionics
    2) I-Pad w/Navionics
    3) Moto G7 w/Navionics

    All 3 running at the same time with identical charts showing...
     
  5. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    I think most of the major MFG's these days have pretty slick screen "mirroring" integrated in their hardware. I've enjoyed that function with my Garmin's but I wouldn't say it's a major item I'd look for in determining which brand to go with. Being able to create routes with your iPad/iPhone and then load them onto your chartplotters is infinitely more awesome than the mirroring, in my opinion :)
     
  6. The Bill Collector

    The Bill Collector Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    1998 450 Sundancer, Achilles dinghy w/15hp
    3126 Cat's
    Although they have the mirroring feature I do not use it... I want all three to be independent of the other in case of a malfunction in one of them I have the others for backup.
     
  7. Craig

    Craig Well-Known Member

    Feb 8, 2007
    320 Sundancer
    twin 350 Horizon V drives
    7 and 9 inch chartplotters are all very affordable these days from most all manufacturers. $500 to $1000 to me is a worthy investment for such a critical piece of equipment.
     
    techmitch likes this.
  8. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    It's like a gateway drug, really. Getcha into a single 7" plotter and before you know it you've got 3 plotters at the helm, a NMEA network, integrated stereo, radar displaying on a tablet mounted in the head, engine monitoring gateways, HDMI so you can watch Netflix at the helm...yeahhhh....

    Be careful with those 7" plotters...the upgrade disease is no joke.
     
    Craig and joeyleggz like this.
  9. menos22

    menos22 Member

    127
    May 26, 2009
    Colonial Beach, VA
    1994 Sea Ray 350 Express Bridge
    Twin 454 Mercruiser With V-Drives
    This is all very interesting. First question is what would I need to buy as far as the ipad or droid is concerned. Do is need built in Gps/WI-FI/celluar? Then just download the navionics for a 1 time price and I have a chartlploter? My boating is mainly inshore/rivers/bays. Wish someone could advise me on what equipment I would need for this setup at a reasonable price. I do have a Garmin 546s that I use but my eyes are getting tired looking a that small screen. Like the idea of planning at home before a trip. Thanks for any advise. Would you Recommend ipad or droid.
     
  10. DWABoat

    DWABoat Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    967
    Aug 13, 2019
    S Louisiana
    2001 280 Sundancer
    1989 220CC Cuddy Cabin
    Twin 4.3 w/Alpha Ones
    5.7 Mercruiser Alpha One
    I still use Coastal Explorer software on a laptop with a puck style GPS. Pain in the arse. I just recently acquired a first gen Hook 7. Pretty cool. Much easier.

    I am really appreciating this conversation. I will be entering this market soon.
     
  11. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    Well as mentioned above a 7" plotter can be had for the cost of a new iPad these days. But...that won't be the biggest display and could still be hard to read.

    So yeah, you could buy a used iPad. I'd think you would not want to go any older than an iPad Air at this point just to make sure it'll run the current apps. I'd then suggest you buy a bluetooth GPS receiver that'll connect to the iPad (I used the Garmin GLO, $99 on Amazon). Then pick your app of choice. Navionics, Garmin, etc.

    I'd also recommend a good waterproof case for your iPad. I used a "Lifeproof" case, also on Amazon. A great investment. It's also quite kidproof for whatever that's worth :)

    The last complication - if you were to buy a new Garmin charplotter you'd get their latest software (BlueChart) on the plotter but also a free license for one other device (your iPad). So if you're considering spending $100+ on software alone carefully consider the plotter, maybe in addition to a used iPad, since it will offset the cost of the standalone chart software.
     

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