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Im thinking about buying a handheld GPS as a backup to my fixed mount unit. I always carry charts and feel that I could crawl home in heavy fog via my compass, ded reckoning and basic navigation skills but having a backup will give me some more piece of mind. My questions are : Is it worth the extra money to get a unit with a chart? Do they show enough detail to really show you the way home in a pinch or am I better off just buying a basic unit that just gives Lat/Long? Any recommendations? I'm not really too concerned with buying the lowest cost unit. Thanks all
 

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I picked up a Garmin 76csx last year for the same reason. It works great and uses the same charts as my fixed mount Garmin. Detail is the same. You only have to buy the nautical charts on a cd and then down load them to the gps unit. I also bought the US road maps to download so I can use the unit on land and sea. I also take it when I go hiking up in the woods. I got mine for under $400 and the marine cd was about $110, same for the US street maps. I usually keep mine in my ditch bag on the boat. It uses two AAA batteries and lasts about 20 hours. You can buy 2gig micro SD chips for it too for about $20 in BJ's or Cosco. The unit comes with a 128mb chip, but it doesn't hold too much chart data for the road maps.

Andy
 

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Hi,

Nice to have a backup but it would be something for pea soup to move in and your GPS happened to fail. If your still concerned, get the basic $99 gps. Just save a few key waypoints to get you back to the dock. I would just be careful about the weather and make sure your current GPS is in perfect working order (connections clean, power good, etc).

Marc
 

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another vote on the 76csx, i use it as my primary and only gps . i installed the micro sd with the nav charts. i was impressed that for such a small screen i get a pretty nice display.
JP
 
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