Dear Capt. Paul:
I recently purchased a Garmin 540S online, and it came with a base map. I went fishing down in Hopedale out in the Biloxi Marsh area, and this map was useless.
It never showed me any bayous such as Bayou LaLoutre, Bakers or Engineers Canal, nor did it show Stump Lagoon or Muscle Bay. All I saw the whole time was a boat icon leaving a dotted-line trail over a yellow background, which I assume is land.
Could this be a problem with the unit or do you think I need to add the Bluechart G2 Vision SD card to get better coverage in this area?
I also saw a SD card for southeast inland lakes that might work too.
I just don’t want to spend money on a card if it is not going to give me better coverage. I was looking for something that would cover the Biloxi Marsh so I could navigate the bayous, but as it is now, it’s useless.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Capt. Paul’s response:
The unit comes with a base map that as you saw certainly needs to be upgraded when being used in the Louisiana coastal marshes. The base map covers only major bodies of water, roads and communities. It does not depict the vast of waterways that make up the Louisiana marshes.
Fortunately, this unit can accommodate the Garmin Blue Chart G2 Vision, which is the latest Garmin marine mapping software. It has up-to-date marine charts and aerial photo maps. The G2 Vision comes in several different options.
The North America ~ Gulf of Mexico ~ Mobile to Lake Charles (http://www8.garmin.com/cartography/g2vision/region.jsp?RegionPK=25514) Garmin part # 010-C0714-00 would give you the coverage for the areas you described.
I believe that it is a better choice than some of the inland-lake programs as they may not cover the coastal marshes.
Please also consider their trip and waypoint manager program. The trip and waypoint manager allows you to transfer data between your computer and the memory card that is used by the GPS unit.
The three-part combo is an unbeatable package. It allows the user to get the most out of the GPS unit.
You can view the actual G2 Vision charts that are available in the package, but you can’t see the actual aerial photo maps. For that, I suggest that you visit a stocking Garmin dealer and actually view the areas that you are interested in. That way you will be sure that the software meets your needs.