If you spend much of time on water just like me, you might just need the best marine GPS. I do spend much of my time on waters. If not fishing, I am either kayaking or simply cruising through the sea with my wife. I am a huge fan of the calm sea waters, and even when they get ugly, I like being part of it as well. Having been in the navy for a better part of my youthful days, I still get those memories whenever I step into the 2007 Sea Ray Sun Deck 220 I purchased for my leisure after retiring from the navy.
When growing up, I pictured myself being a writer and even started jolting down several articles for the local newspaper. That dream seemed to have gotten lost with my recruitment into the navy. However, true to the old adage “old habits die hard,” I still create time to write on almost every topic related to sea life. Today, I just woke up in my writing mood and decided to write down a review of the best Marine GPS and Chartplotter. In this review, I will give my own understanding and experience based on a practical approach on every available marine GPS and Chartplotter.
List of Best Marine GPS and Chartplotter for Sale in 2020
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#8 Simrad GO7 XSE Chartplotter/Fishfinder w/TotalScan transducer
So, I happened to have come across this Simrad marine GPS and Chartplotter while looking for a replacement to my old Garmin model. It’s not like the Garmin had any issue, it’s just that I wanted a change after using a single brand for a long time. I was torn between this Simrad Marine GPS and the Raymarine a 78. However, after giving it a thought, I settled for the Simrad.
I must admit, ever since, I haven’t had any complaints whatsoever. This product blew my expectations, and I must admit, in my over 30 year’s experience, I haven’t seen many marine GPSs with such a performance. The ease with which I could operate it was simply flabbergasting.
On the very first day, I was able to capture more Tuna, Wahoos, and several schools of fish. I was using it on several locations including the Florida Keys Offshore, off Tampa bay, and also at the bayside. In a jiffy, it changed my experience forever!
#7 Simrad Go7 Xse Chartplotter With Med/High/Downscan
While still in the navy before even purchasing my boat, I remember using this marine GPS and Chartplotter on several occasions. This is an excellent piece of equipment which is designed to deliver the best results. The thing is, I found it just the other day while going through my thoughts.
I dusted off the old companion and decided to give him a shot. This day, I decided to go kayaking. It was meant to be a backup unit for my offshore fishing. Still, since I trusted it, I put it into a more useful task of ensuring that I get a grasp of the entire situation on the sea. One thing I loved about this product is a small size. I slide it into my pocket and off I went!
Garmin has always been at the top of my list when it comes to marine GPS and Chartplotters. My son had been using one of those old Garmin models which have a black and white screen. Of course, a black and white screen is never bright enough for ultimate results. I decided to get him this excellent masterpiece. I decided to take this device for various reasons.
First, I loved the versatile design which makes it perfect for use on water and on a hike when the weather isn’t so friendly. In fact, my son has used it for hiking more than on water. The other thing which is a front leap from the other brands is its incredible battery life. It features great functionality and my son never misses his frequent weekend fishing or hiking.
#5 Lowrance Mark-4 Chirp 000-11823-001 Fishfinder/Chartplotter
I have this fishing buddy who also used to be my partner in my days at the navy. He uses this Lowrance marine GPS and Chartplotter. I once had the chance to borrow it, and I must admit that I had a great experience. The high resolution offered a better and precise prediction of the right locations for me to attack.
The monochrome display is unlike most marine GPS and Chartplotters I had used before. I also loved the CHIRP Sonar plus DownScan imaging which offered ultimate reliability and added clarity.
#4 Garmin GPS MAP176C 3.8-Inch Waterproof Marine GPS and Chartplotter
Although this Garmin GPS is not designed for use in the cold weather or on a snowmobile, it proved even better than several other products designed for that. I had one mounted behind my windshield the other time I went fishing. I wired it to sled power for improved performance, and everything else went even better than I had anticipated.
Whenever the weather became extremely cold, I had to make a bonnet which would go through this GPS then wired the bonnet to a heating element to protect it from freezing. That was my improvised way to improve performance since I live in an extremely cold area. For anyone who doesn’t have issues with cold weather, this is the best product for you.
I was torn between Garmin and Raymarine during my first purchase, and I decided to go for Garmin. The Garmin model I went for worked impressively. However, I later decided to give this Raymarine GPS a shot as well to evaluate their performance and determine which among them was better.
