Garmin Foretrex, yes/no on accessories?

Have never owned a GPS. Have been reading back posts here, and Garmin’s site. May have missed the answers to my questions below.

Thinking about getting a Foretrex 101 for basic GPS functions, training, and bread crumb function. Thinking about storing it in a clear, dry pouch on the deck under the bungees.

Will probably upgrade to the latest Marine, hand held, map capable unit, in a year or two. Just don’t have a compelling reason for now. I don’t like to buy ahead on electronics or software, as they change rapidly.

For Foretrex owners:

Do you use the computer interface cable sold separately, approx $15? If so, what applications do you use it for? I’m inclined to order it now, rather than want it later and have to possibly re-pay shipping. But I’m listening.

Do you use the Mapsource software, also sold separately, approx $30? Can you use it to see your location on a lake, bay, or open coastline? In other words, is it much better than no map capability at all? I’m inclined against, unless it’s clearly useful. I’d bring a paper chart if kayaking in an unfamiliar location.


Paul S.

It looks like the Foretrex…
…has no mapping capability and no base map…

Good mapping software will run closer to $300 than $30.

No and No, Aquaman.
Happy Foretrex 101 owner.

cable and Topofusion
I have the cable. At first I was downloading it using freeware software called G7towin. Now I import it directly into software called Topofusion ( Topofusion is shareware, but the unregistered version has some limitations. I paid the $40 or so to register it.

Oops. and $300!

– Last Updated: Apr-13-07 9:55 PM EST –

Thanks for the correction on no maps for the Foretrex.

I saw a $30 MapSource software, I thought on the accessories tab for Foretrex 101 on Surprised me too. I was wrong. It's not there now.

BlueChart is a little over $100 I think, for one region, if I understand it right. If I wanted all manner of map; BlueChart for coastal, topos for inland water, and city maps for driving, then approx. 3 x $100. Is that the way you're thinking of it?

If I went for a Map 76, I would probably just get a BlueChart for the PNW for now.

Paul S.

Thanks. OK, I get it now.

– Last Updated: Apr-14-07 2:01 AM EST –

The $30 MapSource is on the computer. I saw it on the maps tab for the Fortrex on the Gamin site and thought maybe the Fortrex accepted some kind of base maps.

Luckily, within Garman, it does seem like a decision between two extreems. Fortrex at $110 for training and bread crumb, or GPSMAP76CSx for map functions at $650 including BlueChart for one region, Topo for one region, and street maps.

For now, I'd rather have the Foretrex and a VHF radio, and $300 left over for gas money for trips.

I'm gonna wait for the map GPSs to keep maturing. I hope someone will come out later with an open operating system, able to interact with Map Quest for street directions, and accept free NOAA charts for coastal navigation. I think it will happen eventually.

edit: I'm not knockin' the decision to buy a MAP76CSx. It looks like a pretty cool item. I may own one sooner than I think. But not this month, and probably not this year ;-).

Paul S.