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Thread: GPS for river running

  1. #1

    Default GPS for river running

    I have a Lowrance HDS 5. I have the navonics charts for it and the base maps. The maps for inland waters is not good at all, what are my options for getting topo maps on this GPS. I have searched high and low and can not find topo maps for it or any other marine GPS for that matter. I was wondering what everyone else was using. I take a hand held with me but that is not ideal. Thanks for the input.

  2. #2
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I bought a Garmin Montana 600 and a dash mount, loaded it with Alaska Topo and Plat maps. Used it to run from the bridge up the Yukon to the Koyukuk. Worked great. The larger screen was easy to see and the dash mount stayed put.



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  3. #3

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    That's a nice set up. I might have to do that. Hate to spend another 5 bills for that if I don't have to.

    I was watching AK State Troopers last night and the boat the trooper was running had the HDS 5 like mine and he had a real map up. My stuff is all what we call vector graphics (hexagons). What he had up was definitely a terrain map. I will see if I can post a screen shot.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I have heard of people loading the Topo maps onto a Garmin Nuvi, the car model. I don't know how it is done, but it is supposed to work. That would be cheap if one could figure it out. I saw on the forum a while back that a few folks had a marine unit that would accept the Topo maps, but that unit is out of production.
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    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    What ever you get, use it with care. I spent 3 or 4 hours helping some guys off of a sand bar, (they spent the night there).

    They had a good GPS and were following a track they made earlier in the day back. Problem was the GPS wasnít real clear about displaying what scale was being used. It looked like they were right on track. Once they were on the sandbar, zooming in showed they were in fact 150 feet off.

    While I like having a GPS and use them, I donít trust them. I have to see it to believe it, (i.e. donít boat looking at the screen, look out the window! LOL).

    (I'm not trying to bad-mouth anyone. The guys I helped seemed like real nice, intelligent people who happen to have one of those "learning moments")

    Kelvin

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default GPS for river running

    On the river I use my depth finder as much if not more than my GPS. It allows me to use both to stay in and find the channel.
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    Default who's drivin' ?

    Quote Originally Posted by KelvinG View Post
    They had a good GPS and were following a track they made earlier in the day back. Problem was the GPS wasnít real clear about displaying what scale was being used. It looked like they were right on track. Once they were on the sandbar, zooming in showed they were in fact 150 feet off.

    While I like having a GPS and use them, I donít trust them. I have to see it to believe it, (i.e. donít boat looking at the screen, look out the window! LOL).
    But but but.... the GPS TOLD me to turn left!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by KelvinG View Post
    What ever you get, use it with care. I spent 3 or 4 hours helping some guys off of a sand bar, (they spent the night there).

    They had a good GPS and were following a track they made earlier in the day back. Problem was the GPS wasnít real clear about displaying what scale was being used. It looked like they were right on track. Once they were on the sandbar, zooming in showed they were in fact 150 feet off.

    While I like having a GPS and use them, I donít trust them. I have to see it to believe it, (i.e. donít boat looking at the screen, look out the window! LOL).

    (I'm not trying to bad-mouth anyone. The guys I helped seemed like real nice, intelligent people who happen to have one of those "learning moments")

    Kelvin

    Hey, agreed 100%. I use it for big picture, when I start looking at it instead of the water I get in trouble...

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    Member Ronster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    On the river I use my depth finder as much if not more than my GPS. It allows me to use both to stay in and find the channel.
    Agree 100% with this one. I very rarely look at my GPS unless I am looking for channels that I might have used while going upriver. I do however look at my depthfinder and even moreso I am standing up reading the river. Its a lot easier to read the higher up you get.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjjeeper View Post
    I have a Lowrance HDS 5. I have the navonics charts for it and the base maps. The maps for inland waters is not good at all, what are my options for getting topo maps on this GPS. I have searched high and low and can not find topo maps for it or any other marine GPS for that matter. I was wondering what everyone else was using. I take a hand held with me but that is not ideal. Thanks for the input.
    I did some research on this and I believe you need a map card for Alaska for your unit. PLEASE do your own due diligence, but from what I have read this might be the card you need. Also note that a big chuck of the Interior is NOT mapped.

