Simple GPS Watch

WPotter1950

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Hello All, I'm new around here and would like to introduce myself as a reasonably experienced non-owning cruiser. I hope to buy a boat in the Med on retirement this winter or next spring. And although I may start off with more requests than answers, I hope that will change over time.

This request is for recommendations or simply to make me aware of a simple watch with GPS functionality. What I want is to be able to look at a watch display and copy off my position into a log or to plot it on a map. It should also tell me the time fairly accurately.

I did a Google search and was bombarded with examples of sporty watches which will measure heart rate, speed, fastest mile and so on. And I'm certain that is all very useful to those gay young people in lycra and spandex that we see jogging and cycling our streets. But it is overkill for me. Time and Position is all I'm interested in. Well maybe a timer and a stopwatch too, but they are pretty standard on all digital watches. A large, clear display for my failing eyes would come in handy.

Another philosophy of mine is that for the cost of a decent Rolex, I could probably buy three lifetimes worth of Casios, Swatches or Citizens. So maybe a budget limit of around £150-£200.

Can anyone make an observation or even a recommendation?

Thanks
wp
 

laika

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GPS is obviously great for super-acurate timekeeping but I'm not sure these running watches actually leverage the PPS signal for time accuracy. There's a casio G-Shock which *does* use GPS for timekeeping and timezone selection but from the pictures I can't see where or if it displays position. It aint cheap either. Maybe use the contact details on the Casio website to ask them if they have something which displays GPS position?

I would have thought a simple display at the chart table would be optimal, taking into account your eyesight. A cheap GPS unit wired to a DSC VHF is my (and probably many people's) solution. Cheap phone, no sim card even required, velcroed at the nav station, powered from usb/cig lighter, running a free GPS display app? I'd go for small display from a raspberry pi with attached GPS module but that's a bit more geekery than you may want.

Then buy a cheap quartz watch from Argos.
 

Tranona

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Much simpler to buy a Hudl or similar with a Navionics app. Has a built in GPS (and time) so your present position will show on your chart. Navigation in the Med is relatively simple and most is by line of sight in coastal waters so a simple means of having waypoints and a running record of where you are is all you need. You do, of course need charts and pilot notes for entering harbours and bays, but the detailed course plotting and monitoring we are accustomed to in our tidal waters is really not needed.
 

WPotter1950

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Welcome to the mad house.
My observation is - why mess around with a gps watch when a gps phone is so much more versatile?
I don't even bother to ware a watch these days.

Many thanks to all respondents. I fear my question may have been premature as I had not done sufficient research myself. A traipse around some watchsellers and jewellers got me nowhere except a lot of "what is the old codger going on about" looks. But a nice young lady in a Blacks outlet told me that she thought my search would be in vain. Because, although the watches are GPS aware, there is no facility to display position. The GPS is merely used internally to work out how far and how fast you have been.

With that in mind and the suggestion here from LadyInBed (Dear, I have a response to my enquiry. Its from LadyInBed. --- What sort of forum did you say that was, darling???), I have just downloaded an app for my Android phone called Woozilli's GPS Position. It appears to give me all that I want.

Thanks for the nudge in the direction of thinking of my phone.

wp
 

GregAC

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Beware that tablets/phones (especially cheap ones) may have rather poor GPS. They use a thing called AGPS that uses an internet connection and cell tower signals to obtain a better fix. When they lack these things (i.e. at sea) the fix they give can be very poor.

A standalone handheld Garmin should give you what you need. As everyone wants colour screens and charts nowadays a base model that just gives you lat/long cog/sog etc should be available cheaply, especially second hand.
 

mm42

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If you've a smartphone with GPS you can use a Magellan Echo paired with it, that'll give you GPS position, time, SOG, whatever you want, with good battery life (usually the killer of GPS watches).
 

WPotter1950

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Check out the Garmin website they do exactly what you want for runners.

Again thanks to the many respondants for their ideas.

It now being Monday morning, I have been able to call Garmin Product Support (on hold for about 20 minutes) only to find out that they do not make a suitable product. They have many fine watches for runners, swimmers, hikers and cyclists but none of them display a Lat and Long position. To quote, "I'm very sorry. Nobody wants something as simple as that". Of course they do have other non-watch products which will display a position.

So I have now a mobile phone solution and two or three further suggestions from your worthy selves for other apps to look at.

wp.
 

prv

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As everyone wants colour screens and charts nowadays a base model that just gives you lat/long cog/sog etc should be available cheaply, especially second hand.

As everyone wants colour screens and charts nowadays, a base model that just gives you lat/long cog/sog etc is no longer manufactured by most companies. I think Furuno may be the only one remaining, for commercial vessels that have that specific requirement, and it's expensive.

Second-hand remains an option, but they're not as cheap as you'd expect.

Pete
 

WPotter1950

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Another good, simple, free nav position and wp app is Mad Mutt Marine.
Don't be fooled by the name.

The honesty of the READ ME notes on the free version would endear this software to me any time. I'm going to take a look at the free version and if I like it I will even splash out the whole £2.50 for the full version.
Thanks for the tip.
 

ronsurf

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Just a quick post to say that I find it best to keep my phone in the cabin, they are not usually waterproof. A cheap Garmin handheld is, though, and it can be read in sunlight and isn't a great financial hit of it goes overboard. Especially compared to a phone. Best to have both, really. Depending on the boat it's easier to change the batteries in the GPS than charge a phone.
 

nimbusgb

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A long way from my boat! :(
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Even top end GPS capable watches will only give you 100 or so fixes before needing recharging. Not practical.

If you are at a nav station you probably have 2 or 3 gps displays. Dsc VHF, instrumentation repeaters, chart plotter. If you are in the cockpit a tablet with nav program is probably your best bet.

A backup handheld gps is a nice standby if you want something.J

Another alternative might be a smart watch that echoes a tablet or phone's data. That way you could have GPS, boat info, perhaps even remote control on a weatherproof 'watch'. Be warned though smart watch battery life is abysmal and they need charging daily or every two or three days at most.
 
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markhomer

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Garmin did make gps " watches " suitable for your needs , it was called a foretrex 201, i had it as a speedo for my cat sailing , but it would do routes etc , just like a mini gps , i retired it and use it on my bike sometimes , i use velocitek stuff on cat now , bit big for wrist, had it a few years now and still works a treat , guess there are folks with them that you may be able to find , sorry if this has been said further up thread. Im a terrible scanner type :)


Suunto also have made gps watches however after my experience of suuntos sailing watches ,i wouldnt recommend one i had about 7 !!! And all died ! , good customer service i must say
 
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