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Mike, may want to hold off on purchasing it for a few more weeks. Garmins new line for this year is about to come out and Boater's World should have the new units on display anytime now. Once the new ones come out the older units prices will get cut (hopefully).
 

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I also have the 178c chartplotter w/chip, also the etrex venture cx handheld loaded with city navagator and a Garmin color fish finder, cant remember model # they are the best in my opinion easy to use (who needs manuals) good in the sun. can't belive you'd be disapointed.
 

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I have a Garmin 178C on my boat and I love it.

Garmin units tend to be very user friendly and easy to learn. It's easy to read in sunlight and has a great feature that dims it automatically at sundown so it doesn't blind you when navigating at night.

The chip and the Bluechart software aren't normally included but they're going to be necessary to make the unit useful. Make sure you consider the cost of the chip and the software.

Have fun, be safe!
 

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You might want to take a hard look at the Garmin 498c. I have been wrestling with which combo unit to get all winter, and finally went ahead and bought a 498 today.

I started out leaning towards the 178C a lot. It has a very good rep here at Tidalfish.

My decision to not buy a 178C is it does not come with the Bluechart data. It has the Garmin base map info, but there is a huge difference between the base data and what Bluechart offers. Bluechart having underwater contours alone is critical...not only to find holes and dropoffs, but to (hopefully) avoid some of the shallow waters the Bay is famous for putting in odd places...like under my boat a mile form shore.

The 178C can take Bluechart cards, but they are fairly pricey. The one with the Chesapeake region in it (Bluechart US006, Chesapeake Bay) is about $130. If you add that to the cost of the 178c, the combination is more than the price of a 498c.

The 498c comes with the bluechart data for the entire US salt water coast permanently loaded. As I have twice taken my boat down to the outer banks, having all the charts I ever likely will need was a plus. Not a huge plus...I am not likely to be buying the NC bluechart card anytime soon, but a plus. It does not have the inland bluecharts (that is what the 298 and 398 models offer)

A bigger plus is the 498 has a larger screen than the 178c...not a lot bigger, but some.

Today I finally ordered from BOE Marine Supply (a Maryland company) the 498 with external antenna and dual freq. transducer for $602 including shipping. BOE's list price was higher, but they have a "we will meet any price" guarantee. I would just as soon buy local as not, so I took 'em up on their offer. I found a place online that had this package (the -03 model) for $586 plus shipping, and BOE matched it exactly. Quick response, and no hassle...first class response.

I know that you want to stay under $500, but think about whether you will end up buying the Bluechart card anyway.

Abter
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you very much Abter . I really appreciate the time and effort for the reply . Now I've been searching the web for the last 2 hours trying to find the 498c . If you are completely satisfied with your purchase , I'm likely to lean that way . Although most of my fishing will be in the Chessie and surrounding rivers , the coastal inlets and back bays , I will venture off to hit various wrecks and shoals near OC , weather permitting . Did you deal directly online , or over the phone ? Oh , did you say this was an 03 model ? Thanks again for your time , Mike:))
 

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Michael;
Glad my comments helped. I've been thinking about this for a few months, and over-anguishing about what to do. I could have been clearer about the model # issue. Garmin packages the 498 four ways. They offer 2 antenna packages (internal and external), and with or without the transponder unit. The TX they package it with is the dual freq., transom mount. As they offer a bunch of other TX (internal, brass, choice of several single freq., etc.) they sell the 498 with no TX (just the mounting, cables, antenna if applicable, etc.) Their model #s are:
010-00504-00 internal antenna, no TX
010-00504-01 external antenna, no TX
010-00504-02 internal antenna, dual freq TX
010-00504-03 external antenna, dual freq TX (this is the one I bought, and called the -03 model)
Unlike the 178 the 498 is only available with a color screen. Sometimes vendors call it the 498, and sometimes the 498c, but it is the same unit.

I can't tell you yet how the order fulfillment went, as I just ordered it from BOE yesterday. Here was my exact steps.
1) I shopped hard online, and found the best price I could on the -03 model. I saw prices changing week to week. When I was ready to order The Nerds (www.thenerds.com) had the best price on the -03, but days, other models some other vendors were better.
2) I found the shipping price for The Nerds.
3) on The Nerds home page they had a "order through Google Payment and save $10". I checked it out, found I was eligible (not hard), and calculated the total price I would pay (delivered) from The Nerds.
4) I went to BOE (www.boemarine.com), checked out their "price match" link, and then used the "contact us" link, which basically creates an email-like window. I told them what was up, including the links and data I give here, concluding "so my total expense from The Nerds will be xxx, can you match it?". I sent this late Saturday afternoon. By Sunday 10:00am I had a response saying "we can match it", and gave me directions on how to do that (basically putting in the "comment" box on the online order form "Jim said to sell it to me for $xxx").

Thats a 100% online transaction...I haven't picked up the phone yet on this deal. As I said, I haven't seen it yet, but I'm highly optimistic. BOE is highly recommended here at TidalFish, and my interaction with them as been totally first class. I should see it come through on my credit card soon, which will let me know if they got the price correct.

BTW, BOE is a Maryland company, and if they SHIP to a Maryland address they have to collect sales tax. Their website says "We are located in the Maritime Republic of Eastport, or as most people call it, Annapolis, MD."
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just got off the phone with Jim at BOE . All I can say is he is the consumate pro . What a pleasure to deal with . I will be making the plunge for the 498c later today . The only bad is the sales tax for MD , $ 30.10 . HMMMM ? Have it shipped to my buddy in Delaware ?:D
 

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498c

Guys,
I'm glad to hear you like the 498c. I bought one last spring...with the internal antenna, and of course didn't shop. spent almost 1k at west marine and of course transducer was extra. :sweatdrop:
All that being said, the unit was easy to install and even eaisier to learn. I have enjoyed it very much.
I will say that there was a thread awhile back where someone was having a question about gridlines showing up at a certain range...I checked my unit and sure didn't see em though.
If you're up near the head of the elk, you are welcome to take a look at my unit.
Bobby
 
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