We have been renting boats in the past, but we always used charts. For costal navigation it does the work perfectly. But welcome to the 21th century and I was decided to make the step. The SW Florida water and very shallows and I certainly don’t want to get stuck on a sandbar on a Sunday afternoon being the local attraction! I know that these electronics shinny things are not the full answer, but I guess it is certainly a good aid for navigation.
Some people advised me to use my mobile phone, but I find the screen very difficult to read. So, I was decided for a chartplotter !
I have been looking on the internet for a few models (didn’t want to invest a fortune) and finally went to Fort Lauderdale to buy one. The guy there wasn’t the winner of the best customer service of the year (to say so). I had hard time to get a few words from him and very few advice’s. I stepped back (call it a strategic retreat). The week after, we went to the boat and I stopped by West Marine in Cape Coral. I had some good information there. My criteria were very simple: I didn’t want to invest more than 500$, have a good resolution in a screen not smaller than 5 inches and have a reliable device easy to install. It seems that Ray Marine was out of the picture (I read a lot of negative comments). My choice ended up very quickly between Garmin and Lowrance. Unfortunately, the stock of Lowrance was very limited and the models available had a lower resolution and less details on the chart. I finally went for a Garmin. I did not need the fishing thing but seems most of them come with the feature !
Monday, we are going to install it! My dad is coming from Europe so let find him some work to do ! Will let you know !