I wouldn’t make a distinction since these two devices seemed to exhibit excellent capabilities. I bought this Raymarine GPS from Amazon and decided to give it a shot. First, I think its price was something worth commending. The ease with which I could operate it was simply unsurpassed.
#2 Garmin GPSMAP 78sc Waterproof Marine GPS and Chartplotter
Although I have several Garmin devices, I also opted to purchase this device because it makes use of AA batteries. Also, the price was reasonably low, given its superior construction. The design and functionality are the things which struck me with their excellent performance.
The control buttons are strategically placed while its unique size makes it ideal for my daily adventures in the sea. The screen resolution is something else you’ll love. And yes, I also find its revolutionary construction worth every last coin.
#1 Garmin 010-01798-01 Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 53cv with transducer
Finally, I came across this product and had added it to my list of must-have products this year. I haven’t had the chance to use it, but online illustrations and the opinions of a few of my friends who have used it are enough evidence that this is a unique product. I have given it a thought and will be getting it this year. There are several things I love about it. First, it offers an easy installation process as displayed in the video I watched.
I got a chance, and I’m confident that this is the accurate marine GPS I need even to catch more schools of fish than I have ever had before.
Marine GPS and Chartplotter Buying Guide
Marine GPS and Chartplotter is a very delicate device and therefore, you need to follow a buying guide in order to buy the best one for your requirements.
Access to Navigation Data
When you decide to buy a marine GPS and chartplotter, the first thing that you need to keep in mind on the type of navigation data that you are going to receive. The modern-day devices are capable of getting connected to a larger database for displaying the location data. You can also lookout for the function of autopilot, which will help in quickly plotting the charts. It is extremely important that your software remains updated which will allow your device to function without any lapse. Also, lookout for a device which will connect to sensors and will let you have different other metrics.
If your GPS chartplotter has the feature of the touchscreen, then it will be spontaneous to use. You can also go for buttons where touchscreen devices may be difficult to work in salty or damp situations. Buttons are reliable but take a longer time to use. It will be your own personal choice to opt between the two as touchscreen devices usually have large screens.
Ease of Use
When choosing your device, make sure that it does not require anything extra for you to conveniently install the GPS module. Look out for the accessories and any other sensors which will enable you to use the device efficiently. Go for the one which is easy to learn and offers simplicity. If you are a casual sailor, then a handheld unit may be the best option. Even if you are an advanced sailor, then it is highly recommended to go for an easy to manage the device.
Chartplotter for Racing
A chartplotter for racing must have racing-specific features. It will enable you to monitor your time as well as speed when you are on the water. Some may even be equipped with the tool of wind calculation, which will let you move faster and make a smarter decision. Look out for something simple which will let you use the device safely when you are out in the water.
Chartplotter for Fishing
If you want to fish successfully, then the fishing feature will provide you with better results. Look out for chartplotters that have sonar as well as other tools for finding fish. These tools are very useful and are highly recommended if you are a professional fisherman. You can also look out for other options which will let you make customized seabed maps. In doing so, it will allow you to easily get your favorite fishing zone. However, keep that in mind that the feature of sonar will make you shell out more from your pocket.
Since different chartplotters come in different sizes, it becomes difficult from which to choose. A chartplotter with a large display size will be very convenient as it will let you see the navigational details from a close motion. It will also let you have better functionality allowing you to make the most out of it. A high-resolution device will let you move easily in large vessels. Also, look out for the brightness offered by the screen. A colorful and bright screen is ideal for navigation as it will let you use it at night.
If your gadget lets you connect it to other devices, then it will be very useful. You can easily connect it to your smartphone or smartwatch and tract it from anywhere you want. Chartplotters these days will let you access data from a custom app. Some may even come up with a mobile phone which will let you operate it even when you are moving. You can also look out for the one which has WiFi which lets you have access to various online services. In doing so, you can easily know about the weather updates and location from other sources.
You must always look out for marine GPS chartplotters which will suit your needs. You can look out for the demos which will meet your requirements and make the best buy. To have a safe course, ensure about the simplicity. A device with a micro SD card slot will let you add optional maps and save waypoints. Check if it has a good GPU and if there is the function of auto-guidance.
I have used several marine GPS and Chartplotters. Throughout my experience, I have learned that the price is a significant aspect that has to be taken into account. If you want to have the best results, don’t go for the cheap ones.