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  1. #1
    Haven't fallen yet. MJE's Avatar
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    what is the best handheld GPS/Chart Plotter nowadays??

    Since I am going to be riding in completely unfamiliar waters I figure I should pick one up. I saw a thread about a 44dv unit. I was hoping some of you could share your experiences on the different available brands, price points etc. I am trying to order one or pick one up as early as tomorrow.

    thanks,

    Mike


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    The unit I use is definitely not hand held. I needed a unit with a big enough screen that I could read it at speed while the hull was bouncing on the waves.

    Small screens tend tend to be difficult to read, especially small details like the symbols for rocks and underwater obstructions while running on plane.

    I currently use a Garmin echomap 75sv which clips into a mount attached to the hood of the storage compartment. It has a 7" display. If I was buying another I would seriously consider the 9" display or even a 10" model.

    The echomap clips into a Garmin bracket which holds all the wiring connections, so install or removal of the actual unit takes just a few seconds.

    It has autorouting which will chart a marine route between my current location and a selected destination, avoiding water which is shallower than the minimum required depth I set for my watercraft. It will guide around islands, rocks, etc.

    It has a sonar sensor so I can see the actual bottom contour and current depth, Garmin Vision chart chip can show the entire water basin view. The SV model also shows underwater sonar side views.

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  4. #3

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    I have been shopping these too. The 44dv is not a hand held. It is just a compact well featured GPS/Depth/Fish Finder. From my research so far, it looks like the Garmin units have the best designs for mounting on a jet ski. With these types you need to wire into a power supply on your jet ski or boat. You also need to mount and wire up a transducer so the unit can image the bottom, find fish and let you know the depth. I think the 'dv' units are last year models. Looks like the newer models end with 'cv'. I am looking at the 43cv and 53cv because they come with inland water maps as I do most of my riding on inland lakes. The 44cv and 54cv come with coastal maps. The 43s and 44s have 4" displays. The 53s and 54s have 5" displays. I took the dry storage bucket out of my 2015 FX Cruiser HO into Bass Pro to see if the Garmin units would fit inside as my plan is to pop the GPS/Finder unit out of the mounting bracket and place it in the dry storage bucket when not in use. Both the 4" and 5" models fit easily into the dry storage bucket.

    Garmin does make some handheld marine models that run on batteries and they offer mounting brackets for them, if you want to attach a bracket to your ski. The Garmin GPSMAP 78sc comes with offshore maps but I think you can buy inland lake maps for it too. You do not get the depth soundings/ fish finding with the handheld units.

  5. #4
    RGUN's Avatar
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    I've had experience with Garmin and Humminbird Chartplotters and my personal preference is Garmin. I have a bias shaped from ~15 years of reliable Garmin chartplotters. I currently use a Montana 650, Echomap 54dv and 75dv along with an older GPSMAP 540 that was just decommissioned. You should decide which size you would like first. I ran my Montana 650 on my RXPX and for 95% of my riding it was perfectly usable. The major drawback as K447 notes is the small screen which made it difficult to read at speed. I did not find this to present an issue with my riding style, as I tend to go slow in unfamiliar or tight water so I was able to read it.

    I'd only consider fixed mount options that can be mounted up relatively close to your field of view. Handhelds are great, but I can't imagine using one as a primary GPS at any speed (we have a backup GPSMAP60 that could only be considered an emergency device).

  6. #5
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bizeagle View Post
    ... I took the dry storage bucket out of my 2015 FX Cruiser HO into Bass Pro to see if the Garmin units would fit inside as my plan is to pop the GPS/Finder unit out of the mounting bracket and place it in the dry storage bucket when not in use. Both the 4" and 5" models fit easily into the dry storage bucket.
    ...
    Be careful about stashing electronics in the storage bucket. Unless the unit is well padded/wrapped it can be damaged from bouncing over waves against the storage walls/floor and other hard items in the storage.

  7. #6
    I also run a 7" Garmin on my ski, I wanted a big enough screen for easy viewing at high speed and bouncing. I also choose one with push buttons as opposed to touch which I imagine will not work so great on a ski. It also has the snap in feature and the possibility to remove the whole unit incl snap-in holder.

    I have mine mounted in front of the digital gauges on my ski which makes it sit almost below the hood. The speed I get in the GPS, and I can lean over and check the fuel level and trim.

    I wish Yamaha had NMEA2000 ports on the engine, then one would get all needed engine data and more in the GPS unit...

  8. #7
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elchenland View Post
    ...
    I wish Yamaha had NMEA2000 ports on the engine, then one would get all needed engine data and more in the GPS unit...
    If the stock Yamaha ECU does not have NMEA compatible outputs, do you know if there is an aftermarket interface module that could translate from Yamaha ECU to NMEA data?

  9. #8
    Sorry, no idea. I haven't checked with Yamaha directly either regarding the NMEA2000.

    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    If the stock Yamaha ECU does not have NMEA compatible outputs, do you know if there is an aftermarket interface module that could translate from Yamaha ECU to NMEA data?

  10. #9
    Would any of you have mounted a GPS/Chartplotter on your PWC be willing to post some photos of how you mounted it?

  11. #10
    pro12,txi,msx140 SMOKEWAGON's Avatar
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    Been a long time!

    I am installing a Garmin 74sv in a 2016 Yamaha VXR, has anybody figured out if it will connect to NMEA2000?
    I can't find much info regarding waverunners.

    thanks,

    Smokewagon

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