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Old 01-06-2013, 02:39 PM   #1
Jeanzb1
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Default Gps???

We're brand-new to boating on the lake and wondering if it is really a MUST to have a Bizer GPS. Cost is just over $800, including installation. Any advice is much appreciated!
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:04 PM   #2
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Default Gps???

Be prepared for a bunch of answers. Part of the answer lies with how savvy you are about 1), boating and navigation, and 2), techie stuff.

I basically gave up boating a few years ago, but while boating I did not have GPS, so this sort of frames my answer. Personally, no peripheral device should ever take the place of basic navigation and COMMON SENSE.

So, that having been said, I can also say that there is nothing like having a little help when out on the Lake, particularly if bad weather comes upon you quickly.

Good luck with your boating, but, please, don't ever give up the basic chart and navigation skills in favor of a gadget.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:15 PM   #3
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There are several past discussions which touch on the question such as:
http://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums/...ad.php?t=14077

Also a search for GPS or chart plotter will find many discussions on various models.

I think most would say get the Bizer chart and compass and learn to use them even if you spring for the GPS.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:35 PM   #4
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Not a must have, but certainly a make life much easier, especially when in unfamiliar sections of the lake.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:02 PM   #5
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Default Gps

If you do decide to buy a gps unit, make certain that it is compatable with the bizer chip!! But, as others have pointed out you need to know how to navigate with chart and compas. If you travel to other places, other states, or even other lakes within this state, be advised that you will have to make certain that your software (chip) covers that body of water and covers it in detail. Marine gps units are not like units you purchase for your car. For example, the unit will not say "in 200 ft turn right" you will need to read the manual carefully. Good luck!!
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:37 PM   #6
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As said, you will get multilevel answers. I have been boating on Winni for 10 years and use only my Bizer chart. BUT I like to use the chart and study it carefully before leaving the dock. I even give a quick check going some where familiar to me. I don't boat at night.

I don't use the GPS in my car either, so this may be generational or I am just stubborn.

Nonetheless, you do not need a GPS on Winni to enjoy boating the Lake.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:45 PM   #7
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A GPS is nice to have in the daytime but a really shines at night. It makes a cloudy, moonless night enjoyable instead of a white knuckle experience. Obviously you can live without it and you should be able to get home or at least somewhere safe if it breaks. But that applies to anything on your boat.

BTW "really shines" can be a problem with your night vision, make sure you learn how to dim the screen at night.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:59 PM   #8
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Garmin Nuvi 500 & Lake Map.... $299.00 (MSRP you can def find it cheaper) and the Garmin Lake Map $10.... and Bizer Map for backup!

and did I mention the Nuvi 500 is waterproof and you can get the skimobile trail maps for it? I love mine!


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Old 01-06-2013, 09:22 PM   #9
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Before I got a chart-plotter I used to travel the lake with a map on a clip-board. You do want to have a current paper map on board but having the moving map display at near eye-level simplified navigation significantly for me.

Do a search for "Bizer" and you will find that most of the members here prefer their products. There are options available to get their data on Garmin units too.

Good luck!
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:34 AM   #10
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Default Gps

We use one all the time for backwoods snowmobiling in Maine and my wife HAS one in the boat.
My feeling is if you cannot navigate without it then you do not belong out on the lake in the first place. That being said it is a good thing to have but depending on it makes you less aware of your surroundings.
What was it the guy said that ran into Eagle Island way back? Oh, it wasn't on my GPS. They have come a long way but they are still nothing more then a crutch IMHO.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:42 AM   #11
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Thank you so much to all of you for your responses. We appreciate your thoughts.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:41 AM   #12
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Default Phone based GPS option

If cost is important, you should also consider a phone based option if you have a smartphone. I am sure it is not quite as precise or complete but I use an app from Navionics on my android phone (they also have for an iPhone) and find it very useful. Not a substitute for a good map but I use it often when in an unfamiliar area or boating at night around the lake. Shows your real time position and also depth contours. I don't remember what I paid but I think it was about $10.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:53 AM   #13
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Woodsy hit it on the head !!

Nuvi 500 with the $10 added/downloaded Winni map. By the way it is only $199
http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-n%C3%BC.../dp/B001CSZSDI

I will also reiterate what most have said above--First and Foremost learn the Lake the old fashion way, there is NO substitute (chart in hand). After that, the GPS is merely an assist or verification.

Personally, I never even glance at the GPS in the daytime- but again, as someone above mentioned, it's awesome to have with you at night (which as a "newbie" I would not recommend)
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:05 AM   #14
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You can use an automotive GPS. I have a Garmin Nuvi 200 GPS for the car with Garmin lake map and it was OK on the boat but the automotive GPS's do not have the ability to give great detail so are very limited. Also the screen size is rather small for use on the boat in my opinion.

I got a Garmin 521S (Sonar) GPS Chart plotter last year and Garmin Lake Winni map ($10.00 downloaded). This map of Winni is pretty good and along with the Bizer lake map (manditory in my opinion) it has been a valuable asset to our boating. If you do not have a depth finder on your boat you can add one to the base unit 521 or buy the 521S which has the sonar transducer included. Knowing the water depth is very important knowledge for any boat owner. The 521S is $550+ so it is a heafty investment but if you look around you can get them cheaper.

