A GPS chartplotter is a very handy device to have if you enjoy frequent boating adventures. With the best marine GPS chartplotter, you can keep track of your position, heading, and speed as you journey.
Some advanced chartplotters also offer additional features like fish finder sonar tech, or may enable you to see just how deep certain areas of rivers or lakes might be. These tools are invaluable for identifying shallow waters so you won't strand your boat or damage your gear.
With a wide range of features and a great many benefits, a marine chartplotter is one of the best boating accessories you can buy.
Find the Best Marine GPS Chartplotter Here
There are quite a few different types of marine electronics that you can get for your boat. Not all of these devices offer the same features. They can be programmed with all sorts of maps or additional applications.
We did some research and concluded that the following were the best GPS systems to get if you want to locate the best fishing spots, keep an eye on weather conditions, or keep track of your heading.
The Garmin Echomap UHD 94SV - The Overall Best GPS Chartplotter
The Garmin Echomap is our top pick because this plotter comes with such a comprehensive navigation app, and it is very flexible.
This GPS is ideal for those who live in wet conditions because it comes with quick release hardware that you can install on your boat. The mount can tilt for easy viewing in sunny conditions, and if it rains, you can click it out of the mount to store it in a safer area.
We love the large 9-inch touchscreen on this little device. The touchscreen makes for easy selection, and the high-resolution screen gives you a very clear sonar view at different depth ranges.
This little marine GPS is pre-loaded with BlueChart G3 coastal maps, but it is compatible with other maps and apps. You can also update the Garmin via Wi-fi. It can be used to navigate your location, get a view under the water, and you can even chart your own fishing maps. It is one of the most advanced GPS chartplotters you can buy.
- Dimensions - 13.54 x 10.24 x 8.31 Inches
- Weight - 5.92 Pounds
- Screen size and type - 9 Inch LCD
- Interference input - Touchscreen with press buttons
- Map type - Nautical
- Preloaded charts - BlueChart G3 coastal charts
- Connectivity - Internal antenna for Wi-Fi updates
- Compatibility - Echomap Plus, Echomap UHD, and Echomap Ultra units
- Main features - Engine data, sensor connection, autopilot integration, and more
- The touch screen is a big bonus because it makes navigation very easy
- You can update the device via Wi-Fi
- It already has a map installed with detailed charts
- The 9 inch display size is very large so you get a clear view
- A quick release tillable mount is included for easy installation
- You get a protective cover
- The high contrast scanning sonar allows you to see objects and depth contours clearly
- Quickdraw contours allow you to create your own fishing maps
- The device displays information in real-time for a more accurate idea of what is going on around you
- The device is pricey
The Lowrance Elite FS 7 Fish Finder - The Runner-Up GPS Marine Tracker
The Lowrance Elite is our runner up. You can get this little plotter in a 7 or 9 inch display size. The 9 inch touch screen is very convenient to use, and gives you a very good high-resolution view of the sonar imaging the device picks up in deep waters.
It is one of the best marine navigation apps because it is pre-installed with C-maps that includes over 8,900 maps. You can also upgrade the maps via wireless or ethernet connection. The little chartplotter is compatible with all sorts of data and charting software.
This fish finder is perfect for mapping all of your favorite fishing spots because it has quickdraw contours that allow you to easily mark certain fishing spots. This auto-routing makes it very easy to reach fishing hotspots the next time you go on the water.
- Dimensions - 11.44 c 16 c 5.42 Inches
- Weight - 9.61 Pounds
- Screen size and type - 7 or 9 Inch LCD
- Interference input - Touch-screen with push buttons
- Map type - C-Map Contour+
- Preloaded charts - C-Map Contour with 8,900 lakes and navigation
- Connectivity - Wireless, NMEA 200, and ethernet
- Compatibility - Add Halo Dome Radar, Outboard Pilot, Share sonar, charting, waypoints. and other data
- Main features - CHIRP, SideScan, DownScan. and FishReveal
- You can get it in a 7 or 9 inch display size
- It offers various display modes
- It has a pre-loaded chart with C-map that includes lots of inland lakes
- Various connectivity options for easy map upgrades
- It is compatible with different software or devices
- The sonar offers side and down scan features for a broader view
- Fishfinder combo is ideal for identifying the best places to fish
- Plot your favorite fishing spot so you can easily find these areas again
- The touchscreen is very convenient to use
- The high resolution screen gives a very good view of your surroundings
- The device is expensive
If you are shopping for the best GPS marine plotter on a tight budget then this little Garmin Strike is a good pick. The little plotter features a 7 inch LCD screen that gives a very clear view of sonar imaging. You can choose from different display settings, and the screen resolution is impressive for such an affordable device.
You can use the GPS to mark waypoints or create your own fishing routes. The GPS offers convenient operation because you can view the speed, heading, water depth, and time all in one single glance. This allows for easy engine monitoring.
We are not sure what mapping is installed on the device, but it does offer Wi-Fi connectivity so you can install your own maps or update the device with ease.
