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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars10
3.6 out of 5 stars
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Price:£161.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on 16 October 2012
I bought this product then added the English Channel sailing map from the Garmin site and I've used the map for various sailing trips in the Solent. I've had no problems with getting a GPS signal and the map has been very accurate. (Lots of other maps are available e.g. for walking.)
One or two items on the 78S have been tricky to find in the menu system. I asked for help at the Garmin stand at the boat show and it took three people before getting an answer. Basically even though the screen only shows one option, which is selected by pressing Enter, on some screens pressing Menu can give more options. Simple, but not that obvious when using the 78S.
All in all, it's an expensive package but worth the money for piloting in unknown locations and if you don't want to be stuck at the navigation table unaware of what's happening up top.
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on 15 September 2012
I brought one of these as an upgrade for an old Mallegan for race navigation and used it during Cowes week this year. The first annoyance was that when you set it up for marine use it does not change the prompts and continues to use generic terms. It would have been nice if it showed SOG (speed over the ground) and COG (course over the ground)to avoid confusion. The second was that the cost of the UK maps nearly double the cost of the unit but the crunch issue was how it navigated the route. When you are racing you are supposed to go from the start to the first mark, to the second mark etc and then on to the finish. For round the cans races the finish is usually in the vicinity of the start and the Garmin insisted on providing the bearing to the finish as it was usually closer than the first mark. Their technical support was not very helpful and I was unable to get the unit to work in the manner that I needed. I ended up selecting the marks on a leg by leg basis which defeats the purposes of putting a route into the unit.

On the plus is it very fast to get a fix and the batteries last around 2 days (note that you well generally need to replace them after that as back lighting is reduced when the batteries are below 50%)

In the end I sent it back and I'm still looking for a new handheld for race navigation.
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on 7 December 2013
Bought this to replace an old Garmin 12 hand held GPS, that was lost when I loaned it to someone. This unit seemed to be a similar product but with updated features. Well I really wish I could have just bought another GPS12 because this update is rubbish. The unit itself when it works, is so slow almost to the point of being useless, when finding some address or POI. Also the software is not very intuitive unlike the previous model, it takes ages trying to go into this menu and that to find the setting you are looking for. I connected this unit to my mac and eventually got it to synch all my waypoints and routes from another Garmin GPS unit I have and now it will not reconnect no matter what I do. The screen is to small to be useful for navigating as you really need to have some fields shown at the top such as distance to next turn and this then takes up so much real estate that the map picture is very hard to see. I also bought the UK road mas and the Marine maps and have been disappointed with these as well. I think i need to send my unit back as it randomly crashes and reboots or just stays off. When it works the software is poorly laid out and takes forever to do things that should be easy. All in all this was a very expensive package and no where near worth the money. If you want to have a car sat nav buy a Tom Tom, and for sailing navigation I certainly do not feel that I can trust this thing to work never mind aid my navigation so it is just as well it is waterproof and floats because I can see this thing getting hurled over the side some day soon.
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on 5 August 2012
I purchased this marine gps unit on July 4th 2012 and used it on a trip from Canary Wharf to Harwich and back on an old coal fired steam tug later on that month.
I cannot praise it's performance enough being totally accurate at all times and even more useful with the micro SD card containing the Dover to Amsterdam and England Southeast marine chart which I purchased direct from Garmin.
It took some time to work through the full instruction manual(downloaded from Garmin)and I had to phone Garmin a couple of times for help which was politely and patiently given.
This unit gave great piece of mind during our trip and I would thoroughly recommend it.
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on 4 June 2014
It's got all the functionality needed for sailing, and while resolution/screen definition isn't up to iPad standard, it really is hyper rugged and will take any amount of water, rain, bashing etc.
One issue I have had is the unit switching itself off straight after start up, but solved it by performing a master reset: no idea why, so it loses a star.
Charts are expensive too.
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on 27 June 2013
Purchased the unit as a back up to the on board navigation unit and some additional features.
Great service from Amazon but then looking to purchase some marine charts, tried to contact Garmin UK.
5 calls, held on every time up to 20 minutes and finally gave up, tried to call office but no return of my calls.
What a disappointment, now I must return the unit and find one that I can use.
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on 18 May 2015
My parents purchased this for me as my husband and I have just started sailing our own yacht and we needed a handheld plotter as we have no on board electrics. We have never used one of these before so were not sure what to expect. The plotter is useless for marine navigational purposes if you do not buy the Bluechart g2 packs for the area that you are planning on sailing because the basemap is very basic and does not have sufficient information to make it any use from my perspective and these additional charts are expensive (The English Channel chart is currently £165 for the latest version). Therefore you need to bear in mind that although this unit is very robust, well made and has some great features that you will need to buy the charts if you want to use this item for navigation purposes. Therefore if you are new to this like we are then you need to take this into consideration when purchasing this unit as it may not be a cheap as it first appears.
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on 15 June 2016
Brilliant GPS, rapidly delivered
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on 3 August 2011
Spot on .. Brilliant bit of kit .. Charts seem expensive and lacking in detail ( Turkey ) .. Uk East Coast chart has far more detail .. Bought as backup to onboard system
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on 4 April 2014
I am a regular mark layer for National/International and Olympic courses, and find this model with its reposition here function, first class.
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