We are considering getting a GPS for our boat and it would be good to have one that could be used both on land and water. By water I am referring to inland lakes and rivers of the USA. Thank you in advance for your information.
I have been looking at this series as an upgrade myself. It appears to share a great many similarities to the Zumos in that it is waterproof (or is that water resistant) and will handle the lakes and streams files for boating. No bluetooth or MP3, but you can add traffic with the right cord.
The 550 is currently listed at $299 on the Garmin site.
EDIT: Guess I should add that the unit is motorcycle friendly, so it is quite rugged and will take the lumps and bumps one of the hand-helds will as well.
There are a lot of "Handheld" Garmins out there that work just great in this dual role. I personally have the Garmin GPSMap 76CS with the Canadian Topos loaded in it. I have a RAM Mount and use it on my ATV, also when in the bush hiking and I have a spare mount base which is permanently mounted in my boat. I find it's absolutely great in pinpointing where I'm catching fish be it in a bay, on a point or over an underwater structure. I then can download these points into my computer and call them up again to reload and re-use whenever I feel the need. I'm sure the Colorado and many others can be used in a similar manner. So the short answer is "Yes."
You should consider the Garmin GPSMap76C, it is not only waterproof, it floats.
...they're both great, but do serve different purposes. If you want turn by turn navigation, text to speech support, the 76CX types aren't going to do it for you. For something like bike riding, ATV, kayaking, hiking, they're great. And the water resistance makes them far more rugged than something that needs to be babied like the nuvi.
The GPSMap 76CS is waterproof and color. The CSX is basically the same unit but has the SD card slot. Therefore not likely as waterproof. In any event, you can mount it high enough in the boat where it won't get wet and if it rains, you could put a zip-lock bag over it to keep it dry. lol
There are several current models that are expressly intended for both marine and vehicular use - all of them are by definition motorcycle friendly.
First up the the Nuvi 550. It comes with street maps and can accept optional marine maps. I could visit the web page to be certain, but I don't believe it comes with any marine accessories at all.
On the 'more marine' side, there are the GPSMAP 378 and 478 which both come with peloaded marine and street maps and with mounts for both yor car and a very nice gimbal mount for your boat. They accept Garmin's accessory sonar, support XM radio (and Nexrad weather displays) and so on. The big difference from your perspective is that the 378 comes with inland waterways and the 478 does coastal waterways.
There IS an issue with route recalculation on the 378 - but it isn't by any means fatal.
The latest 'marine that does automotive' from Garmin is the GPSMAP 640. It has a HUGE 5" screen and comes with no street mapping - you have to buy it separately.
There are also the obsolete, but still available GPSMAP 276c and 376c versions of the 378 and 478.
I invite you to head over to the Garmin web site and physically compare the specifications side-by-side.
and it is said to give turn by turn street navigatio, plus have waterproof qualities, and even a built in 3.2 megapixel camera.
I bought mine for my motorcycle but was in the market for a boat at the time so went with a marine GPS. Never got the boad but glad I got the GPS I did, because my bike thinks it's a boat and has been underwater numerous times with no problem. It has basic marine maps loaded but I haven't used them to give any feedback there.
The CSX is basically the same unit but has the SD card slot. Therefore not likely as waterproof.
Not true! The SD card is under the battery compartment so just as waterproof as the CS.
I have a 76CSx and used it for many cross country trips before I got the nüvi 760. The 76CSx doesn't speak but it chirps, trills, etc. - depending on what sounds YOU set for the alerts - and has full mapping and routing capability. I used it a lot and was never disappointed. It has full routing capability and truly saved my butt a few times when I was suddenly into highway construction, weird and heavy traffic, etc. when traveling cross country. Just like the nüvi, it simply recalculated the route and sent me back on my way. It will take the current road maps, topo, marine maps, etc. and uses a microSD card so you can get a big one and put multiple maps on it. It comes with Mapsource which I often used to calculate routes that I then sent to the GPS. It's also waterproof and floats if it falls into the water.
The ultimate answer: Garmin GPSmap 76CSx!!
CSx has a compass! All GPSmap76xxx are waterproof to the same degree.
GPSmap76-serie have all turn by turn IF it is loaded with a routeable map
Somehow | got the impression the OP was looking for a vehicular navigator and not a handheld with a tiny screen.
I understood that to be the requirement - a unit for both the boat and the car. The 3.5" screen on the 550 is a little small for a boat but works will in a car. But then it depends on the boat and where the unit is being used.
I got that too, something that could be used both on water and off.
There are a few options depending on the water resistant requirements that the original poster needs. It would be nice if he/she would get back to us and give us that info.
For water resistance, the 76 series, or even the 60CSx (as I have) models are excellent.
The off-road based units such as the 60 or 76 series are geared towards peaks and other topo related landmarks, and that could be valuable in the water. The other street based units are just going to display basic road travel information, and are very good on land.
One also needs to view the compatability of the needed map set to the chosen unit from Garmin (or any other manufacturer) and decide what feature set they need, to make a valuable decision.
Things like how long it will take to get 3d satellite fix should also be considered.....The 60CSx is FAST!
Be aware that with any Garmin unit, you will need to turn off city maps in the map display setup to see the TOPO or Marine map set, as it takes priority for some reason.
For the rest, a non-water resistant PC solution may also be considered.
I use a 250w on land, and a 60CSx AND the 250w off road. I have topo 2008 maps loaded into both, as well as City Navigator 2009.
Moral is, that I use 2 GPS units side by side in many cases to get the best of both worlds.
Good luck in your decision, whatever it may be.
Try the Garmin GPSMap 640. It has CN NA pre-installed and with the push of a button on screen it switches to marine mode. Just pop in the charts you want and you're off to the races. My cousin just got one and we tried it out last weekend. I think it's the best of both worlds. It recognizes what cradle it's put into and automatically switches to the correct mode. The only catch it that if you want audio on the water, you need to wire it into a speaker. Mind you, we find it hard to hear each other while boating, let alone the chartplotter. It does have a poor cousin, the 620 which does NOT come with street maps.
I'm surprised nobody mentioned the Garmin Quest or Quest 2, which can probably be picked up pretty cheap used. They are both water resistant and can be loaded up with any Garmin maps. Keep in mind that the original Quest can only take the non NT maps which may have stopped in 08
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