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Garmin GPSMAP 78sc Waterproof Marine GPS and Chartplotter Review

Garmin GPSMAP 78sc Waterproof Marine GPS and Chartplotter

Garmin GPSMAP 78sc Waterproof Marine GPS and Chartplotter

When traveling by road and in need of directions you know that you can rely on your Garmin GPS to get you there on time! However, what does one do when you’re out on the water with your boat? Garmin has another solution for you with the Garmin GPSMAP 78sc waterproof marine GPS and Chartplotter.

This is a popular GPS Handheld to use when out at sea and on land.


Why Choose the Garmin GPSMAP 78sc

We can think of many reasons why you should choose the Garmin GPSMAP 78sc! The first one is the fact that this unit floats on water. Some of the other important reasons are that the model has a superb GPS receiver, an internal compass that’s electronic, it has two sensors and a barometric altimeter.

You can carry the device around with you, as it’s very portable. In addition, it has the preloaded Garmin BlueChart that covers the United States and equipped with a sensor. It has a durable waterproof casing in three combined colors of black/gray/silver and measures 6.0 x 2.6 x 1.2-inches.

The GPSMAP 78sc works with AA batteries received installed and has a weight of 7.8-ounces. The coverings made from rubber, prevent the unit from slipping around, and have a weather flap for protecting the external antenna jack. It also has a mini USB port, rubber side grips, and the Garmin 4-pin serial connection.

You can hold it in your one hand while operating it with the other and you can connect it to your desktop or laptop with the included USB cable. Included you receive a handy wrist strap that connects to the bottom of the device. It has a handy quick start manual with all the needed instructions to get started.

Using the Garmin GPSMAP 78sc

The Garmin GPSMAP 78sc has 8 pushbuttons. It also has on button function labels and a single 4-way rocker switch for controlling all the available functions. Two of the pushbuttons have their own secondary function labels. When using the unit you will find that it has 5 main pages that you can automatically select by pressing the page buttons.

The 1st page consists of highly comprehensive cartography maps from the U.S. The 2nd page is your compass page that consists of the compass rose, data boxes, and the waypoint-bearing pointer. You have a trip computer page loaded with changeable data boxes and pages loaded with information.

With a press and hold of the mark button, you can easily save your present position waypoint or you can change the displayed icon, add a note, change the latitude/longitude, and name. You also have a choice of selecting icons from the larger groups that consist of markers, marine and outdoors.

With the built-in route planner, you can create an easy route for sailing and with moving the cursor you only need to hit enter to save a new point. It has a large memory and can store up to 200 different routes and 2,000 waypoints. It has a TFT color display screen with a resolution of 160 x 240 and measures diagonally 2.6-inches.

It include a backlighting menu page with a press of the off/on button and includes important information such as battery level, date, GPS signal strength, a 21-position slider, and the time. With the on/off button, you can adjust the screen backlight by selecting maximum, mid-level, and minimum brightness.

Miscellaneous items

It includes a man overboard function and you can activate it by pressing the MOB key and once hitting enter you can select to navigate back to the saved MOB waypoint. If you do want to use the map page for navigation, you must set up proper data boxes with all the needed information. You can use the single button push, automatic screen switch, or numerical data information to get back to your starting point.

The battery compartment and micro SD card slots protected by a rubber cover that uses a spring release slider to open. The Garmin GPSMAP 78sc can transfer data wirelessly to other Garmin devices and great if you want to keep navigation markers, currents, nearby marine services, and tides.

The units rated waterproof according to the IPX7 standards and you can submerge it to a depth of 1 meter and hold it there for 30-minutes.

Benefits and Features:

  • The Garmin GPSMAP 78sc has an internal antenna, pushbuttons, TFT color display, MCX connector for using an external GPS antenna, serial port, USB port, and micro SD card slot,
  • The device works with two AA batteries and has a battery life use of up to 20-hours
  • It has ten available push buttons with different functions: the FIND/MOB, on/off button, Quit, Page, Menu, Enter/Mark button and rocker,
  • You can save up to 200 different routes and 2,000 waypoints on the device,
  • The unit comes preloaded with built-in BlueChart that consists of shorelines, marinas, depth contours, and more,
  • You can share your routes, waypoints, and tracks with the wireless connection to other compatible devices,
  • The color display measures 2.6-inches and gives you a resolution of 160 x 240 pixels,
  • It measures 6.0 x 2.6 x 1.2-inches and weighs 7.8-ounces,
  • It’s perfect for any type of water sports and boating and is waterproofed according to the IPX7 standards for up to 1 meter and it can float,
  • It has a 3-axis built-in electronic compass and a barometric altimeter to measure altitude, heading, and weather,
  • The device is portable enough to use as a navigator on land to search for city maps, addresses, streets, and point of interests,
  • It can keep track of your route recordings to re-visits when needed,
  • All the main page data you can customize and you can also restore the default page settings by selecting restore defaults,
  • You can choose from three map orientations that includes North Up, Track Up and Automatic Mode,
  • It has a trip computer where you can check your speed, trip odometer, and other important tasks, and
  • You receive a one-year limited warranty

Customer Feedback

Garmin GPSMAP 78sc Waterproof Marine GPS and Chartplotter Review

Garmin GPSMAP 78sc Waterproof Marine GPS and Chartplotter Review

Customers have provided some great Garmin GPSMAP 78sc reviews online. Many of the clients use the device for different tasks such as sailing, hiking, Geocaching, and more. They found the device to be small and portable to take with them anywhere. They found the loaded g2 coastline marine charts very helpful and the displays easy to read in bright light.

Pros and Cons


  • It has a polarized display with a good screen color display that is great to use both indoors and outdoors,
  • The buttons are easy to use and push,
  • It holds ample waypoints as it has a big internal memory,
  • It is smaller and not that heavy to carry around with you,
  • Designed for the marine life, but you can purchase separate maps to use for hiking and road navigation,
  • The “Man Overboard Button” is superb and saves the settings to navigate back to that point,
  • Has a durable construction that can take hard knocks and it’s waterproof that is great for water sports, fishing, and hiking, and
  • There are loads of data available online that you can download to the device,


  • The only concern is the compass that some clients mentioned that it’s 10° off compared to a handmade compass and needs to be set to True North or Magnetic North in different places.

Final View Point

The Garmin GPSMAP 78sc waterproof marine GPS and Chartplotter are a great unit specially made for mariners. It has insightful software that you can keep up-to-date. It has a detailed marine cartography packed with important information. This is one of the most refined handheld GPS devices available on the market now!


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