Marine GPS devices can be used by seasoned sailors as well as new beginners because the device is very easy to use and comes with a clear instructions booklet. Moreover, a best marine GPS device can help boats find the shore, port or new destination for exploration plus marine GPS is often used to find fish or large rocks on the route that could potentially damage the bottom of the boat.
In other words, marine GPS devices have fully replaced the old means of finding one’s way in the sea especially with the help of compasses and large maps. Furthermore, marine GPS devices come in a wide variety of sizes, range in price and come with different features. Some marine GPS devices even offer features such as fish finding.
Table of Contents
- Comparison of 10 Best Marine GPS in 2021
- Top 15 Best Marine GPS Reviews in 2021
- 1. Garmin Striker 4 GPS Fishfinder
- 2. Standard Horizon HX870 Handheld VHF
- 3. Garmin GPSMAP 64st GPS
- 4. Humminbird 409610-1 Helix 5 Fish Finder
- 5. Garmin eTrex 10 Handheld GPS Navigator
- 6. Raymarine Axiom 7 Fish Finder
- 7. Garmin GPSMAP 78sc Marine GPS
- 8. Nautilus LifeLine Marine GPS
- 9. Garmin Oregon 600 Handheld GPS
- 10. Raymarine Dragonfly Pro Marine GPS
- 11. Simrad GO7 XSR Chartplotter
- 12. Garmin Striker 7SV with Transducer
- 13. Focket Marine GPS Navigator
- 14. Garmin GPSMAP 76CS Marine GPS
- 15. ONWA Marine GPS Chart Plotter
- How to Choose a Best Marine GPS Device?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Relevant Resources
Comparison of 10 Best Marine GPS in 2021
|Garmin Striker 4 GPS Fishfinder||Check Price|
|Standard Horizon Handheld VHF||Check Price|
|Garmin GPSMAP 64st GPS||Check Price|
|Humminbird Helix 5 Fish finder||Check Price|
|Garmin eTrex 10 GPS Navigator||Check Price|
|Raymarine Axiom 7 Fish Finder||Check Price|
|Garmin GPSMAP 78sc Marine GPS||Check Price|
|Nautilus LifeLine Marine GPS||Check Price|
|Garmin Oregon Handheld GPS||Check Price|
|Raymarine Dragonfly Pro Marine GPS||Check Price|
Top 15 Best Marine GPS Reviews in 2021
1. Garmin Striker 4 GPS Fishfinder
Garmin Striker 4 will be great for individuals wanting to see not only what is ahead and around them but what is beneath them too. This Garmin Fishfinder model will show you underwater structures such as coral reefs, rocks and even school of fish.
Moreover, it comes with a large and easy to read display and has been certified as 100% waterproof. Also, it comes with a waypoint map that will enable you to easily mark, navigate and view different locations.
- GPS and fishfinder
- Shows what is beneath you
- Large 3.5-inch screen
- Available with a 7-inch screen too
- Known brand
- Batteries will often need to be replaced
- The display can be hard to read in the sunshine
- Comes without a carrying case
Also Read: Best Truck GPS – Top Chooses to Buy
2. Standard Horizon HX870 Handheld VHF
Standard Horizon is a floating handheld marine GPS device that comes with 1800 ampere lithium battery that enables the device to work for at least 10 hours before needing recharging. These marine GPS devices have been tested and found to fully comply with several industry standards such as ITU-R.
Moreover, this model is fully waterproof thus it is great for divers and individuals owning boats, yachts and other marine vessels. Lastly, is it fitted with a noise cancelling system that will mute transmit and receive sound whenever you will need it.
- Fitted with a noise cancelling system
- Tested and certified
- Comes with 1800 A lithium battery
- Quickly charges
- No warranty
3. Garmin GPSMAP 64st GPS
Garmin High Sensitivity TOPO Marine Device comes with a 2.6-inch color display that can be easily read in the sunlight plus this device has a long life battery that has been reported to work for at least 15 hours before needing a recharge.
Moreover, the device has been tested and rated as IPX7 plus it comes with an 8 GB internal memory and a 160*240 pixel screen. Furthermore, this model of Garmin marine GPS device comes with a 3-axis compass and a barometric altimeter. It works great with 2 polaroid AA batteries or the rechargeable NiMH batteries.
- The display can be easily read in the sunlight
- Batteries will be enough for up to 15 hours of continuous work
- 8 GB internal memory
- Water rated as IPX7
- Good customer support
- Moving and stopping sensor is inaccurate
- Takes a long time to download maps
- Often loses signal especially in the woods
4. Humminbird 409610-1 Helix 5 Fish Finder
This dual-beam sonar GPS is among the best marine GPS reviews mention. It’s always highly praised. It even comes with GPS mapping to guide you through unknown areas. With both a sonar function and a guiding function, it may be among the best options to consider.
