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  • #3913

    Now that we are on the verge of a new cruisnig season, does anyone have any recommendations for a hand held GPS? As far as I can see two price brackets exist, those without mapping facility and those with.

    Does anyone use a GPS witnout mapping facility and would you recommend that route?

    Many thanks
    Buttercup 7730


    I use a Garmin GPS60 which does not have mapping.

    I use it both on and off the water, though admittedly my cruising does not really require one at all.

    I think it is perfectly adequate for the needs of most cruisers. If you think about it, it is only relatively recently that mapping has become common on yachts and this is for convenience rather than necessity. I think that the more gadgets we have, the less we use good practise in our voyage planning. And yes, I am as guilty as the next man. I regularly use route planning software integrated with my GPS for sorting routes for mountain biking. My worst episodes have been when I have relied too heavily on these and not considered the more tradtional map and compass enough.

    Save yourself some money, get a non-mapping GPS and buy some decent charts.

    My humble opinion



    Money and the fact I can barely justify GPS for my sailing mean I go for a similar solution to Martyn, a Garmin GPS 72. Its bulky compared to a land-use GPS but an affordable toy (around £80 if you shop around), capable of doing the proper job if I needed it to. A “serious” cruiser might justify a mapping GPS but since you should always have paper charts in case of GPS failure…..what’s the budget?!


    Many thanks for your comments. I’m of the same opinion that for dingy cruising, I can’t justify the expense of a mapping GPS. I tend to rely on preplanning using charts etc. However I can see the sense in using technology to get you out of a hole and it would be foolhardy to igore the technology that’s available. I have therefore opted for the Garmin Etrex H ( £80 -ish ) in the hope that it can at least give me lat and long of my current position if I ever need it. We’ll just have to see whether the waypoint functionality etc is of any practical use. Please don’t tell me I’ve opted for a donkey!!


    Hi Will
    Looks fine to me!



    Pity you weren’t at the Cruising Conference! 😆

    However – Anything Waterproof with good dry cell life and connectivity with a PC is adequate.

    If your eyesight is anything like mine then screen Font size and Data available on the same screen are also important. I use the Garmin GPS60 which is cost effective, using 2 Duracell Ultra AAs will last up to 15hrs, and is very waterproof. Data fields and screen font size are customisable.

    I can connect it to the PC and using a program (shareware) called GPSUtility,, I can organise my waypoints by cruising region uploading only those I need for a cruise after Passage Planning is complete.

    After the cruise is complete, I can download the actual track to my PC to help with the Log compilation.

    There are other tools you can use on the PC for Planning a cruise, and I am putting together a guide which will be available soon.


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