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Thread: GPS for running the Yukon River

  1. #1
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    Default GPS for running the Yukon River

    What is the best GPS for running the Yukon?

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    Default gps

    I am not sure there is one that is better than the other. I did the Yoyokuke last year and had the CD topo for the state and it was still off for what the mapping verus what the gps said. I think if you are useing garmin you really cant go wrong. None of them Will tell you the shallow water thou. Good luck

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    some gps units come preloaded with topo maps, which is what you will need for the rivers. Be careful, some of the preloaded unit don't include Alaska. Garmin topo US includes Alaska and if not preloaded can be loaded onto most garmin units via dvd and then downloaded onto the unit. With the movement of River Channels, the accuracy is going to be poor compared to coastal charts.

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    I have been using a Garmin Rino for hunting and boating, its been a good unit and relatively easy to use. I also have Garmins Mapscource program on my computer, so I can load maps onto the unit and download info back onto the computer after the trip. Waypoints, track logs, etc.

    After a trip, I usally remove and save all my info onto the computer so next time I go back to the same area I can reload what I want onto the Rino handheld, and it also keeps the handheld "clean" and not overloaded with a bunch of data I dont need.

    I have found the maps to be reasonably accurate, they are based on paper topo maps, so the info can be old but I have never had a situation where it was unusable.

    For instance, last week we went fishing in Minto-Tolovana area, which is a myriad of lakes, sloughs, rivers, channels and swamps, its a regular waterworld.............anyway I wanted to leave early as I was unfamilar and wanted time to find and setup camp when we got there........ended up leaving town 10 ish (PM), had a flat and got to the landing at 1:30 AM, 4 people, full of gear, gas & groceries, semi-dark and some light fog on the water here and there.................I managed to navigate from the landing to the river system primarily using the Rino and looking out the window, I coulda done it w/o the GPS, but it would have taken longer for sure. I had looked at the GPS and paper maps prior, so had a idea of the direction and layout of the river.

    Anyway, it was pretty quiet in the boat with everyone looking at all the water and the fog, after we got through all the interconnected water ways and got onto the river, my wife said "that was awesome!", made me feel good and dang glad to have that GPS.

    Didnt mean to get so windy, the new ones have a bigger screen (screen size is my biggest complaint, but then it is a handheld) and some other features you may or may not need, such as 2 way radio, w/ weather channel...........hope this helps some........how far on the Yukon do you plan to travel? the maps get pretty vague when you get into Canada.....................

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Persistent1 View Post
    What is the best GPS for running the Yukon?
    IMO its the Garmin 398 if your looking for full TOPO maps in a marine unit. I've spent a SIGNIFICANT amount of time researching this question. In addition to the Garmin 100K TOPO maps, you can also upload other maps to the 398 (Garmin and non-Garmin alike) - there are many options available. I searched for one and bought mine, uploaded Garmin's TOPO maps and it works great! Once I can get pictures to upload I'll post a picture of the 398's resolution compared to a Garmin Oregon 300T in the link above.

    Regardless if you want the 398 or not, the thread will provide information on other units that may work for you. Good luck.
    "He should have been packing a more powerful gun...you have to be a very good shot or very lucky to stop a brown bear with a .357 Magnum." - Rick Sinnott, Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist after a double attack by a grizzly.

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    hello,i use a garmin 276c,i live on the yukon 31 years now,but still use my gps,what ever you get make it a garmin

  7. #7

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    I also use the 276c. It might be getting dated but works very well. I have a mount on the Argo, snow machine, boat and 4 wheeler. Larger screen than hand held but still compact and rugged. The new touch screens are cool but I wonder about using in the cold with gloves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanOutdoorsman View Post
    IMO its the Garmin 398 if your looking for full TOPO maps in a marine unit. I've spent a SIGNIFICANT amount of time researching this question. In addition to the Garmin 100K TOPO maps, you can also upload other maps to the 398 (Garmin and non-Garmin alike) - there are many options available. I searched for one and bought mine, uploaded Garmin's TOPO maps and it works great! Once I can get pictures to upload I'll post a picture of the 398's resolution compared to a Garmin Oregon 300T in the link above.

    Regardless if you want the 398 or not, the thread will provide information on other units that may work for you. Good luck.
    AKOutdoorsman,

    I didnt realize Persistent was looking for a sounder type GPS? I know this subject has been discussed extensively on the forum and I have been thinking about upgrading my depthfinder to one with built in GPS, in my case there is a couple of problems with the 398, its discontinued......But apperently they are still available?.............The bigger issue (for me) is they are non Nema 2000, which only matters if you have a Nema 200 network.

