Garmin GPSMAP 78Sc Review

Marine handhelds are some of the most necessary devices that should be found in a sea explorer’s arsenal. More than just your average fishfinder they have so many more capabilities one cannot know where to begin to describe them.

The GPSMAP 78Sc is one of the flagship products from Garmin, which is a reputable company known for making seafaring devices. It comes equipped with a host of features that make marine exploration as easy as ever.

I had never used a marine handheld before so it took quite some getting used to it. I had to learn how to handle the device, and how to interpret the different readings you get from the device.

The hard work for all newbies had been done, and they can go ahead and learn more about this device. Below I will be getting into the features that are salient in this device. These features are what should encourage anyone to buy this device.

Superb Display

This GPS device features a trans-reflective TFT screen for superb display. The pixel density is an amazing 160 by 240 pixels.

And the screen size is 1.6 by 2.2 inches. With all this technology packed into such a small screen, the clarity of pictures is assured, and the device has a screen that is visible in both foggy and clear weather.

Amazing Interface

The 78sc took the best of its more expensive touch screen cousins and made it its own on its non-touch screen. The screen might be non-touch, but it still works as well as the more illustrious cousins.

Menu navigation is easy due to the easy layout of the icons on the screen. Changing from the new ribbon menu navigation scheme to the old scheme is Easy and possible for the manufacturers knew that some people would still find this old navigation preferable

Garmin GPSMAP 78Sc


This device weighs very little, just over seven pounds to be exact. And this little weight is one of the reasons that make it floatable. There is, therefore, no fear of the device falling overboard.

There is also the man overboard button used to set a waypoint and signaling the boat user to begin navigating towards it. Compatibility with coastal charts is also possible and highly encouraged.

Advanced Compass Design

The tri-axial compass is an innovation in the design of the 78sc that makes sure you don’t have to hold the unit level while navigating. There’s a downside to this; recalibration is harder than the dual axis compass.

With time, however, and lots of getting used to the device recalibration becomes much easier. The user should, however, remember that any time batteries are changed the device has to be recalibrated.

Mapping Possibilities

The 78sc makes it possible to upload any map to the screen and use it. Any map that you want to use should be easily uploaded to the interface and made available for use.

Map programs that one subscribes to like the one which provides maps at a small fee- no more than $ 30. These maps make navigation in areas that are unknown easy.


  • Tri axial compass for better navigation.
  • Can accommodate external maps.
  • Weighs very less making it floatable.
  • An amazing interface that mimics a touch screen.
  • Superb display. Pixel rate is very high.


  • The device isn’t touch screen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How is the geocaching on this device, what mode does it employ?

A: The 78sc supports paperless caching for faster functioning and also for cost saving purposes.

Q: Is data transfer possible?

A: Wireless data transfer is enabled between different Garmin devices for the purpose of sharing data easily.

Q: For the purpose of sharing tracks how many colors are made available?

A: Seventeen colors in total are available for displaying tracks easily.

Final Verdict

Devices from Garmin are usually the most reliable you can find. The 78sc is no different, and it comes with a solid architecture and fantastic functionality. I took some time getting used to my device but at last got to acknowledge its superiority.

It is an invaluable companion for marine explorers both those experienced and those who are just starting out. Anyone looking for an expert companion in the ocean should go for one of these


Rhys Hunt

Hey Everyone, This is Rhys Hunt. Editor of .

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