About Hand-Held GPSs for marine use

What a confusing landscape! There are many products and variations: Garmin International is the dominant player, but there is also Lowrance.

The bottom line is that the Lowrance iFinder H20 is really great: cheap ($170), SD card slot, and the manual I find quite easy to read. The drawback is that, alghough you can upload maps, it seems that there is no good marine cartography available for the unit. I could be mistaken on that, as Lowrance states that you can upload Navionics charts, but it doesn't look promising.

Garmin's BlueChart software is quite good. But the Garmin GPSMAP 76 only has 8MB internal memory and a 9 pin serial connector. The only way to avoid these limits is to go to the much more expensive ($500) 76CSX - which has the admittedly nice feature of a color display. (And for an extra $50 you get a built-in compass and barometer with the 76CSx).

I don't have a computer with a serial port anymore, so I guess I'm gonna have to upgrade. But $300 for a USB port is harsh!

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