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Marine Gps Systems - Finding a Marine GPS System - Marine GPS System Product Features, Popular Marine GPS Systems

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While more and more cars are coming equipped with built-in GPS systems, it is still not difficult to find your way without a GPS. However, when you are out on the water in a boat, it is much more difficult to find your way if you get lost without a GPS. Therefore, marine GPS systems are, for most boaters, a non-negotiable piece of equipment. However, when you are looking for marine GPS systems, the number of features and products available can be a little bit daunting.

Marine GPS System Product Features

When considering a marine GPS system, you first need to know the basic features that are offered. In general, you should consider the size and features of the unit you want and the amount of money you can spend.

In most cases, the size of your boat will determine how large your marine GPS system should be. For smaller boats, a portable marine GPS or hand-held version that is quite similar to the GPS units that are usually found in automobiles should be sufficient. However, whether your boat is small or large, you could mount a permanent system on your boat. Also, you will probably want to look for a model that has a trans reflective screen so that you can see it clearly in bright sunshine. While most marine GPS systems are water resistant, most are not completely waterproof, so you may also want to consider a waterproof case or cover.

Along with some of the physical features of a marine GPS system, you also need to consider what software features you would like. Some of the common programs in marine GPS systems include navigate to track features, which allow you to follow previous routes that you have saved on your unit, man overboard buttons, which allow you to mark a spot where you lose a passenger or (more likely) a hat or other small article of clothing, and fisher finders, which come in handy on those days when the fish are hard to find.

Popular Marine GPS Systems

While every boater will want the marine GPS system that is equipped with all of the newest bells and whistles, for most people, the GPS system they choose will come down to the price tag. Prices for marine GPS systems can range from around $100 to over $3000, so most people should be able to find a unit that fits their budget. If you are looking for a higher end marine GPS system, the Garmin GPSMAP 5212 is one of the best models on the market. This product retails for about $3400, so it definitely on the high end of marine GPS systems. It has a 12.1 inch XGA screen, and comes with hardware for easy mounting in your boat. For extra charges, you can equip the GPSMAP 5212 with high-powered radar, sonar, and XM satellite weather and radio. Another popular marine GPS is the Garmin GPSMAP 378. This unit, which can be easily mounted on the console of your boat, retails for about $1,000. It has a 3.8 inch screen and comes with several software programs, including several route tracking programs. If you are looking for a less expensive model, then something like the $400 Magellan Crossover GPS could be a good option. This GPS unit has route tracking for both marine and land maps, so it could be a good option for someone looking for a versatile GPS system. Finally, if you are looking for a portable marine GPS system in the $100 range, something like the Garmin GPSMAP 76 could be a good option. This small unit is versatile but includes route tracking and the basic features necessary for a marine GPS system.

With so many options at several price ranges, everyone from the weekend fisherman to the serious marine navigator should have little trouble finding the right marine GPS system.

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