Try: http://g.factoryoutletstore.com for great prices and service.

BTW the sonar transducers are made by Airmar in Milford, NH for Garmin.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:22 PM   #15
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Default No. But...

Not a must, learned to navigate the lake with a map, compass and a good sense of direction many years ago.

That said, assuming that $800 includes a GPS which is compatible with one of the Bizer maps that can be loaded onto the GPS, it's probably well worth it. Peace of mind alone.

I had to run well after dark solo just this past summer on a moonless night and I'll tell ya what, it paid for itself in peace of mind on that run...
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:10 PM   #16
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If you shop around, you can get a new Standard Horizon CP190i and the Bizer C-MAP chip for under $650.

Considering the cost of boating in general, a chartplotter is among the cheapest items to buy!
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:09 PM   #17
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for boating on the lake it is very important to learn the hazard marking system, using a chart, and having a compass.

I have an ancient GPSMAP176 I use a mainly for a speedometer and a trip computer. my boat speedometer is very inaccurate and I can't see it when I'm standing up. it also comes in handy when pulling a tube or skiers. When I'm out for the day, I use the trip computer to keep track of where I've been, miles traveled, travel time, and idle time.

it is worth it weight in gold (well, maybe silver) in the fog and at night. a chart doesn't help much when you're disoriented, have no reference and don't know where you are. in those situations, I'm cautiously traveling at or close to headway speed anyway.

I have several routes to major ports such as Meredith, Center Harbor, Wolfboro, Alton Bay, and the NASWA saved on my GPS, so under severe conditions I can latch on to one of these routes and follow the bread crumb trail back home.

I also use it for geocaching... but that's for another thread.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:48 PM   #18
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Default New prop

If you are new to the lake and are not very good with charts and don't want to spend the money on a GPS then I would strongly suggest you buy a spare prop! The rocks in this lake are VERY non forgiving . You WILL mess up ! And hopefully the prop will be the only issue . The nuvi is effective and can also get the car to Boston or you can get a inexpensive app for your I pad or I phone .
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:25 PM   #19
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I picked up (on advice from forum members) a Lowrance with the Hotmaps pro - which the Winni map is licensed off the Bizer- and absolutely love it. So far (knock, knock, knock) I've had no issues whatsoevah.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:27 PM   #20
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Btw - it was the HDS 5 Gen2. Unit was around $625 online
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:43 PM   #21
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Default more advice

There's lots of good advice here. The unit I'm familiar with is Raymarine with the navionics hotmap chart card. That's a bit expensive, but good. You don't mention your boat, so it's hard to recommend a fixed unit like the Raymarine or a handheld/portable device. If you can, try out different ones to find the one you're most comfortable with.

It bears repeating that there is absolutely no substitute for knowing the lake with chart, compass, and a large dose of common sense! A GPS is indeed a very useful tool, but it is just a high tech tool which can fail along with its human user. "Belmont Resident" alludes to a boater who ran up on Eagle Island a few years ago and claimed that the island was not on his GPS chart. He was correct - he had the state highway map in the GPS, not the lake chart. Never knew the difference and was out at night in total ignorance. One should never go out on the sea with only a GPS and without your chart, compass, sextant, and nautical almanac - nor out on the lake without your chart, compass, and thorough knowledge.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:08 PM   #22
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Default If you have an iPhone or iPad...

Lake Winni App http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lakew...450383355?mt=8

Best purchase I've ever made for my boat. I can use it for both my iPad (no better chart plotter around) or my iPhone. No brainer if you are an Apple user. Based on the Bizer map and about the same price as the laminated map - $35.

I used this app extensively this summer and have been very happy. I have an iPad 2 with 3G (purchased this because it has GPS -- and you don't need to subscribe to a wireless plan to use this built-in GPS) as my primary chart plotter. I use this mostly at night or in areas where I don't know well. It has a case that sits right on my console when needed. I can also run this app on my iPhone 4S with the same functionality but smaller screen. Works well in a pinch. Also provides a speedometer. You purchase this once, use on multiple devices, and get free updates to the Bizer map. Absolute no brainer, especially if you don't have a dedicated chartplotter. Still carry the physical Bizer map but I am much more confident navigator -- and made my boating more fun this year, especially at night.

This is a repost... but I can't help but praise this solution.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:38 PM   #23
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I have been using a similar solution which predates the availability of the IOS app. I purchased a pdf bizer chart for $25 or so (back in 2008), and converted it to the NOAA BSB format. That let me use any number of apps that use the free NOAA RNC charts - my current favorite is iNavX. I was doing this for boating on the ocean anyway, so it was convenient that the Winni chart showed up as one more chart on the list. YMMV.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:14 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugatam View Post
I have been using a similar solution which predates the availability of the IOS app. I purchased a pdf bizer chart for $25 or so (back in 2008), and converted it to the NOAA BSB format. That let me use any number of apps that use the free NOAA RNC charts - my current favorite is iNavX. I was doing this for boating on the ocean anyway, so it was convenient that the Winni chart showed up as one more chart on the list. YMMV.
sugatam, I just noticed that you are fairly new to posting on the forum and glad you have joined us. Have fun and enjoy the Winni Forum while making many new friends. Come and visit us more often now that you have the hang of it.

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