on August 29, 2010
I bought this unit thinking it was a good deal for a unit with a base map included. The map is a blur, and there is no definition once you scroll in. Be prepared to buy an additional sd card to get detailed map information like depth, markers, and even creeks.
on June 26, 2013
Okay, so I didn't purchase this unit off Amazon, although, when i see such ridiculous comments about this unit and the closely related line of GPSMAP units, it's clear that people are just pissed off with life in general and have a need to comment negatively on everything that doesn't go their way!
These units come with a typical MAP,...just like an auto GPS. And just like an auto GPS, you have to continually update it.
Now,...you ARE given a choice as far as your update functions go. You can either update the version you have on the gps,..just like a car unit,...OR,...you can purchase a Vision Map card with much more detailed info and also open up additional navigation and routing options. Does this mean,..it's a scam? Of course not! It's like any other business. There are upgrades for those that want it and can afford them. Even if you didn't have the additional upgrade of the card,...you could still utilize the unit,...BUT,..it would be nicer if you had an upgrade card because it opens up a wealth of information(tide charts, different navigational routing methods, hi-res graphics of landmarks, etc, etc, etc).
And another thing,...since these people are so quick and eager to badmouth the purchase of an upgraded map card. If they did their homework,...LIKE I DID,...they would have realized that when purchasing any one of the line of these particular units,...you could have received a full $200 rebate on buying the unit and card at the same time. So,..my $212 upgrade card,..ended up costing me,...$12.
Do I sound somewhat arrogant,..maybe,...but,...someone needs to be real here!!
As far as the unit's functionality goes,...the unit is brilliant. I boated a 4+hour ride from 9pm til 1:15 AM,.....and had NO difficulties in navigation with this GPS,...along the coast,...through canals,...under bridges,....easily navigating through channels and markers,...all at midnight, relying on this unit. It was freakin' dark, but the unit (along with my G2 Vision card), was able to foresee the channel markers, buoys, landmarks, that were virtually invisible to me in the dark!!!!!
Oh yeah,..did I mention it was in a pontoon boat!! So, do yourselves a favor,.....DISREGARD the negative comments. They are WITHOUT merit!
on September 11, 2011
My second Garmin. I use this to find reefs in the Fla Keys, with its preloaded maps, it shows almost all the reefs and wrecks. I've used this at night as well, and when it showed a channel marker it was right on the money. Very important for night navigation(lol). I would definitely recommend this product. I use this at least 2 times a month year round in south Florida, and usually go about 15 miles or so offshore every time. I previously had the Garmin 431s, but for a few extra bucks, the 441s has the offshore maps preloaded. Good luck
on July 28, 2011
I was originally concerned the plotter would be too small or too simplistic.
It was not, it scans very quickly and keeps all of the immediate area on screeen.
I was pleased beyond expectation.
1- I saved $100 in addition to eliminating shipping and taxes by using Amazon
2- The plotter aquires a fix super quick and scrolls seamlessly, quicker than any other brand
3- The menues and functions are logical and easy to use
4- The plotter is rugged, waterproof and has a bright screen
5- The plotter uses an internal antenna, so the install is very simple
6- Cost and ease of use makes this essential safety equipment
on June 14, 2010
The unit has a nice clear screen that shows up well in any light conditions. I have the same problem with this unit that I had with my handheld Garmin. The Inland Lakes software does not properly show the location of the boat. It will display the boat skidding along on dry land when you are 200ft. off shore. This seems to be a problem with the way the software interacts with the unit. If you save the track to a computer, open Inland Lakes there, it will always show the boat in the water. Trying to explain this to Garmin support is like talking to my cat. I have had a lot of Garmin products and they work well for the most part, but, support is almost nonexistent.
on August 13, 2010
The description leads one to believe it has a U.S. base map installed. Unless I'm doing something wrong it has no map what so ever. Be prepared to spend another $99 to upload any kind of map. Yes, it is of good quality. Installation is a snap. Most of us will only use the ground and hot wire. More advanced installation will provide you with leads to your radio and other communication devices. Ease of use is good, you will have to page through a lot to find what you want though. One thing I really don't like is once you mark your position you have to page forward twice to name it then scrolling through the alphabet characacters is like pulling teeth. Don't get me wrong. I will rate it good for value, just remember you get what you pay for. If I had to do it all over I would spend the extra money for a better model.
on September 12, 2013
I recently purchased this unit in July of 2013. where as the GPS portion of the unit is good, the sonar has a big problem . Going slow, everytime a move from shallow water to deep water, the sonar loses the bottom reading and locks up. Sometimes it will reacquire the bottom on it's own after a minute or two, and sometimes you have to reboot the unit completely for it to reset. Worthless for fishing and trying to follow a contour line. Worse yet Garmin customer service could not figure out the problem and then just told me it was my installation that was at fault ( Wow, I have moved the transducer to 3 different locations on my boat and it does the same thing in each location). I would never by another Garmin product. they also would not refund my money!!
on May 21, 2012
This is my second fixed chartplotter, the first one was a garmin GPSMAP 172, which i really liked but was too old, the plastic around the rear socket was collapsing due to a 7 year sunlight exposure.
I had to buy a SD card with the charts from my region, which were pretty expensive, but i knew that anyway.
The sattelite acquisition is very fast even when cold. The screen is also clear allowing good view from multiple angles.
I don't like so few buttons and i don't like the screens. I miss the "road" one from the 172MAP.
When approaching a waypoint, lets say a small fishing reef, or when a very precise arrival to drop an anchor is needed, i realized the unit was a little bit confused even with "track up orientation". Sometimes I find myself circling the waypoint because the pointing arrow simply doesn't show off or do not indicate the exacty location (0 ft distance). Conclusion: it (the pointing arrow) is not so large and intuitive like the one i had on my previous GPS. Don't get me wrong, of course i can put the boat on the waypoint, but it is not as easy as it was with my first GPS, mainly at night when the human eye looses depth of field and rate of turn awareness because of the lack of external visual reference.
Simply you cannot edit the numbers to show the pointing arrow in a fixed manner together with the other data (SOG, distance to point, ETA, etc), rather you have to wait that it pops out in the chart when your cross track error reaches some value (i suppose).
So, in some cases is hard to put the boat "spot on" the waypoint.
For this price point, we consumers could have a better product, with more buttons. The navigation between the screens is time consuming, the user always have to go back to the HOME screen in order to access other charts. I miss the PAGE button!!!
I don't know if i made myself clear.
I would not buy this product again.