    http://www.amazon.com/Navionics-XL9-...st+card+alaska
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  11. #11

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    The car Garmin Nuvi with downloaded AK maps updates much faster, bigger screen I use it high on winshield with one person driving and the other person calling out to confirm we are in the channell mostly following our tracks. Other GPS I have used the update rate is to slow. GPS is just a tool does not replace common sense! Gulls standing in water and GPS telling you otherwise, use common sense.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    I did some research on this and I believe you need a map card for Alaska for your unit. PLEASE do your own due diligence, but from what I have read this might be the card you need. Also note that a big chuck of the Interior is NOT mapped.

    http://www.amazon.com/Navionics-XL9-...st+card+alaska

    Well, I have done due diligence that's why I'm asking. I think I have this but maybe not, I will have to call navonics I guess. No info on this card on their website. Thanks for the link.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by kk alaska View Post
    The car Garmin Nuvi with downloaded AK maps updates much faster, bigger screen I use it high on winshield with one person driving and the other person calling out to confirm we are in the channell mostly following our tracks. Other GPS I have used the update rate is to slow. GPS is just a tool does not replace common sense! Gulls standing in water and GPS telling you otherwise, use common sense.
    That's interesting. I have the Magellen I was very unimpressed with the maps. I will check out the alaska maps on the nuvi.

    yes, I am looking for something that I can use to tell if I am near the river mouth or how far up it etc....

  14. #14

    Default Terrain

    Here is that screen shot if anyone recognizes this map data.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15

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    I use a Garmin 478 on the river boat with an AK Topo card. The unit came with city streets and G2 charts installed. I usually have the Topo Maps displayed and adjust the scale to be similar to the USGS maps. I also use this unit for speed and distance. I removed the pitot tube speedometer and replaced it with a Lowerance dash mounted depth gauge with a low water alarm. Also installed a flow scan. This combination gives me pretty much everything I need for interior rivers, Tanana, Kantishna, Talkeetna, Copper, etc.. The other plus is I undo the quick disconnect and take it with me on the ocean boat as a backup.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by yanert View Post
    I use a Garmin 478 on the river boat with an AK Topo card. The unit came with city streets and G2 charts installed. I usually have the Topo Maps displayed and adjust the scale to be similar to the USGS maps. I also use this unit for speed and distance. I removed the pitot tube speedometer and replaced it with a Lowerance dash mounted depth gauge with a low water alarm. Also installed a flow scan. This combination gives me pretty much everything I need for interior rivers, Tanana, Kantishna, Talkeetna, Copper, etc.. The other plus is I undo the quick disconnect and take it with me on the ocean boat as a backup.
    Thanks yanert. Can you help me out a little more, I don't see an alaska topo SD card on garmins site..

  17. #17

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    found it...thanks,

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    I did some research on this and I believe you need a map card for Alaska for your unit. PLEASE do your own due diligence, but from what I have read this might be the card you need. Also note that a big chuck of the Interior is NOT mapped.

    http://www.amazon.com/Navionics-XL9-...st+card+alaska
    Looks like you might be right stid2677. Still haven't confirmed it but looks promising.

    On a side note you should be getting a kick back from Amazon, they sold out....

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    I did some research on this and I believe you need a map card for Alaska for your unit. PLEASE do your own due diligence, but from what I have read this might be the card you need. Also note that a big chuck of the Interior is NOT mapped.

    http://www.amazon.com/Navionics-XL9-...st+card+alaska
    Well I just got off the phone with Navonics. This card is just a smaller coverage area than the 1XG card which is what I have and it is still marine charts only. They said they don't really have inland river water (read topo type) cards.

  20. #20
    Premium Member bmunsell's Avatar
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    I'm still running a Garmin 276. These were about the best alaska units Garmin has every made but since they don't make them anymore, they are hard to come by.

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