Our wired GPS units are “older” to be kind. They came with the boat and work fine, but I don’t have data cables even if such exist. So I chose to interface my laptop to a “GPS mouse” rather than one of the onboard GPS devices. (It’s called a mouse because it looks like one) This means I’m not pushing data back up to my GPS device – but why would I push data up to a 3″ screen when my laptop has a much larger screen? The GPS mouse is a small, waterproof, display-less GPS receiver that connects to your laptop by USB. All it does is tell your laptop where the boat is. I found I had to find a way to get it outside the cabin, though, for good reception. Mine was made by Navibe – cost $35. They don’t last forever but at that price you can buy a backup.
There are better GPS receivers if you’re inclined to spend a little more. Rose Point Navigation sells a fixed mount GPS that they recommend to interface with Coastal Explorer. Another option is the similar Hummingbird GPS Sensor pictured at left, which also has a Compass. It currently costs $165.