{Stus-List} Garmin GPS 72 fix

Bob Moriarty bobmor99 at gmail.com
Mon Jun 2 22:27:51 EDT 2008

This list is so far ahead of the curve.  :-)

On Mon, May 19, 2008 at 11:12 AM, Wally Bryant <wal at wbryant.com> wrote:

Ralph - Yup, I updated my 72 and 152 yesterday, and everything is fine.  It
> was interesting to note that the stated accuracy of the 152 was around 8
> feet, but the 72 never got better than 32.  Whoopee.
> The Furuno radar/plotter/gps never hiccupped.  Good thing, as I have no
> idea
> how to update the software on it if needed.
> Wal
> You wrote:
> > There was a discussion a few weeks ago concerning the Garmin
> > GPS 72 crashing when WAAS was on.  A patch showed up on the
> > Garmin update site today and fixed all the problems.
> > Ralph  1980  Landfall 38
> </SNIP>

Good Old Boat has this in the upcoming issue:

Warning: Defective GPS

I recently bought a Garmin GPS 72, one of many being featured in sales all
over the country right now. It turned out to be defective: a few minutes
after start-up the system crashes. The screen suddenly goes blank except for
a blue line running from top to bottom. After that, nothing happens when you
press any button.

The crash happens when a WAAS satellite makes contact with the unit. The
Department of Defense made some changes to the WAAS satellites about six
months ago. Meanwhile, Garmin and its dealers all over the country are
selling these defective units — *knowing* they will fail.

The answer, Garmin's tech support will tell you, is to disable the WAAS
option. Well, that's too late for some poor sucker trying to navigate
through the rocks in a fog. And once the system has crashed, you can't fire
it up again, let alone disable WAAS.

Garmin offers to let you download a free correction on its website but you
have to pay for the PC-GPS connector cable.

I am appalled at the attitude of a company for whom I've always had respect,
and its retailers. Not even West Marine, now aware of this fault, is pulling
the GPS 72 off its shelves. Automobiles have been recalled for problems less
dangerous than this, but the attitude seems to be: who gives a damn about a
few amateur sailors? Other Garmin models may be affected too. The lower-end
range of GPS 76s might have the same problem.

When you contact Garmin's tech support staff, they will tell you how to to
reboot the unit by removing the batteries and then replacing them. Then you
have to find your way through the menus to select "Disable WAAS" before the
unit manages to make contact with a WAAS satellite and crashes again. But as
I said, they don't tell you this when you buy the unit and set out in the

For further information, read this
the Cape Dory bulletin board.
*John Vigor*
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