on August 2, 2008
This is the first GPS Unit I have owned for boating, and I have not done
much fishing with this yet. I'm going to try to list some pros/cons that are not in your average description.
I definitely recommend this unit if you are not going to use radar or the XM/Sirius weather data. If you may want that in the future, you may want an expandable unit instead.
Here are some pro's when it comes to installing the unit.
* This unit has a built in GPS antenna, which can save you time & money from having to get an external antenna and run the wires (although you can use an external antenna if you wish). It has a digital GPS NMEA output so you can use its built-in GPS antenna and wire it to other devices like a DSC VHF radio. This saves from having to buy a $250 external antenna that has NMEA. To install, I ran the transducer wire and connected to the main cable with the power wires.
* The screen size isn't the biggest and initially it was a big concern (I love big screens). However, the screen has proven to be very adequate. Especially since I don't really have the room for a bigger screen.
* Easily removable so you can use it on more than one boat, or you remove so it doesn't get stolen or exposed to sun/rain. There is just one plug to disconnect, and as you wire in things (i.e. the transducer), you wire it to the other end of the plug that is hidden under the console. Some units require add-ons to go all the way to the base unit.
* EASY UPGRADE. A huge plus for me. The Garmin transducers are interchangeable, so you can upgrade to other Garmin units without buying a new transducer. A huge plus from other brands. Also, the single cable connector is the same for Garmin units, so you don't need to change your wiring when you upgrade your unit.
* You can buy external power source (12v or 120v) so you can use it in your car or at your house (to program, etc). Since it has a built-in GPS antenna, you can locate yourself. Unfortunately, on land there are not many roads pre-programmed (just large roads), so it won't help much on land unless you buy external maps
Advantages using the device.
* A lot of great features. But it does require a little time to play with to learn them all. Also, there are large menus with offer a lot of options, but then it's a lot to go through. Once I set it up, I find that I don't have to go back to the menus. There are many cool features that I don't mention here since I'm focusing on general day-to-day use.
* The Screen is super bright - even in bright sunlight in Florida summer.
* You can customize the display easily to display the information that you want (i.e. just Speed, or Speed and depth, or depth, water temperature and compass heading, etc). With a click of the button, you can easily remove all data and just show the map.
* The zoom in / zoom out works pretty quickly. There is a small delay, but not bad.
* Built in tidal charts for many locations for current and future times. A huge plus if you beach your boat on sand bars so you don't get stuck at low tide. Also great for planning future trips.
* Lots of built-in landmarks such as marinas, restaurants, etc. I use it to find businesses all the time.
* Built in solar/lunar charts to tell you sunrise, sunset. Helpful when you need to know how much daylight you have.
* I was able to download free GPS software (EasyGPS) and easily download and/or upload my waypoints, tracks and routes.
* Lots of great alarms - anchor drift, shallow water, deep water and much more. The anchor alarm is great for those who anchor overnight so you don't drift. Unfortunately, sometimes these alarms are annoying when you don't want them, and a pain to completely disable on the fly.
* It is fairly easy to use, but definitely not idiot-proof. If you want the easiest to use unit, I don't know if this is it or not.
* External maps are EXPENSIVE. You can buy the pre-loaded cards ($150), or you can buy an empty card ($80), and then buy the maps and the unlock code ($150), and then download it.
* There is a bug in the unit when your map is straddling a map boundary. It will not display one side correctly unless you zoom out. Fortunately, the boundaries are far apart. This may get fixed in a newer software version.
* Some of the buttons are not intuitive. For example, if I want to remove the speed/depth reading from the map temporarily so I can see the full map, it has a great feature to just hit the button to toggle the view. However, you have to remember if you hit the "map" button or the "data" button, or some other button.
* As with all devices that don't have keyboards, simple tasks take a while (i.e. naming a waypoint), but you can use a computer to quicken this process.
on November 6, 2006
I bought this unit to upgrade my inshore boat. I have a offshore boat too.
Garmin makes top of the line GPS chartplotter's. If you can run a Garmin you can just about run any of the Garmin's.
The 498 has a page that has a Flasher on it and no way to take this out of the mix. Why would anyone want this antiquated tech?
Garmin's responce to this question was:
Thank you for contacting Garmin International.
Sorry there is not a way to take the flasher off of the pages. The reason
why it is on there is that some fisherman still use and like the feature.
Product Support Specialist
1200 E. 151st Street
Olathe, KS 66062
I run my fishfinder's in manual mode. Talk to any tech and they will confirm that you have better control. This one has been hard to do so far while running the boat. To many menu's to jump back and forth thru for depth & gain.
Understand that I am a little spoiled with a Furuno 582 on my offshore boat, but the Sitex profish II that I replaced was much easier.
I've got a feeling that I will end up with a Furuno 620 on the inshore boat and just disconnect the transducer from the 498 making it esentially a 492.
Once you have had a Furuno with knob adjustment's you will throw rock's at a unit that you have to jump thru menu's. I teach people to run the Furuno in 2min that have never fooled with one. [No exaggeration]
I have found no diffrence in using the preprogramed chart and a programed chart in this unit. I don't have a new G2 chart to compare with. G2 chart's have some more feature's on them.
I own 2 other garmin product's. A 76Cs handheld for backup on both boat's and a 2006C on the offshore boat. I like them both VERY much.