As an avid boater, I find myself constantly depending on West Marine and once again this giant marine retailer came through for me. After many good years as a regular on our boat test crew, our old GPS needed to be retired. Normally I would just do what most boaters do and jump on www.westmarine.com and find an upgraded replacement. The problem was I was already at our test when I discovered our GPS didn’t make the same flight and I didn’t have a lot of extra time. Luckily with nearly 300 retail stores, I easily found a West Marine retail store near our test location last fall in Osage Beach, Mo. I went in search of a dependable marine GPS and left the store with a Garmin.
The GPSMAP 78sc was exactly what I was looking for and it includes a GPS receiver with a 3-axis compass, barometer and BlueChart g2 coastal charts. It comes preloaded with those U.S. coastal charts and features crisp color mapping plus a microSD card slot for loading additional maps.
Not that I don’t trust my test crew, but at $349.99 I was thrilled that it’s not only waterproof but the handheld GPS also floats! We put it to work immediately recording the critical numbers we needed for our test, but we couldn’t truly appreciate it until we ventured out on the Lake of the Ozarks after our test and noted the map detail includes shorelines, depth contours, navaids, harbors, marinas and more.
The color display significantly improves the readability compared to our old dated GPS and we look forward to years of good use with this GPSMAP 78sc.
PRODUCTS Rating: 93/100