Would like some opinions on the best gps unit for running rivers in Alaska and also some pics of how you guys are mounting them. I have a center console boat with windshield and also have a power port so can plug it in while running so battery life isn't a big issue. I'm kind of leaning toward a bigger screen unit with map software installed but it has to be user friendly as I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to electronics. Also, water proof.
Colorado series from Garmen is what I am looking at right now. Seems to fit your need as well. Sorry I can't tell you how it works yet!
I enjoy using my Garmin 172C. Perhaps not the most sophisticated but generally easy to use and gets the job done. Makes coming home, even on the rivers much easier. It seems many times in the evening I'm running into the sun making finding the channel a bit more difficult. I simply save the track out and then follow that track back on the way in. I use a RAM mount to attach it to the dash, that along with a cigarette lighter type plug in make it easy to remove the GPS from the boat.
Thought I had a picture but I can't find it.
I have a Garmin Rino and it works well, fairly ez to use, has a weather channel and also will talk to hand held 2 ways, a nice feature if you have the other hand helds and hunt, fish, play well w/ others.
I wish the screen was bigger, that is probably my biggest complaint and it has a minimum amount of buttons, which means you have to learn how to toggle through the various modes and can be kinda tedious learning, at least for me.
Its a few years old and I think the newer versions may be color, for me I think color would be much easier to see.
I tried a Ram mount and made numerous trips to Beaver Sports trying to get the various pieces (they did have everything and were very helpful), it takes a combination of parts to use the ram system and was real torture trying to get the unit in and out of the holder. I finally returned all the ram stuff, I thought I wanted it rigidly mounted and Garmin only had a suction cup style, but so far hangs on real well and is easily moved. The Rino can be plugged into a power outlet to save on battery life and the lithium batteries are worthwhile as well.
The Rino is small enuf to fit in a pocket and take on hunt. also I have Garmins map program on the computer and can download/ upload maps, tracks and waypoints, its quick to learn and of course a much bigger screen to review yer river antics. Also have used the program to calculate distance on some of the longer river trips. kinda cool in the dead of winter when the water is in a solid form.
I agree with you about waterproof, shock proof is nice too, maps are nice, I love the Garmin 176 we have, and have used various Garmins in my airplane too with good satisfaction.
Originally Posted by mtnman
I always recommend you get one the same brand as your buddies have... the similarities are a big advantage when it comes to your learning curve. I find that I can pretty much find my way through any garmin I've found, but get a bit lost on the other brands. That way if you get one like your buddies, they have a pretty good chance of figuring out your new one, which helps with yoru learning curve.
Also, I recommend Northern Lights Avionics on merrill field. They will show you hand on, how to run one if you buy from them (in fact, even if you buy one from someone else in my experience!) (They probably didn't want me to tell you that! )