Expert Reviews on GPS Chartplotters


Best GPS Chartplotter. What to Look for:


Boating is currently being revolutionized by the best portable marine GPS chartplotters, and so it’s only natural for a fisherman or woman to start looking for the right device. In order to help you separate the wheat from the chaff, we have created a comprehensive buyer’s guide that you can always come back to and consult in case you have second thoughts about ordering one unit or the next. To make the right call, just keep on reading.

Display quality and size

Not all navigational systems have the same features, and that’s why one of the core differences you’ll learn to make between one model and the other consists of the screen. While some people still argue that bigger isn’t necessarily better, the fact of the matter is that, when you’re shopping for the best GPS chartplotter under 500 or 1000, the dimensions of the display are quite important. On the other hand, the larger the screen, the less portable it will be and holding it in your hand might prove to be cumbersome. However, if you want to see all the details in the lake bed or ocean, you have to find a size that’s best suited to your preferences and requirements.


Connectivity capabilities

As we were mentioning above, it stands to reason that some devices are better than others. When tackling the topic of connectivity, what you need to be on the lookout for is whether or not you can connect the unit to a laptop or computer of your choice and eventually use it in order to update the maps and info provided by the manufacturer. If the model you have chosen can be used with wireless or Bluetooth, it’s even better, as it will give you the freedom to utilize various marine-specific applications that you might have downloaded from the App Store or Google Play, depending on the mobile device you might be the owner of.



Much like a GPS intended for car use, a GPS chartplotter has to be utilized for many purposes. For instance, most of the products intended for motorbikers give users the freedom to customize them so that they can utilize them when driving a car. To a certain extent, chartplotter can be used for your entertainment, in that some will allow you to download and listen to audiobooks or music, and even pick up several radio channels. If you already have a media player that you use on a regular basis, these factors are of no interest to you. In fact, you can focus on finding the best handheld marine GPS chartplotter for the money.


We’ve taken the time to go through the best GPS chartplotter reviews in 2018. Following an extensive research process, we have come to the conclusion that the next models are worth their weight in gold. They’ll guide you when you need them the most and will help you safely get back home.



Top GPS Chartplotters in 2018



Garmin GPSMAP 547


This Garmin model is one of the most reliable ones available for sale these days, and that’s because it has been outfitted with a 10Hz GPS/GLONASS receiver that enables it to refresh position up to ten times for every second that goes by.

What this means for the end-user is that he or she will be able to rest assured that everything will go according to plan. The data displayed by the device is remarkably accurate and has been praised by multiple owners who were kind enough to write reviews about the performance of this unit.

It’s also worth noting that, since this chartplotter has wireless connectivity, you will be able to get the most out of it by using marine-specific apps that you might have already installed on your tablet or smartphone. This particular model comes with a worldwide base map, as well as a US BlueChart g2 and US LakeVu data card.

While it might not be the most affordable alternative out there, the value offered by this device cannot be denied, as most of the user feedback we have analyzed in this sense is favorable. The 5-inch VGA screen is large enough for you to understand the information displayed.

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Garmin GPSMAP 78


Considering that it is significantly more budget-friendly than the formerly mentioned option, the GPSMAP 78 is intended for prospective buyers who feel like they’re not prepared to invest over five hundred dollars in a chartplotter of this kind. The device comes with a built-in memory of 1.7 GB, and this amount of storage should give you enough room to load and update the maps from time to time.

The only detail that might be less impressive about the Garmin 78 unit consists of the fact that its display measures only 160 by 240 pixels, which means that the screen is way smaller compared to the previously discussed chartplotter. Nonetheless, if you have no trouble discerning data shown on a less sizeable display, you can safely choose this reasonably priced model.

What’s more, this unit is water-resistant and so impervious on this account that it will even float on the surface of the ocean should you drop it by accident. As is the case with other options manufactured by Garmin, this particular one has been outfitted with a high-sensitive GPS receiver and satellite prediction that makes it possible for you to find your way back home and in unknown waters.

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Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 42dv


This marine electronic device is another one that should be borne in mind if you’re in the market for a high-quality choice that does the trick in most situations. It’s reliable, versatile, and easy to utilize, as most of the individuals who have purchased it have attested using the online rating system at many internet retailers. The only minor drawback that we were able to determine while researching the product is that it does not come with a transducer, and so you’ll have to either buy it separately or own it already.

This sonar takes the cake when it comes to letting you what’s happening around your boat, under the water, and in the area you might be roaming through. The product has been equipped with built-in maps and charts, much like the model we were mentioning at the beginning. Thanks to its 5Hz GPS, this device can refresh its position up to five times per second.

All in all, the EchoMAP CHIRP 42dv is a notable option to give some thought to as it even comes with a sizeable display measuring 4.3 inches. A keypad control is available and will prove to be useful since things are bound to get slippery when you’ll do your boat fishing.

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