Summary: We purchased the 48 as a back up in the boat. We only needed to utilize it a couple times (mostly to verify that the other one we had was accurate) it worked flawlessly. It is just an older but reliable model of the GPS family of marine type GPS systems.
Summary: I recently decided to purchase a GPS for our family camper. I purchased and returned 3 GPS units, the Rand Mcnally Palm V GPS and the Laptop GPS. The Palm V gps worked functionally, but would not turn off. It also was very sensitive to tree cover and positioning in the car. At times I could not get a fix. It would not work at all in the camper. Then I bought Laptop gps with the Streetfinder software.
Summary: The item I thought was fantastic when I received it. It had never been used and looked great. However, when I turned it on it indicated memory battery low. Garmin no longer services the Garmin 48 and gave me no help with some one that could replace this internal battery. I am in process of ordering what I believe to be the internal battery and will have to solder it in myself when I get one. What I thought was going to be a great item has turned out not to be.
Summary: Unit operates with accurate readings and recording of way points. Dounloaded manual is quite detailed and could have a little more first-time operator friendly. Frequent use and practice has helped in gaining more confidence in the operation of the reciever. Practice on land plotting way points helps before marine use. For an older unit, it performs quite well.
Summary: The Garmin 48 is an excellent simple GPS. Its mapping functions are very primative, but it locks onto lat-lon as fast as newer and more complcated units. As I travel the ICW, all I want is to check my position with the GPS against my dead reckoning plot and my NOAA charts. This does as well as my Gpsmap 76csx for that. If you do not use charts, get the 76csx and a digital card. The internal battery on my old unit failed and Garmin wanted $90 to repair it.
Summary: I needed a GPS for fishing and bid on the one That I have. It was as discribed and I had to buy batteries and an antenna. All told I have $120.00 in a $350.00 unit that works as good as neww. That makes me happy.