5 Best Marine GPS (Reviews Updated 2022)

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Whether you’re the captain of a schooner, a speed boat, or a dingy, you know how important it is to make every effort to ensure you’re safety. There are tons of devices that mariners can use to guide them and secure safe travels; a marine VHF radio, a high frequency marine VHF antenna, a personal locator beacon, and an EPIRB are just a few of the tools that you should consider having on board your vessel. While all of these devices are certainly indispensable, there’s something else that may be even more crucial: a marine GPS device.

Global Positioning System technology (GPS) provides the most accurate, detailed, and current location-related information possible. Because of the accuracy of this technology, there are various products available that utilize it to make all types of travel easier and safer; for example, a dedicated car GPS can provides detailed directions to road-based destinations and other helpful information, while handheld GPS units make this technology portable and provide detailed information for hikers, skiers, cyclists, and even mountain climbers. Marine GPS devices utilize the same advanced technology, but as the name suggests, they are specifically made for mariners and provide detailed coordinates on the water.

Whether you’re looking for a specific dive site, you want to map out a coastline, or you just need to find your way to a particular location, a marine GPS will guide you on the water. But there are tons of marine GPS units to choose from, which can make it hard to narrow down your options. We’ve put together a list of some of the best devices currently on the market:

Best Marine GPS

 

1. Garmin Echomap 74Cv

Garmin Echomap Chirp 74cv With TransducerAnglers will love the Garmin Echomap Chirp 74Cv with Transducer, as it not serves as a marine GPS, but it also functions as a fish finder. That’s right, with this device on your boat, not only will you be able to find the best fishing spots with ease, but you’ll also be able to pinpoint when a fish is in your area. With this device, you can be sure that you’ll make a catch every time you cast your reel!

This marine GPS features the most advanced GPS technology, which updates your coordinates an astonishing five times per second so you can drop as many at 5,000 precise waypoints quickly and easily. Preloaded with BlueChart g2 HD maps, which cover all coastal areas of the United States, including the Great Lakes, as well as NOAA charts, you’ll be able to find accurate and detailed coordinates wherever you may be sailing.

The Garmin Echomap Chirp 74Cv features highly advanced Chirp sonar technology so you can see exactly what’s going on under the water right on the clear and easy to read LCD screen; not only will you be able to get the most accurate visual representation of fish, but you can also see hazards that may be nearby, such as jagged rocks. You can even create a personalized fishing map with this device.

What We Like About It

  • Features Chirp sonar
  • Preloaded with BlueChart g2 charts for all US coastal areas, including the Great Lakes
  • Provides highly detailed maps
  • Updates coordinates five times a second
  • Clear and easy to read color display
  • Easy to set up and use

Reasons to Complain

  • A few users said that the product they received was defective
  • Others said that they found the charting was inaccurate

Final Verdict: With the Garmin Echomap Chirp 74Cv with Transducer, you’ll not only be able to find your coordinates on waterways throughout the United States, but you’ll also be able to track fish and other objects underneath and around your vessel. This device offers some of the most advanced technologies and incredible capabilities; plus, it’s easy to use.

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2. Simrad Go7 XSR Chartplotter

Simrad Go7 Xse ChartplotterNext up on our list of the best marine GPS devices is the Simrad Go7 XSR Chartplotter. Similar to the Garmin ecoMap, this device also serves as a GPS and a fish finder, but it’s more affordable, and according to some users, it’s more accurate and even easier to use.

The intuitive touchscreen makes this device incredibly easy to use. The screen displays clear color images, so you will have no trouble seeing your coordinates or what’s going on around your boat. The built-in 10 hertz GPS provides you with hundreds of maps to view so that you can easily track your location.

Sonar technology provides you with an extremely clear view of the area underneath and around your vessel, so not only can you see what fish are swimming in your area, but you can also see the depth under your hull to ensure your safety.

This unit also features Tripntel technology that showcases and keeps tabs on vital information, including the status of your fuel, the performance of your vessel, and even upcoming tide levels. All data is refreshed five times per second to offer real time images; plus, the images are so clear that you can easily tell the difference between fish, vegetation, and blockades.

Other notable features include WiFi connectivity, charting, and a MicroSD media slot.

What We Like About It

  • Functions as a full-featured chartplotter
  • Offers clear and crisp images, thanks to advanced sonar technology
  • Full-functioning and accurate GPS technology
  • Built-in WiFi connectivity
  • Features Tripintel technology
  • The interface can be customized
  • Easy to use

Reasons to Complain

  • Some users said that while the maps were accurate, their clarity was poor
  • The unit does not support NOAA charts

Final Verdict: The Simrad Go7 XSR Chartplotter is a full-functioning GPS and fish tracking device. Not only will you be able to find out your exact coordinates, but you will be able to see what’s going on underneath around your boat and even locate your next catch.

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3. Standard Horizon GX1800GB Standard Explorer GPS

Standard Horizon Gx1700b Standard Explorer GpsWith the Standard Horizon GX1800GB Standard Explorer GPS, you’ll get a marine VHF, a marine GPS, and an emergency radio, and a weather radio all in one convenient and easy to use device at a very affordable price. This was the very first marine VHF radio to feature built-in GPS technology, and to date, it’s one of the most reliable options on the market.

Featuring an internal 12 channel GPS, which is built directly into the front panel, you won’t have to deal with connecting the unit to a GPS; it’s ready to use right out of the box! You can access waypoint navigation, position sharing, and even DSC calling from this device.

This unit even offers navigation to DSC distress calls. Save up to 100 waypoints, which you can selected and located via the easy to follow compass display, which clearly illustrates the SOG, COG, BRG, and DST of your vessel to the waypoint.

