Best bluewater GPS

Looking for a GPS with bluewater maps to use in the Everglades to find campsites on waterways by kayak. Hand help, good battery life, accurate maps, water proof, good visibility in direct sunlight.


Garmin GPSMAP 78sc
If you have the bucks. Not sure I do after my transmission blew today, so my new one may be going back to Bean.

This model of the 78 series has Garmin’s newest version of NOAA’s nautical charts, called BlueCharts g2, built in. Shows tide station graphs, current flow graphs, and tons of other marine and navigational aids. Waterproof and floats. Can load in topos and routing street maps via DVD, microSD or download.

You can load BlueCharts and all the land charts in any of the newer Garmins, many of which are waterproof (but only the 78’s float). You can find BlueCharts for the entire US for about $136 on Amazon. You can also go third party, and for $50 get the entire US east coast, which from Maine to Pensacola from Navimatics:

I have loaded the Navimatics demo chart into the 78sc via Garmin’s Basecamp program and it works. The 78’s can also download via Basecamp routable satellite images for a $29 per year subscription to Garmin’s “Birdseye” service.

For what it is worth–
The Everglades NP has a sheet with the coordinates of all the chickees and beach camping sites.

We have Garmin Map 76Cx with the US chart and they are fantastic.

We use them on a daily basis. You can zoom the map all the way into 300 feet showing all the little streams along the wilderness waterway or where ever you are.

Jack L

thanks guys
will see where I can get one cheap!

you can load a free Florida topo

– Last Updated: Jan-30-12 11:23 PM EST –


You do not need a chart on your GPS. The sandbars show up lighter brown than the rest of the water. The topo I have loaded onto my Garmin unit shows the campsites with a tent icon.

Advisable to have a waterproof chart that shows mud shoals at low tide. Those you want to avoid. The hardware store in Everglades City sells them

You want chart 41 or 39 or both. They also have the coordinates of each campsite listed. Remember that you can hardly ever get to the campsite in the straight optimistic line your GPS suggests..particularly in areas like the Labyrinth.

Was just navigating in the Everglades last week with this system. We did a 120 mile long loop over ten days.

Satelite imagery is a great tool
Especially if you frequent the tidal creeks. Some Garmins have this capability and we use it frequently. You can see where the creek/branch goes without committing to it.

Also the ability to save your track and upload it to PC will be nice if you ever want to share with others or post your trip online.

Problems with Garmin Birdseye
Potential problems with Birdseye are that the imagery only comes from one satellite service, which is not Google Earth, and that the images may show up much too dark on the GPS screen.

I have today posted a topic here on loading satellite images into a Garmin with a freeware program, which uses multiple satellite image providers, and which also explains how to lighten and brighten the satellite images in Picasa.