    I know you have done a bunch of research on this, It appears that none of the Current Garmin models (NEMA 2000 compatible) have the same maploading features as the 398? Is this what you determined?.............thanks

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    I'll second the 398, I've got it tied into my FloScan 9000 series for MPG data. I found onthe run up the Yentna last month that the higher MPG's were at rpm's I most likely would not have run without the MPG data (3150rpms vs 3000rpms). This should prove useful on the long treks up/down the Yukon. But any GPS should be able to be tied into the FloScan like that as long as its 0182 compatible.

    AKOutdoorsman hit the rest pretty well, I know he's done a ton of research on this and so did I. I had a bit of a head start as with my old boat I had a 172 which worked well on interior rivers loaded with MapSource maps. For the new boat I wanted a bigger screen with a sounder and was lucky enough to find a 398 at a good price. From what I understand, the 298, 398 and 498 are pretty much the same unit with the preloaded software being the being the difference. Any of the 3 would serve your purpose well I think.

    But to answer the OP, I would look for a good used or new 172c/182c/192c, 178c/188c/198c, 292, 298/398/498...there may be more. Here's a link to Garmin's discontinued page with details on these units:

    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=168

    Good Luck!

  10. #10

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    I would look at the Garmin 378 or 478, they are listed as still available on Garmin. Come with preloaded maps, nice screen, portable, internal antenna, can be linked with a sounder, can upload more maps, has lithium battery or runs off boats 12V system.

    For networking for engine data and fuel flow, I liked the Lowrance setup, I got the HDS-5 on sale at cabelas for $500, and got the NMEA plugs that go right into my yamaha outboards. The whole setup was about $600. This shows me GPS data, mpg, gph, engine temp, trim, voltage, pressure, etc. Shows all data for both engines. I returned the floscan I was going to install and installed this instead. It is a more accurate setup than Floscan too, because there is no feul line paddle wheel, the information comes straight from the motors. And it is cheaper. You can also get the HDS models that include depth sounders.

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Ellamar, I suspect you meant 0183 Protocol?
    Problem is I am not using a floscan on the 0183, I have the Nema 2000 hooked to the motor through a interface like C-dude has for fuel & motor info....on Garmins site it doesnt appear that the 398 or 498 will work on the 2000......?

    I wanted to be able to use Garmins Mpscource that I use w/ the handheld for interior maps.........

    Maybe need to take a look at Lowrances offerings......C-dude........you mentioned two motors on your boat? so I take it you are running around on the ocean and not the rivers? Do you know if the Lowrance has decent river maps?

    Ellamar....I ahve been wondering how your new outfit does on fuel, now that you have had a chance to get some time on it?
    Thanks, Guys

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    Yep, 0183...sorry about that.

    I don't think the older Garmins are 2000 compatible, but I wasn't really checking into that as I knew the 0183 was what I needed for the Floscan.

    The new rig does pretty well on fuel. Better than our old Wooldridge Classic with the 350/3 stage? Absolutely. Better than my old SportJon? No, but not too far off.

    At 3000rpm cruise she's burning between 8.5-9 gph. Empty boat going to the Pump House for dinner with the wife, I can kick her down to 26-2700 and burn 6.5-7 gph. Loaded boat heading up the Yentna, family of 4, 2 dogs 160 gallons of fuel and gear, ran 3150 rmps burning just at 10gph, which according to the Floscan was more fuel efficient than running at 3000 due to the increased speed (MPG). Overall, very happy with the boat.

  13. #13

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    AK Gramps, I believe that the Lowrance will work with a Navionics "discovery chart" which should be at least equivalent to the garmin charts, if not better. My lowrance has a much better internal antenna than my Garmin as well.

    I run a 26 foot North River Offshore with twin yamaha 150's. The lowarance unit combines the fuel flow and registers the total for both engines or independently. It is a pretty sweet setup for the cost.

    The reason I didn't get the Topo charts for my Lowrance is because I have a Garmin 376 on the ocean boat and transfeedr it to my river boat with the Garmin topo charts for the rivers. That is where the portability of the Garmin comes in handy. But, now I have sold my riverboat so it really doesn't matter.

