Florida Keys

Florida Keys

Postby iknowalttl » Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:11 pm

I was talking with my daughter about getting together this summer for vacation and now have a house on Torch Key for the second week of June... I haven't decided yet to go from home (north Florida at the Suwannee River) to the Keys by land or sea but the plan calls for having the boat at the Keys for that week... if anyone has any "things you have to do" suggestions for the Keys area they would be greatly apreciated... I have been there only once and no boating was involved so I have no idea yet what there is to do there... my quest has just begun...

also I am getting ready to purchase a chartplotter/GPS and looking at the Garmin 478... does anyone have any input of one of these units? especially any cons or things I might miss out on by having this type of unit... I like the idea of being able to use it on land as well as water... I have no electronics currently on the boat except a depth finder and no experience to tell me what I would really have a need for and what I would like to have available
Mike
'89 Commodore 280
5.0s and Alphas
Fanning Springs, Fl
User avatar
iknowalttl
 
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 8:08 am
Location: Fanning Springs, FL

Re: Florida Keys

Postby Chris_in_Texas » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:15 pm

I can't help you with the Keys, as I am in Dallas, however I can give you my input on the Garmin GPSMAP 478.

I have had one of these units since they came out, and love it. While I primarily use it on inland lakes (more fitting for the 378), the 478 has additional flexibility in the fact that you can simply purchase a memory card (although the crappy Garmin standard card and not a nice cheap high capacity SD card) and load the inland lakes off of DVD. I also load the topo maps as well in there and can simply select what to display. 80% of the time I use this unit in the car, but do use it in the boat as well. The automotive side is great, typical turn by turn voice prompted navigation, which a bunch of ability to customize the output and display. I wouldn’t ever purchase an “automotive” unit only. The user interface has been so dumb down that you can’t even get your lat and long and altitude.

I have the GXM30 and highly recommend it as well. That will allow for XM weather and XM radio. I haven't purchased the sonar unit nor do I have it hooked up to the VHF radio, both of which you can do. It would be a good backup to your existing depth finder as well as the fish finder if needed. Simply purchase the black box sonar and a transducer for it.

I have the Raymarine C80 as my primary chartplotter unit in my boat, however because I am too cheap to purchase the Sirius receiver and another weather subscription. I use it while at the lake mainly for the weather and radio. Its a good backup unit, however being on a 30,000 acre lake its not to hard to find home. I can always pull over to shore and walk to a gas station and ask for directions if needed. :)

From a con perspective I would like to see Garmin update the marine charts a bit more. Since I have purchased the unit no marine map charts have been updated. While the street maps update each year, they are slow with the marine charts. Another con is a few slight bugs from an automotive perspective, not really relevant here, and not a show stopper.

I have taken it on cruises in the Caribbean and works like a charm, all the XM parts as well, just plop the XM puck out on the balcony railing and there you go. Watch the progress of the ship at 19 mph. I have included a track from the cruise ship when leaving Jamaica and for some reason the captain decided that the quickest way between to points is a circle. Its easy to transfer the tracks from the GPS to PC.

Crazy departure.jpg


If this would be your only GPS unit on the boat for a trip like that I would suggest that you also invest a hundred bucks or so on a secondary handheld unit just in case, that would run off AA batteries. It wouldn’t have any charts but could have simple waypoints to marina’s etc loaded in.
Thanks, Chris

2012 - Regal 35 Sports Coupe - Twin VP 5.7GiCE-300-P - DP-SA - SOLD
2011 - Sea-Doo RXT260s - 1503HO Rotax 4TEC
2007 - Regal 3060 - Twin VP 5.0OSi - XDP - SOLD
2002 - Crownline 230BR VP 8.2GSiPEFS - DP-SM - SOLD
User avatar
Chris_in_Texas
2013 Regal Owners MULTIPLE Donator!
2013 Regal Owners MULTIPLE Donator!
 
Posts: 4354
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:56 pm
Location: Frisco, TX (DFW Area)

Re: Florida Keys

Postby ShaLyn Too » Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:50 am

Hi Chris,

Which GPX and Google Map plotting software have you found is best ?
User avatar
ShaLyn Too
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:40 am

Re: Florida Keys

Postby Chris_in_Texas » Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:10 pm

I just use the Mapsource and then export to Google Earth. I don't like v6.14.0 and greater, they have really slowed down the user interface and the latest release that I will run currently is 6.13.7.
Thanks, Chris

2012 - Regal 35 Sports Coupe - Twin VP 5.7GiCE-300-P - DP-SA - SOLD
2011 - Sea-Doo RXT260s - 1503HO Rotax 4TEC
2007 - Regal 3060 - Twin VP 5.0OSi - XDP - SOLD
2002 - Crownline 230BR VP 8.2GSiPEFS - DP-SM - SOLD
User avatar
Chris_in_Texas
2013 Regal Owners MULTIPLE Donator!
2013 Regal Owners MULTIPLE Donator!
 
Posts: 4354
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:56 pm
Location: Frisco, TX (DFW Area)


Return to General - Florida Area

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests