Marine GPS


My son the boat owner, make that NEW boat owner as of last summer, knows he needs and wants a (marine) gps unit, but I'm trying to help him understand that he can't make do with a cheapie handheld. He travels locally enough to justify one for his vehicle too actually, if there is a unit which could do double-duty simply via loading more maps. Any suggestions out there for him? (he doesn't have time to come to any forums but I do, so I'll be his intermediate guy here!). Thanks for any help!!!

Garmin Streetfinder C530

Yes there is. Just be aware

Yes there is. Just be aware nothing will work better than something designed for the job.
First get a handheld with upgradeable memory.
Then make sure it accepts something like Garmin's "Bluechart" series and city navagator North America maps.
A handheld will always, always give you the Lat/Long position which can be moved to a chart (by hand).

Go to "" and check out the Marine units and the handheld maping units.

nuvi350 upgraded to V4.3 and small SD card for testing.
etrex Legend
& in route a GPSmap60CSx

nuvi350 upgraded to V4.3 and small SD card for testing. etrex Legend and gps60 csx & GPSmap60CSx

Re Marine Unit

Thanks for the reply - so if I understand your comment, you are suggesting that he look into a handheld unit as well as a regular marine one? Will the nuvi350 handle both marine charts and road maps? I'll forward those last recommendations to him for his consideration, thanks again!

Garmin Streetfinder C530

Garmin Dual Purpose units

While I'm partial to Raymarine for boat units (my current boat has an E120 networked with an E80 in the tower), I am not averse to recommending Garmin. In fact I have a Nuvi 660 for my shoreside use.

Friends of mine have spoken VERY HIGHLY about the GPSMAP 478 for the saltwater uses here in Tidewater, VA. If you are an inland kind of person, go with the GPSMAP 378.

Both come preloaded and you can view the descriptions on the Garmin site.

However, if you want an OUTSTANDING marine unit, go with the Raymarine E-series (E80 or E120). If the cost is too high, the C-series units (C120 or C80) have much of the functionality and do a good job also.

Where do you plan on sailing?

His Doghouse Too

Coming soon to the Nuvi line: Topo & Bluechart cartography


Also announced at CES, the entire nüvi product line will soon accept Garmin’s U.S. Topo and BlueChart cartography. The U.S. Topo cartography will provide basic information such as terrain contours, elevation information, trails, and rivers. BlueChart will show shaded depth contours, intertidal zones, spot soundings, port plans, and navaids with view range and coverage. The cartography will be available from Garmin’s website.

*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

RE: Garmin Dual Purpose units

Thanks much MarinerJoe, some really good information in your message and I will pass it on to the kid - he will use a marine gps unit primarily on the Chesapeake, and from time to time maybe in the good old Chickahominy River down closer to you (visiting relatives). (Genem)

Garmin Streetfinder C530

Regional Marine sites


This site is a great one for POI's and other, primarily land-based GPS questions and issues. As his interest is not as focused on the land side, I would recommend your son get familar with some other marine-centric sites. I am a frequent poster on The Hull Truth ( and the Virginia Board on TidalFish (


RE Regional Marine Sites

Good info, thanks, will pass it along to him. Regards - G

Garmin Streetfinder C530