Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Garmin GPSMAP 492C

With fuel cost causing issues in the charter business, I have been looking for a new charter boat that is more fuel efficient and versatile for the wide variety of fish here in the Florida Keys. While I haven’t purchased the boat, I have been shopping for new electronics. The boats that I am looking to buy are swallow draft center consoles. Center consoles have limited space making dual-purpose electronics very appealing. While I have never been a fan of most combination sounder/GPS machine. I recently had to change my mind.

The Garmin GPSMAP 492C impressed me. The compact unit combines Garman’s outstanding GPS equipment that I have used for years with a high quality color sounder. If you have used a Garmin, you know the ease of operation of the GPS units and the seamless nature of their chart plotters. While I have always preferred monochromatic displays, which were much easier to read with out digging out the glasses. The new color display was much easier to read that pervious models. With the backlight being adjustable from ultra dim for night fishing to high contrast for bright sunlight, I was able use the unit with no problems.

The sounder is a full 500 watts. Fishing in the Florida Keys, I may be fishing in fifteen foot of water in the bay one day and over 1000 foot past the wall the next. Having a sounder the can read 600 feet of bottom can make or break an offshore trip. If the striking fish aren’t biting a productive deep drop can put smiles on the crew.

With the center console I am planning to buy, the built in antenna means less rigging and money. Now there is no need for an expensive electronics box for the Tee Top. The 492 can be mounted on the dash by the compass. I like this because looking up at the box was always a pain in the neck. Dash mounted, access to the menu and control buttons is much easier.

All this was impressive until I found out that Bluechart comes installed with the unit. That saves $150 for the chart cost and $800 worth of aggravation keying in the 400 digit access code. If you are in the market for a new GPS for your center console, you need to checkout the Garmin GPSMAP 492C. Just look at the price.
Retail Price:$719.99 U.S.D.

Make fishing the Florida Keys your next vacation.

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