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Thread: GPSMap - bang for your buck.

  1. #1

    Default GPSMap - bang for your buck.

    I'm looking at investing in a Garmin GPSMap 440s. I chose this model because of the price - comes with Bluechart g2 for AK - very fast refresh on the screen. I just have to squint a bit with the 4" screen.
    I've seen it go from $440 - $570 online and in town.

    But this is my first GPSMap plotter and I'm asking for advice and/ or suggestions.

    I'm justifying the purchase since I go out of PWS often and I'd like to venture further than Ester Rock.

    Thanks for any suggestions-

  2. #2


    Does that price include the dual frequency transducer? If not, it`s another $120.

    I have the Lowrance Elite 5 and really dig it compared to the Garmin. Same price range.

  3. #3

    Default BlueChat ?

    I looked up the Lawrance Elite - it does have a larger screen and a higher resolution. Does it come with BlueChart or is that an extra?

    I have a Garmen transducer fish finder already. I'm hoping I can plug it in to this Garmin... but I"m not sure if it's dual frequency. One less thing on the dash would be nice.

  4. #4


    Mine was ordered with but wasn`t loaded...ended up putting software in because I had no time left. About $200 for maps in town. Look carefully when shopping as they will list prices without and with.

  5. #5

    Default Just learned...

    I just learned that the Garmen 440s is being discontinued. The 441s comes with a transducer and prices online for $500. The 4" screen is small, but I don't have much room anyway on the dash of my 17' Almar Lite. It comes loaded with BlueChart 2 - so I don't have to purchase a chip. Still shopping...

    Thanks for your reply -

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Thumbs up

    I have the 545s and am very happy with it; i did have a problem last year right before moose season and needed to put something in the boat fast and cheap. I did look at that unit and would have put it in the boat as a second unit but it was a bit more than i wanted to spend on a last min buy.
    Most of the Garminís are compatible with the transducer and wiring. They all just plug and play with each other.
    I am very happy with whatever Garmin has put out over the years.
    When it is all said and done it still comes down to what you want to spend. I would love to put the 4000 or 5000 series Garminís in my boat but i cannot get past the price for either of those units. So i stay with what i have for now, as for discontinue items, it is just like buying a laptop at the store. It will be out dated by the time you get out the door and a new one will be on the shelf.
    That 440 Garmin is a great little unit but it does have a little screen and with the G2 preloaded you will be set for a nice unit.
    Good luck

    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
    '' Livn' The Dream ''
    26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

  7. #7
    Member Mark Collett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Between the Willapa Rivers, United States

    Default I've had a 440s for 2 years

    Most of my fishing is either out of Homer,Seward,or on the Kenai.My Garmin does have the dual transducer with a 15 and a 45 degree cone.Price range was about the same.Only had one problem but that was totally operator error.Compared to other units I've owned it works pretty good.There was abit of a learning curve though.Good luck with your search.

  8. #8
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Anchorage Alaska

    Default 546s

    I bought the 546s this year. I run it on an open zodiac and I have seen 2 issues with it.

    1) I got a high voltage alarm and the unit went into auto shut down mode. I swapped batteries (I use two very small 12 volt batts) and got the same alarm again and I shut it down. Next day at home in the garage, after metering the batts out to 12.74vdc, the unit worked fine.

    2) self inflicted....I didn't connect the transducer to the unit at the dock. Drove 20 miles to camp and then noticed it was not connected and I got salt water in the connection(s). I dried them a little and connected and powered up. I could hear snap crackle going on so I took it to the tent and fired up the wood stove and let them dry all night. Next morning reconnected (in dry tent) and it worked fine without the crackling. After sitting on the boat in the open rain for 30 hours it crackled again. I did get some corrosion so I am going to clean it up and the heat shrink the connection.

    I also do not like the connector from the battery to the unit. I bought it because in the future I might want to use the NEMA2000 system on a larger boat - but right now I only need 12+ and 12-.....and those tiny little pins sure seem like they could get fubar'd really easy.... I don't think that it is really made to be connected/disconnected all the time like I am doing it.

    Other than that it works very good, is very intuitive and easy to use.

    I don't have the G2 on mine.....but the price was great online at 950 + the 100$ rebate that I just recieved in the mail.

  9. #9

    Default 441s

    Okay, I picked up the 441s. Hooking it up tomorrow.

    I haven't been out past Perry Island, but I'd like to shoot for Montague this Sunday. I went about four years ago - but I can't remember how we got there... we slipped through Knight Island somewhere.

    I'm sending out a request for directions... I'm taking a 17 foot Almar Lite with a 50 hp outboard - 2 passengers, lots of fuel, and I not going to push it if the weather is questionable.

    What would be the easiest and fastest way that would also give me a place to dive in if the weather gets rough...

    Through Colross or around to Knight, through the island, then to Green and around...

    I'm not asking for secret spots, just a logical and smart way to get out to Montague.


  10. #10
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Anchorage Alaska

    Default culross

    I would use culross. there are lots of hiding spots. Take a look at the charts on your new gps and you'll find them. Try to use 1/3 - 1/3 - 1/3 for your fuel. first third out, second third back, last for spare/emergency.


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