Think You Might Need A Chart Plotter?
|Clearwater Harbor FL Spoil Island|
Over the years the durable 120 became difficult to wake up in the morning, usually taking its time to find satellites and it could not plot a route to save its processor. After Sixteen years of adventures a dark circle formed in the exact center of the display and grew in area ultimately becoming a total eclipse.
|16 Years of Service|
DOIN THE SEA FOG SLOG
Our new Garmin GPS640 Maps arrived in a large box of some heft. This is significant because as we all know anything expensive must have these qualities in direct proportion to their cost to have real value. The large hefty box included important documents, books, parts and accessories in impressive plastic bags that further justified the cost. A word of caution is in order. Offerings from some providers included remanufactured, refurbished or open frame units at a lower price. The fine print explained that while the unit would function properly some accessories may be missing. Given all the parts, pieces and paraphernalia shipped in our box the risk was not worth taking and well worth the $40 difference.
The unit fits perfectly on a swing arm in HideAway’s companionway. The nautical mount has a feature that scared the ptooohies out of us when first used. One of us bumped the GPS pretty hard causing it to spin to almost vertical! Turns out the mount has a clutch that allows for such impact. A nice amenity on a heeling sailboat.
View From the Helm
The Touch Screen
The touch screen allows for a larger viewing area and is easy to use. The panning function took some getting used to for the HideAways. Be careful though, if you inadvertently touch the screen something on it will change. In finding your way back to the right screen you may have to employ language some may feel inappropriate. Interestingly it takes some effort to use the on/off switch.
As we sailed out of Pass-A-Grill channel entering crucial waypoints the 640 could not find marker G7A. That might not mean much to you, but G7A is the closest marker with adequate water depth to afford the south bound intentions of the HideAways. Full magnification was required to find the channel marker in a water way where 4 foot wakes are common. How much fun can one sailor stand? After the waypoint is entered the mark will show at any magnification.
A Most Annoying Feature