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i don't think you can go wrong with an ICOM M34.
i carry one as a backup and for close-range communication.
as i remember it, the price was fairly reasonable; the batteries are re-chargeable and have a fair run time; it is also pretty full-featured.
hope this helps.

bil
 

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Since your question is about GPS, I'm fairly impressed with my Garmin GPSMAP 60C (color). It also has a NMEA output port on the back that I can wire into my fixed-mount Raymarine GPS/chartplotter unit should the Raymarine antenna ever die.

WRT handheld VHF radios, ICOM is hard to beat. They have been a leader in commercial (non military) and ham communications for decades.

Dave

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I have the Garmin GPSMAP 60CS as well and really like it. Waterproof and shockproof, even dog proof because Crockett chewed the top off mine and it still works. I also use Garmin's Bluechart software on my computer - you can plot courses, mark spots, etc. then transfer to your handheld. It's a pain to download and install, but once it's done it's a pretty neat program.
 

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I've got a Garmin 478. It is a little bigger than most handhelds, but you can use it in the car also. With the right components, it can do almost anything a larger unit can do. I use it as a backup in my walk around and as the primary in a small center console.
 

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The Garmin GPSMAP 60CS is very user friendly, which makes a world of difference, to me anyway. Like the maps Garmin offers. Got me through some skinny water in the Keys, and does a pretty good job, throughout the back waters of Wachapreague. As long as you don;t use the backlight alot, the battery life is pretty good too.

Whatever you decide, you should get it from BOE Marine.
 

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I have the Lowrance I-Finder H20C and have been pretty happy with it. I think it is relatively easy to use. That being said, just hope hope you never have to use Lowrance customer service. I've had/am having a terrible experience with them right now.
 

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Just as Icom in the personal VHF world leads the way Garmin and Delorme tend to lead in the GPS world. If you want both radio and GPS as stated above take a strong look at ICOM. If the GPS is most important stay with Garmin or Delorme. The new Delorme PN 40 is giving Garmin a run for their money. May I suggest you get them both in hand and determine which screen and button layout works best for you. The Garmin 60 series which has been out for several years without question sets the bar to which others are measured.

Go to gpsreview.net , groundspeak.com and you will find tons of reviews and post. For comparisons go to Garmin | Follow the leader or Delorme.com and you can compare units side by side.

As far as Garmin units, it all comes down to button layout and features, color screen, electronic compass, topo or nav maps etc.... The Garmin 76 series although offerred as the "marine friendly series" just means it will float. The Garmin 60 and most are waterproof just don't float. Delorme only offers the PN20 and PN40. Battery life, customer service, dependability both Delorme and Garmin have it figured out.

The newest Garmins with touch screens, ie.. Colorado, Oregon units although top end units folks are still finding things that need to be worked out. May want to hold off on that series just yet..

Don't forget, which ever brand you go with you must also determine what software it requires and factor in map scale, charts, map features and cost. They tend to be proprietary.

PS you can often find last years version software cheap on line.. In most cases there is little change
 

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In the kayaking world, where a handheld GPS is going to be our only GPS, and where things like being waterproof, durable, etc are all important, most people I know have a garmin gpsmap 478 series. After paying more to unlock the map you need, basically the only diffeence between it an my boat GPS is screen size. If you want an emergency backup device it has way more features and higher quality than you need, in my humble opinion. But if you'll be regularly using it and relying on it, you can't go wrong.
 

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I have a Uniden Mystic- it was pretty pricey, but it is a dual unit- GPS and VHF. Its been pretty good so far (Ive had it about 4 years), although, now I primarily use it on the kayak... Its submersible, has all the features of a fixed mount unit, but the screen size is fairly small, all in all it has been a good unit through the years.
 

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Uniden Mystic

I second the recommendation for the Uniden Mystic. Had mine for several years; use it for a backup (VHF and GPS in one unit) on my whaler and as the primary on my little 12 ft. aluminum. Never had a problem with it....map isn't that great, but it'll get you home.
 

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I've had a Garmin GPS 76 handheld for over 4 years now. I would highly recommend going with Garmin. In my opinion, Garmin is very easy to use. You do not want to be pushing too many buttons why bouncing around on the water.
 
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