My Garmin GPS 45 was amazing in 1994, and it still works (mostly)

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague.

10 Responses

  1. Fond memories, Ben! I still have our original NAV3000 on board – with optional nylon case! After much frustration with LORAN, radar out of the question on chartered boats and tiring of compass & wristwatch navigation through Maine’s rocky passages in dense fog, it was a real revelation to have a device that knew EXACTLY where it was! Initial difficulties in the Pacific NW were traced to the use of NAD29 (instead of the then-newfangled WGS84) by the Canadian charts.
    Like your Garmin, the NAV3000 works fine (and still eats AA batteries at a prodigious rate) though it’s date is no longer relevant (you can enter the magnetic correction manually). It even went to Hawaii with us in 2000.

  2. DougP says:

    GREAT Memories Ben!!! Thanks!
    We also had an old Magellan 1000 (a very good bud worked for Magellan!) . Used it in my Glasair experimental often, long before it was legal and long before anyone made GPS for aircraft.
    After using my Magellan, my best bud and hanger mate bought a Garmin 45 to use in his Glasair and he loved it. One day, after we got back from one of our typical Saturday $200 hamburger runs, he set it on top of the back of my Suburban as he opened the hanger doors and we put our planes inside..
    I TOLD him not to…. honest…

  3. Ted Crum says:

    I still have my GPS45, my first GPS. I picked it over the otherwise identical GPS 12 for the better antenna. It is explicitly a marine GPS so it still does what I need to find the racing mark in the haze and compensate for current set. It got an upgrade in 2000 when Carter removed Selective Availability from the civilian channel.

  4. ET says:

    still have mine….never asked it to do much more than help me get on a reef for scuba down in the Keys..more so to mark way points …the nights before a dive trip I’d lay the old paper charts out on the table, enter points in the the garmin and avoid the brown (run aground) areas..once we were even close to most of those reefs, you started to see bouys for tie-off so 12 ft or 50 feet didn’t really matter that much to us…. Was and still is a solid tool and for those rare times I might want some GPS help, I’d still just pull it into service and head out to the blue

  5. Hello I am looking for data cable for retro chartplotter Magellan 1200

  6. Ted Crum says:

    Since you mention the Ocean Global Race, I raise my glass to Marvin Creamer, the zero-instrument circumnavigator who passed away in 2020.

  7. Gary says:

    My 45 was excellent for 15 plus years , hard wired for power with the plug in the back. sold the boat but kept the 45. Three years later will power up but very faint and won’t go to stored waypoints. Read somewhere there is a internal type battery that saves when there is no power?

    • dawidi says:

      The 45 has an internal capacitor, not a battery, for keeping the volatile data stored. Which is good, because a battery would long have leaked and destroyed the unit from the inside – the capacitor simply charges back up and works.
      By “faint” you mean the display contrast? Maybe that can be corrected with the slider on the setup page?
      I got two 45’ers off Ebay last year out of curiosity (and because they were much cheaper than the GPS12 I was looking for), one is working excellently and sometimes even manages to get a fix indoors. The other was working fine as well (and even had sailing trips tracklogs stored from the previous owner), but I stupidly did a master reset on it and now it doesn’t acquire satellites anymore (even after several days) – it’s probably missing the correct crystal drift compensation data now.

  1. July 8, 2019

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