    From what I have learned, you can get the engine data through a Garmin that has NMEA 2000, they just dont have the cables premade for the different brands of outboards yet like Lowrance does, they are in the process of developing them. They still use a paddle wheel sensor for fuel flow data which is not as accurate or affordable. I am sure when and if they come out, they will be very good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellamar View Post
    Yep, 0183...sorry about that.

    I don't think the older Garmins are 2000 compatible, but I wasn't really checking into that as I knew the 0183 was what I needed for the Floscan.

    The new rig does pretty well on fuel. Better than our old Wooldridge Classic with the 350/3 stage? Absolutely. Better than my old SportJon? No, but not too far off.

    At 3000rpm cruise she's burning between 8.5-9 gph. Empty boat going to the Pump House for dinner with the wife, I can kick her down to 26-2700 and burn 6.5-7 gph. Loaded boat heading up the Yentna, family of 4, 2 dogs 160 gallons of fuel and gear, ran 3150 rmps burning just at 10gph, which according to the Floscan was more fuel efficient than running at 3000 due to the increased speed (MPG). Overall, very happy with the boat.
    The GPH looks good, you didnt mention at what speed or MPG? I would imagine with that IB that you are crusing in the high 20's mid 30's....? That should equate to some pretty decent numbers.......?

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    Quote Originally Posted by C-Dude View Post
    AK Gramps, I believe that the Lowrance will work with a Navionics "discovery chart" which should be at least equivalent to the garmin charts, if not better. My lowrance has a much better internal antenna than my Garmin as well.

    I run a 26 foot North River Offshore with twin yamaha 150's. The lowarance unit combines the fuel flow and registers the total for both engines or independently. It is a pretty sweet setup for the cost.

    The reason I didn't get the Topo charts for my Lowrance is because I have a Garmin 376 on the ocean boat and transfeedr it to my river boat with the Garmin topo charts for the rivers. That is where the portability of the Garmin comes in handy. But, now I have sold my riverboat so it really doesn't matter.

    From what I have learned, you can get the engine data through a Garmin that has NMEA 2000, they just dont have the cables premade for the different brands of outboards yet like Lowrance does, they are in the process of developing them. They still use a paddle wheel sensor for fuel flow data which is not as accurate or affordable. I am sure when and if they come out, they will be very good.
    Thanks for thr info, I will have to take a closer look at Navionics and Lowrance........................

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    The GPH looks good, you didnt mention at what speed or MPG? I would imagine with that IB that you are crusing in the high 20's mid 30's....? That should equate to some pretty decent numbers.......?
    Yep, there's some cool stuff out there GPS wise. The tough part is finding something with a big screen for the interior rivers, etc. I've always been a Garmin guy, so I didn't really explore the other manufacturers.

    Speeds are low 30's, MPG's are right around 3.0.

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    I'd like to thank all of you for the really great response. There's a bunch of good ideas here to chew on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    AKOutdoorsman,

    [...] I know you have done a bunch of research on this, It appears that none of the Current Garmin models (NEMA 2000 compatible) have the same maploading features as the 398? Is this what you determined?.............thanks
    Yes and no. There are a few other Marine Garmin models (discontinued and not currently in production) that will take upgraded TOPO maps. I chose the 398 due to it being able to upload various types of maps (Garmin and non-Garmin alike), its fishfinder function and its screen size. To be honest I havn't looked at its other functionality since I'm happy with what I already have and have yet to buy a Flowscan or Smartcraft gauge.

    I'll look though my notes and find the specific Marine Garmin models I learned you can upgrade in a similar way for others to consider and search for. If I recall correct, there were 2 or 3 "newer" models (that Ellamar didn't mention and may not be aware of) which are discontinued you can upgrade in a similar way. I learned about these after I found and bought my 398 - otherwise I may have had one much sooner (and perhaps much cheaper ).
    "He should have been packing a more powerful gun...you have to be a very good shot or very lucky to stop a brown bear with a .357 Magnum." - Rick Sinnott, Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist after a double attack by a grizzly.

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    So from what I've read a 398 is the way to go for the best GPS/plotter for the interior rivers. No luck finding any new ones but I do have a line on a couple used ones. Just wondering what you guys thought a nice used 398 should sell for.

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    Do they even make a inland lake and rivers? Does Navonics make a chip? I have the coastal chip/program on my Lowrance, but when I run the Yetna, it doesn't show the river.

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