Marine GPS or Global Positioning System, can offer high-tech boaters endless possibilities. GPS receive signals from satellites which are used to determine location. Using a marine GPS is important because it will help you locate yourself precisely even on the high seas as it clearly pinpoints the position and the location of the vessel in the water.
Marine GPS units would very much come in handy when an unexpected situation happens. Through a marine GPS, you will be able to clearly know what routes to take and what courses to avoid, as well as all the other points that might be important for a ship in its navigation.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Marine GPS
Before purchasing a marine GPS, you need to consider some things first. It’s because the market offers a wide variety of them, therefore, you need to evaluate if they will suit your needs. Here are the things you should look into to get the best marine GPS.
- Preloaded Maps: It’s important that the GPS unit you’ll choose comes with preloaded worldwide base maps because these will allow you to navigate different waterways around the map. It’s also great if it will come with a worldwide imagery subscription. If not, you will have to pay for the subscription to get the best out of the unit.
- Portable: It’s also great to pick a portable GPS unit. A handheld one can give you a better portability, but in case it’s not handheld, one that comes with a mounting bracket would be better.
- Waterproof: Of course, since it will be used on a boat, you need to choose a waterproof marine GPS. It should also be buoyant for you to salvage it easily if in case it accidentally drops in the water.
- Networking: This is the capability to communicate between modules. This is essential because it will enable you to use multiple units at the same time, in different positions of the boat. A unit that has a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features is also great because it will allow you to share valuable information between units like waypoints.
- Display: The best marine GPS should have an excellent display which is readable under all weather conditions. It should also offer customizable and easy to read icons.
- Power Options: You should also look for the power options and pick the one that best suits for reliability. You can choose between the normal disposable batteries and rechargeable batteries. There are also some which offers a dual battery system which is great because you can always carry some AA batteries for backup if ever the rechargeable batteries die out.
The Best Marine GPS
Today, you will be able to find many different kinds of marine GPS in the market and sometimes, choosing one can be a daunting task. If you need help in picking the perfect GPS for your boat, then checkout our list of the top ten marine GPS.
Where to Buy
1. Lowrance HDS-7 Gen2 Touchscreen Chartplotter
Aside from being a great marine GPS, this unit also doubles as a fish finder. It offers features such as a multifunction display, lightning fast chart redraws, and an easy to use operating system. Its fish finder features a structure scan HD sonar and a broadband sounder.
While navigating, this marine GPS will enable you to network two or more units by using an Ethernet cable. It also comes in a durable casing and has a protective front cover for storage purposes. It accepts SD card up to 32 GB, and has a super bright touchscreen LCD.
This marine GPS offers a lot of great features and also works as a fish finder, having a structure scanner, forward scanner, and a CHIRP enabled broadband sounder. It has two scanning features that give it an excellent marine navigation.
This marine GPS also has chart plotting and waypoint management capabilities to enhance navigation further. Through its full-featured chart plotter, you will be able to navigate confidently because you can choose the most suitable charts which includes Navionics, C-MAP, insight, and insight Genesis.
This is a great and customizable unit that will give you to freedom to add shortcuts to its home screen. It is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled and has intuitive touch screen controls.
This unit has a built-in high sensitivity GPS receiver, making it very reliable when it comes to obtaining GPS locations. It has two micro SD card slots for enough memory to store data.
This marine GPS has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. It will enable you to network up to six units at the same time. It is also preloaded with lighthouse U.S. coastal charts. It has a 9-inch screen that will provide you a great display. It has a keypad to be used in navigating through the settings and controls.
This marine GPS has a fast processor that that makes zooming, panning maps, and exploring fun. Its interface is also very easy to use. Its LCD features high definition color and it has an optical bonding to prevent internal fogging.
It has a 50-internal channel sensor that offers fast location acquisition and precise guidance. The internal storage it comes with is preloaded with 300 waypoints and 15 tracks. It is also compatible with SD cards for additional storage.
You can easily mount this marine GPS onto any surface using a tilt and swivel mount. It is a simple and very easy to use unit and its customer support is excellent as well.
This marine GPS will give you superior reception through its quad helix antenna. It has an 8 GB internal memory where the pre-loaded maps are stored. Its maps cover the whole of the United States. It also come with a year subscription of bird’s eye imagery that will provide you additional tools that you can use for climbing and hiking.
This unit can be connected wirelessly via Bluetooth. You will be able to share your maps and waypoints to other compatible units, and even an iPhone is compatible with it. Through this marine GPS, you will be able to receive alerts, notifications, and emails wirelessly.
It also features a tilt compensated electronic compass. It is a lightweight and slim unit that is great for outdoor use. Its 2.6-inch color display is readable in sunlight. It has a dual battery system where you can use either AA batteries or the rechargeable NiMH battery which can last for 16 hours.
Where to Buy
This is a VHF radio that comes with an internal GPS. It is able to do digital selective calling and can also receive DSC calls. It is a 6 watts’ unit with selectable output power.
It is a handheld marine GPS that is designed to float on water. It has 66 channel WAAS GPS receiver for an excellent signal reception. It also features a noise cancelling function for both incoming and outgoing signals.
This marine GPS uses an oversized full dot matrix display which is excellent. It also comes with a USB port, allowing you to transfer data. It also has an icon based menu system, making it easier to use.
This marine GPS has a unique design and it does not use an external antenna. It has an excellent performance and a high level of accuracy. It has the ability to load custom maps that you want to add to the unit. Its 2.2-inch monochrome display will also give you an excellent readability under different conditions.
This unit uses a WAAS-enabled GPS receiver that couples as a hotfix satellite which can provide quick location acquisition. It can also maintain the GPS location even under heavy canyons and covers. It can also track both GLONASS and GPS satellites at the same time.
It also has a USB port and includes a USB cable, allowing you to connect it to your computer to share files. It has a geocaching feature that will enable you to create GPX files to be used for navigating. Its battery can last up to 24 hours.
This GPS device is compatible with three hundred and sixty-degree imaging, radar, autopilot, and i-pilot. Its processor is also faster compared to other options. It comes in a simple black color and an 8-inch colored HD screen.
This marine GPS can reveal beyond two hundred and forty feet section of either side of your boat. It will also help you easily identify objects and structures under your boat. You can also use it to fire sonar to sense fish up to 1,500 feet.
This handheld marine GPS has three sensors, an accelerometer, a barometric altimeter, and a three-axis compass. Its three sensors will help you keep track of the weather and your bearings. It works with a Bluetooth technology which will allow you to share files such as maps, photos, waypoints, and geocaches with other compatible Garmin GPS units.
This is a smart unit with a touch capability and its screen is readable even under sunlight and is impact resistant as well. It can also switch between portrait and landscape orientations. It has a dual battery system allowing you to use either AA batteries or the rechargeable NiMH battery.
If you usually hit the top speed when you go boating, then this is the best marine GPS unit for you. This unit has a quick processing speed that can cope with your fast boat. It also refreshes position ten times per second.
While navigating, this unit will allow you to create up to 5000 waypoints. It also has a wireless connectivity that will enable you to access the GPS credentials from PC, phones, and tablets via specific apps. It has an excellent visibility any time of the day and its display adjusts automatically depending on the light conditions.
This waterproof marine GPS unit is preloaded with US coastal and inland mapping, meaning, there’s no need for you to purchase maps. It also features dual SD card slots for storing additional maps and waypoints. It is also compatible to a fusion media system if you also like some entertainment while boating.
These are the top ten marine GPS we can recommend. We hope this list will be able to help you choose the perfect GPS to use on your next boating adventure.