The little device can also take on more maps than expected. For this purpose, you’ll need to purchase a fast SD card to save your favorite locations. Since it is compatible with the Hummingbird UniMap database, it is also a capable solution to use for all future fishing adventures.
- Scans down to 1500 feet
- Compatible with SD memory cards
- Compatible with Hummingbird UniMap
- Low-resolution display
Garmin eTrex 10 Marine GPS Device has been tested and rated as IPX7 plus it comes with a color display that can be easily read in the sunlight plus this device has a long life battery that has been reported to work for at least 8 hours before needing a recharge.
Furthermore, this model of Garmin marine GPS device comes with a 3-axis compass and a barometric altimeter. It works great with 2 polaroid AA batteries or the rechargeable NiMH batteries.
- The display can be easily read in the sunlight
- Good customer support
- Moving and stopping sensor is inaccurate
- Takes a long time to download maps
- Fairly small display
6. Raymarine Axiom 7 Fish Finder
If you’re a fan of split screens and multitasking, this can be the right marine GPS for you. I know I like to see all the information on the screen, even on such a small 7” device. With built-in 3D sonar functions, this navigation device offers plenty of reliability.
It already covers 20,000 inland ponds across the US and Canada which are saved in its database. With a fast processor, the advantage of the GPS still lies in its LightHouse 3 operating system. Similar to Windows mobile, it bases its interface on intuitive use.
It’s this interface that allows customization, something which can’t be said about most of its alternatives. This customization can be taken further with your Axiom routes which can be displayed on the screen at all times.
Auto-routing is also supported by the device. It features a shore-to-shore function. This is helpful when you want to navigate to and from a location without changing its settings. You may then save your route for future use as well.
- Made with a sharp screen
- Impressive customization options
- Very fast LightHouse 3 performance
- Doesn’t include a microSD memory card
7. Garmin GPSMAP 78sc Marine GPS
A very compact and portable marine GPS device that is only 2.6 inches in size hence you could easily carry it in your pocket. Moreover, it is made with a sensitive GPS receiver that will ensure you always have a signal while the TFT color display ensures easy reading even in the sunlight.
Garmin Handheld 78sc marine GPS has been tested and certified as fully waterproof thus it can float in the water without getting damaged. The device comes with the pre-installed United States and Bahamas maps however other maps will need to be downloaded.
With this device, you can share your position, route and other data with other users through a wireless connection. Furthermore, this model comes with a 3-axis tilt compensated compass that will ensure accurate positioning.
- Comes with two pre-installed maps
- Can be used to share data with other devices through a wireless connection
- Made with 3-axis tilt compensated compass
- The screen is very small thus it can be hard to read
- Slow map downloading
8. Nautilus LifeLine Marine GPS
This gadget is a GPS that might help you out big time when you’re in a pickle. Sure, it’s not something that you’re going to use frequently. You’re going to pray that you never have to use it at all. However, when you do need it, you’ll be amazed by this tiny GPS’s efficiency.
As I’ve said already, it’s a small device. When you get separated from your companion or boat, you can detach the red distress cap and press the red button. The GPS position is accurate to 1.5 meters, and the man overboard message will be broadcasted to all AIS-equipped ships up to 34 miles away.
The GPS floats and is waterproof. You only have to make sure the o-ring is clean. However, since it’s both small and floaty, it might slip off your fingers and get lost in the water. It might help secure it with some sort of lanyard if you want to keep track of it in choppy water.
One downside to this gadget is that it doesn’t come with a physical copy of the user manual. You can download a PDF from their website, but some users complained that it was somewhat confusing and hard to follow.
- Small and compact
- Waterproof and capable of floating
- Broadcasts your GPS position via AIS and DSC frequencies
- Useful for scuba divers in case they get separated from their dive boat
- It doesn’t come with a copy of the user manual
9. Garmin Oregon 600 Handheld GPS
Moreover, Garmin Oregon is fitted with dual GPS and GLONASS satellite receiver thus you can be sure of continuous and accurate signal that will provide you with exact positioning and other crucial data such as water depth, large rock formations and nearby ports.
Also, you could share this data wirelessly with other devices through wireless connections such as Bluetooth or the ANT.
- The large 3-inch screen is easy to read
- Fitted with dual-band GPS and GLONASS
- Accurate positioning
- Bluetooth and ANT
- Takes hours to recharge
- Batteries were reported to often leak
- Not waterproof
10. Raymarine Dragonfly Pro Marine GPS
Raymarine Dragonfly Pro Chirp Navionics is suitable to be used in any weather plus it comes with an HD screen that can be backlit at night for easy reading. Moreover, it comes with a sturdy and durable mounting that you could use to position the GPS in a way that will be comfortable for you.