With access to NOAA weather channels, you can keep track of the latest weather updates, and if there are any severe storms heading your way, a NOAA weather alert will sound so you can make the proper preparations. It’s incredibly easy to mount and use, doesn’t take up a lot of space, and offers Clear Voice Noise Reduction technology to ensure clear communication.

What We Like About It

  • Functions as a GPS, a marine VHF radio, a weather radio, and an emergency radio
  • Outfitted with the most advanced and reliable technology
  • Easy to use
  • Access to NOAA weather channels and alerts
  • Affordably priced
  • Replaces the popular Standard Horizon GX1700B

Reasons to Complain

  • A few users said that the unit was defective when they received it
  • Others said that the display went dim shortly after using it

Final Verdict: The Standard Horizon GX1800GB Standard Explorer GPS is a multifunctional safety tool for mariners. It functions as a GPS, a marine VHF radio, a weather radio, and an emergency radio all in one unit. It’s also easy to use and incredibly reliable.

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4. Garmin GPSMAP 78S Marine GPS Navigator

Garmin Gpsmap 78s Marine Gps NavigatorWhether you sail for work or for pleasure, the Garmin GPSMAP 78S Marine GPS Navigator will definitely come in handy. Like all Garmin products, this device is outfitted with the latest technologies to provide pinpoint accuracy that you can rely on. The compact size won’t get in the way; and it can be transported from vessel to vessel, too.

This unit is equipped with built-in worldwide basemap, so you will be able to navigate virtually anywhere you can imagine with complete ease. It also features a built-in 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass, so you can see where you’re going, even when you aren’t moving, without having to worry about holding the device level.

A barometric altimeter keeps track of changes in pressure so you can locate your exact altitude and plot your barometric pressure so you can keep tabs on any changes in the weather. With this unit, you have the option to share your waypoints, tracks, routes, and geocaches wirelessly, so you can let your buddies know where your favorite fishing spot is located with ease.

With WAAS-enabled GPS receiver and HotFix satellite prediction, you’ll be able to find your location quickly. The display is easy crisp, clear, and easy to read, and it’s fully waterproof and even floats on water so you can easily retrieve it if it does fall in the water.

There’s even a man overboard button; if someone falls off your vessel, simply hit the button and the device will instantly notate their location on the map.

What We Like About It

  • Outfitted with the most advanced GPS technology
  • Incredibly accurate for reliable positioning information
  • Easy to read display
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Floats on water
  • Features a man overboard function
  • Incredibly fast performance

Reasons to Complain

  • Optional maps are available, but you have to pay for them, and they can be costly

Final Verdict: The Garmin GPSMAP 78S Marine GPS Navigator is a compact, lightweight, and portable marine GPS device. As you would expect from Garmin, it’s outfitted with the most advanced technologies, is reliable, and is incredibly easy to use.

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5. Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer

Garmin Striker 4 With TransducerThe last option on our list of the best marine GPS devices is the Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer. Since it’s a Garmin, you can be sure that it’s reliable and easy to use. Of all the devices featured on our list, it’s the most durable GPS; plus, it’s very affordable.

Featuring Clearvu Scanning Sonar, this unit shows you what is in the water around your vessel via crystal clear images that offer highly detailed images of the objects, structures, of fish. The keyed interface makes it extremely easy to use, and the color display is crisp and bright.

A waypoint map, you can easily see, mark, and navigate to various locations. This marine GPS also features Chirp sonar, which sends continues sweeps of frequencies to provide you with a bigger range of information.

What We Like About It

  • Features Chirp sonar technology
  • Advanced GPS technology
  • A waypoint map lets you easily see, mark, and navigate locations
  • A built-in flasher lets you see your sonar information with ease
  • Very easy to install and use
  • Affordably priced

Reasons to Complain

  • Some users said that they had a hard time setting it up
  • Others said that it was defective when they received it

Final Verdict: The Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer is an affordable, reliable marine GPS and tracker. It’s outfitted with the most advanced technologies to ensure fast performance and accurate information.

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The Best Marine GPS: A Buyer’s Guide

Best Marine Gps ReviewsIt’s no secret that mariners need to take every precaution possible in order to protect themselves when they’re on the water. Knowing where you are, where you’re going, and what’s going on around you is vital when you’re out on the open sea, and that’s exactly what a marine GPS lets you do.

Factors to Consider

If you’re looking for a marine GPS, there’s no doubt that you want to make sure you are purchasing the highest quality, most reliable device possible. In order to do that, there are some factors that you’re going to want to take into consideration before you make a purchase. By considering the following factors, you’ll be able to find a reliable marine GPS that will best meet your needs.

  • Most marine GPS devices feature a chartplotter or a fish finder, or both. What you need depends on what you’re planning on doing while you’re on the water. With a chartplotter, you will be able to continuously monitor your precise coordinates, as well as receive real-time tracking of your boat speed and the direction you are facing, among other things. If you fish, a fishfinder can be incredibly useful, as this feature allows you to locate fish that are near your boat with sonar technology.
  • If you’re interested in a fish finder, a transducer focuses the beam, and the more focused the beam is, the more accurately the device will be able to pinpoint the locations of fish in the water.
  • It’s important to select a durable marine GPS. It should be water-resistant, at least, but preferably, it should be waterproof. It should also be made of rugged materials so that it can stand up to wear and tear.
  • Additional features. Some marine GPS devices can also function as emergency, weather, and marine VHF radios. Consider your specific needs and whether or not you would like a unit that functions as an all-in-one device.

Summing It Up

With a marine GPS on your vessel, you can keep track of your coordinates and find out where you’re going with ease. All of the units featured in our review feature the most advanced technologies and are extremely reliable so you can ensure your safety when you’re out at sea.

Sources:

BoatUS

Discover Boating

Hunts Marine