- Dimensions - 11.4 x 8.9 x 8.2 Inches
- Weight - 1 Pound
- Screen size and type - 7 Inch LCD
- Interference input - Buttons
- Connectivity - Wi-fi
- Compatibility - Supports Garmin Chirp traditional sonar, Chirp Clearvu, Chirp sidevu, Scanning sonars and Smartphone compatible
- Main features - GPS to mark waypoints, create routes, view boat speed. and quickdraw mapping
- Affordable price
- The 7 inch screen is nice and large
- Select different display modes to enhance functionality
- The handheld unit is very portable
- Wi-fi connectivity makes for easy upgrades
- The GPS makes it very easy to see your heading, speed, water depth, and the time
- Supports various sonar apps and can be used in deep waters
- Mounting hardware is included
- Waypoint marking allows you to plot your maps
- Not compatible with all CHIRP technologies
The Simrad Cruise GPS is a great device if you need something for your marine vehicle that is very easy to use. This chartplotter has a 9 inch screen, but you can also get it in 5 or 7 inch sizes at a more affordable price.
The high-resolution screen gives you a pretty clear mapping view, and we love that the GPS details like SOG, depth, COG, temperature, and more are displayed on the side for easy viewing. It doesn't come with a touch screen, though it does accept voice commands.
The sonar view is not the best. It’s still very clear, and will give you a pretty realistic idea of what is going on in your surroundings. You can also install C-maps or maps by Naviconics when you get a good Wi-fi connection. It is a great little device for casual coastal cruising.
- Dimensions - 12.5 x 9.2 x 9 Inches
- Weight - 5.69 Pounds
- Screen size and type - 9 Inch (5 and 7 Inch sizes also available)
- Interference input - Voice command, keypad
- Preloaded charts - US Coastal Map
- Connectivity - Wi-fi
- Compatibility - Supports charts from C-Map and Navionics
- Main features - GPS navigation, depth readings, position
- Affordable price range
- The display screen is nice and big for easy viewing
- It is pre-loaded with US coastal map
- Offers various essential features like GPS navigation, depth readings, and position
- Extremely easy to use
- You can update the maps via Wi-fi connection
- The voice command is quite convenient
- Chart your routes so you can easily navigate
- The digital sonar gives a very good view
- Basic display is not as detailed as some marine GPS
- No touch-screen
The Humminbird Helix is a good marine plotter if you prefer to connect with others via Bluetooth. You can also update the software via ethernet connection.
The little GPS has a high-resolution 7 inch screen. This device offers impressive display resolution for such a simple and small device. The sonar imaging is very clear even though it doesn't have the biggest screen.
It is an ideal device for network chartplotters because you can connect with other devices to transfer data and information.
The vector charts offer you a very realistic view of your surroundings. The sonar gives good spectrum imaging, which is ideal for finding the best fishing spots. With this chartplotter combo, you can easily navigate the seas, keep track of your speed and heading, or identify new boating routes.
- Dimensions - 10.54 x 1.13 x 5.44 Inches
- Weight - 7 Inches
- Screen size and type - 7 Inch
- Map type - Nautical
- Preloaded charts - Humminbird Basemap
- Connectivity - Ethernet, Bluetooth
- Compatibility - Connect with multiple fish finders, you can upgrade the tech
- Main features - Down imaging, Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar, GPS, AutoChart live
- The sonar view is very clear, even in dark conditions up to 125 feet below your boat
- The 7 inch screen is big for handheld devices
- Marine navigation apps are easy to use, and gives a very realistic idea of your surroundings
- Comes with mounting hardware
- Ethernet and Bluetooth connectivity makes for easy updating
- You can connect with multiple fish finders to keep track of other boats
- The Humminbird Helix is easy to use
- Humminbird basemap includes lake maps and is already installed on the device
- It doesn't come with a touch screen
- Doesn't offer a huge variety of features
Are you having a tough time choosing the best marine GPS chartplotter? We don't blame you, because all of these are fantastic devices. Here is a quick guide that might make it easier to decide.
The most advanced
If you are looking for an advanced tool, then the Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 94SV is our top pick. It’s quite compatible with other apps or software, comes with a touch screen, and has advanced mapping software installed. The sonar imaging is very clear, so you can get a realistic view of what’s going on below deck.
The Lowrance Elite is our runner-up in terms of advanced tech because it offers the same superior features, but it’s a little bit more expensive.
The budget option
The Garmin Striker is the most affordable option on our list. This simple little device offers decent navigational functionality at a great price.
The simplest GPS
The Simrad Cruise is the easiest to use. It might not be the best fishfinder, but it is great for mapping or for snorkeling expeditions because it offers excellent automatic depth tracking.
We do hope that this product review helps you find the best marine GPS chartplotter so you can increase your chances of catching a big fish on fishing trips. If you’re also in the market for other great quality boating gear, then you should have a look at some of our other product guides.