Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Forums Search:  


Author Topic: Topo or BlueWater?  (Read 4173 times)

Sara-Bay

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 9
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Topo or BlueWater?
« on: December 09, 2015, 06:04:15 PM »
Hi, I'm new here, new to Garmin GPS, and new to kayaking.  I am researching a Garmin handheld to purchase for kayaking in Sarasota Bay (Florida).  I could use some advice and information from anyone who is willing.   :D  I've provided some background info on my intended use, then I've listed my questions, below.  Any help you can provide is much appreciated!

My use is specifically to help me find my way to various islands and points of interest in the Sarasota Bay, and then to be able to find my way back to my launch point.

I don't believe I'll need things like depth of water (I can see where it's shallow!), channel marker info, etc., that would normally be on the BlueWater charts, but I DO want to see islands by name, canals by name, bridges by name, and other features. 

I also need to be able to clearly see where I am, the direction I'm heading, where my launch site is in relation to where I am, to be able to see if I'm on course for my destination and, if not, how to get back on course.  I am NOT a good map reader and, as my son likes to say, I can get lost just getting out of my car!

So, after that long intro, my questions are:

1)  Will a topo map provide the information I described and need to find my way around Sarasota Bay? 

2) Is there anyplace on this site where I can see an example of the information on the topo map for Sarasota Bay?  If not, for any large body of water with islands, bridges, etc.?

2) Do you think I need the BlueWater chart?

3) Do Garmin GPS screens (models under consideration listed in 4) below) systems REALLY work in bright sunlight?

4) Does anyone have recommendations for GPS systems that will meet my needs?  I've been researching and have, so far, liked the ETrex 25 or 35 (both touch-screen) as well as the Oregon 600 (also touch screen). 

Thank you!
Sara-Bay

eaparks

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 155
  • Karma: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Topo or BlueWater?
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2015, 09:16:13 PM »
If you want to give me an exact location in Sarasota Bay I'll be glad to post you some screenshots for that location showing the difference in Garmin's: U.S. Inland Lakes, US Topo, and City Navigator.  I also have Blue Charts and for what your doing I would instantly rule out Blue Charts.

You might want to look at the Open Source free street maps, it may do all you want; or the free topo on this site.  U.S. Inland lakes doesn't list as much street level information as the Topo does for that area but you do get some navigational aids / buoys.

Cabelas has been running a sale on the Garmin Oregon 600 fairly frequently for $219.  You would probably prefer the bigger screen on the Oregon 600 as compared to the Etrex.

Sara-Bay

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 9
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Topo or BlueWater?
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2015, 09:25:43 PM »
Thanks, eaparks!  An area of Sarasota Bay in which I'll probably often kayak is the area around the Mangrove Tunnels near Lido Beach.  If that's not specific enough for you, just let me know and I'll try to get a more specific location.

Thanks so much for your reply and for offering to send some examples of what I'd see on various types of gps maps.

I was kind of leaning toward the Oregon, but noticed the eTrex have more internal memory.  Would that be important for my purposes?

Again, thanks!
Sara-Bay

eaparks

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 155
  • Karma: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Topo or BlueWater?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2015, 06:15:40 AM »





Maps are in this order: (all are zoomed at a scale of 0.2 miles except GE)
          being zoomed in more does not render any more details on the Garmin
          maps.
Garmin's City Navigator v2015.3
Garmin's US Topo
Garmin's US Inland Lakes
Google Earth

The last one is Google Earth similar to what you could get with a subscription to Garmin's Birdseye Maps or you could create your own Garmin Custom Map to look like this and have a satellite imagery map on the GPS.

In regard to your question about the memory the answer is, no.  The Oregon 600 will accept a micro SD memory card making it where you can virtually load all the maps you would most likely ever want to.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 06:24:38 AM by eaparks »

Sara-Bay

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 9
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Topo or BlueWater?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2015, 08:09:16 AM »
Wow!  That is exactly what I was looking for!  Thank you!!!

You mentioned I could "create your own Garmin Custom Map..."  I didn't know you could do that...is it difficult and once you create one, will my Garmin unit still be able to use it to show my position, save tracks and waypoints, etc.?  Does it lay on top of one of Garmin's non-custom maps?

From the pictures, it looks like I might be more familiar with the look of either the City Navigator or the Birds Eye.  Do you need to have a map (like the City Nav) before you can use the Birds Eye View, or can it stand alone and still show tracks, waypoints, and show me my position?

As you can easily tell, I know nothing about all this, and I am really grateful for your excellent help.  I don't want to impose, so if I'm asking too much, just say so.   8)

eaparks

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 155
  • Karma: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Topo or BlueWater?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2015, 09:21:49 AM »
You mentioned I could "create your own Garmin Custom Map..."  I didn't know you could do that...is it difficult and once you create one, will my Garmin unit still be able to use it to show my position, save tracks and waypoints, etc.?  Does it lay on top of one of Garmin's non-custom maps?

You can create your own Garmin Custom Map from Google Earth images/jpeg files.  Your Garmin unit will still show all of the things your asking about.  It is just another type of map.  As far as difficult, if your computer savy, no it's not hard.  If learning new computer programs is frustrating, you can buy the Garmin Birdseye subscription for around $30 and download the areas you want and have basically the same thing.  I don't think you can have a Garmin custom map and another Garmin map displaying at the same time, it's one or the other displayed.

From the pictures, it looks like I might be more familiar with the look of either the City Navigator or the Birds Eye.  Do you need to have a map (like the City Nav) before you can use the Birds Eye View, or can it stand alone and still show tracks, waypoints, and show me my position?
I believe Birds Eye can stand alone, and yes it will still show tracks, waypoints, and your position.

As I mentioned earlier, the free Open Source Street Level maps may be what you might enjoy most and they are free, so nothing lost to try them.

Sara-Bay

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 9
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Topo or BlueWater?
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2015, 09:33:27 AM »
Cool, thanks, again!  I was looking at some how-to info on creating your own maps this morning and while I'm fairly computer savvy, I may just want to go the easy route and try the free maps first, then if those don'e seem to be what I want, I'll try the BirdsEye subscription.

Talking with you has probably saved me a bunch of money that I didn't need to spend on maps!  I think I'm about ready to order my Oregon 600 now and give it all a try.

Going kayaking on the bay tomorrow (without gps), but hopefully by next week I'll be able to give the Oregon 600 a workout!

I'll report back here with what ends up really working best, just in case anyone else is on the same path as me.

Ever so grateful!
Sara-Bay