Plus, this marine GPS device has large internal storage for up to 3000 user waypoints and 15 routes as well a 3-axis compass and a barometric altimeter.
- Large display that can be backlit at night
- Wall or surface mounting
- 3-axis compass
- Barometric altimeter
- GPS and GLONASS
- The signal can be sometimes lost
- HD screen was reported to fog up after some time
11. Simrad GO7 XSR Chartplotter
Simrad GO7 XSR Chartplotter and Marine GPS is a full-featured chart plotter that uses TripIntel technology. Plus, it comes with an extra-large color display with a bright LED backlight that can be easily read in the sunlight. Moreover, the display has an easy-to-use multi-touch interface.
This GPS device has a high-speed 10 Hz GPS receiver. It’s also equipped with built-in wireless connectivity. The dual microSD card slots also help to store more information. It’s compatible with both flush or bracket mount displays.
- Equipped with TripIntel technology
- Flush or bracket mount display
- High-speed 10 Hz GPS receiver
- Built-in wireless connectivity
- Dual microSD card slots
- Built rather cheaply
12. Garmin Striker 7SV with Transducer
Garmin is a name that needs no introduction in the best marine GPS devices’ world. With multiple navigation awards every year, it is always among the best portable marine GPS devices. Among other basic features, it includes waypoints.
This allows you to create routes, add it to your boat speed and estimate your time of arrival. This function can be paired with smartphone notifications whenever a new waypoint is reached.
These maps can be stored and shared online. You may save some time by looking for a waypoint-enabled map online before you reach your destination. With a vivid 7” display, the device is also visible in bright sunlight.
- Supports an 800 X 400 resolution
- Enabled waypoints navigation
- Includes WiFi connectivity
- Slow data synchronization
If a sturdy, all-around marine GPS is what you’re looking for, then the Focket GPS unit would be suitable for you. It has a clear, bright 7 inches color display with 800×480 resolution. It also has a wide angle of view. Therefore you shouldn’t have any trouble viewing it.
Other than the superb display, other features include tide, yaw alarm, MOB, Position tracking, stepless backlight brightness adjustment, compass interface, and analog navigation. The unit comes with mounting accessories, so installation is relatively easy. However, the unit requires you to be cautious about a couple of things, such as:
- The positive and negative poles of the electric power cannot be connected incorrectly.
- The radar antenna must not be occluded. It also should not be installed on a horizontal line with satellite phones.
- Do not launch the radar without the antenna.
- Equipped with intelligent voice
- Great at measuring distance
- Simple installation
- It comes with 200 routes and 10,000 waypoints
- The device is rather sensitive
14. Garmin GPSMAP 76CS Marine GPS
This tiny little handheld marine GPS unit has a lot of functionality crammed into its body. Though small, the color display is vivid and sunlight readable. Some users commented that it took a while for them to get used to the way you have to read it.
The unit is buoyant and waterproof. It’s also waterproof to IEC 60529 IPX-7 standards, so you don’t need to worry about the claim’s legitimacy. It runs on GPS for 20 hours max. If you turn it on and off when needed instead of keeping it on continuously, it supposedly runs longer.
- Sizeable internal memory
- Fast USB connectivity
- Equipped with a 13 MB marine base map including tide data
- 115 MB of internal memory
- Faster loading maps and charts
- Built-n quad-helix antenna with remote antenna capability
- Not very user friendly
- Tiny display
15. ONWA Marine GPS Chart Plotter
Moreover, this device also comes with a display unit KP-12, GPS antenna with 10m cable, standard installation material, and operator manual. It’s admirable that the manufacturers include a manual because GPS units tend to be quite tough to use without instructions.
- K-Chart Mapping System and C-map Max Compatible
- Comes with 10m External Antenna
- High Memory Capacity
- Tide Table
- NMEA0183 Interface
- The K-Chart download process is slightly difficult
How to Choose a Best Marine GPS Device?
Deciding what model of a marine GPS device to buy can be difficult especially with so many models on the market ranging from simple ones to full-sized navigation systems that cost at least several hundred dollars. However, the process of choosing the best marine GPS device does not have to be that complicated if you decide what exact features and functions you want to see in your marine GPS device.
Hence, before you go out shopping for the best marine GPS device ask yourself several questions such as how many satellites you want your marine GPS device to use? Normally, an average priced marine GPS device will use around 12 satellites however the most premium ones will likely use all 24 satellites that are available in the GPS system.
Secondly, decide on how large you want the screen to be but remember that large screens are much easier to read from a distance. This can be especially useful with models that show sea and lake beds as a large screen can be used to see any large rocks on the path that could cause potential hazards.
Thirdly, most marine GPS devices will be portable however some upscale models might be too large and heavy to be carried around. Moreover, think about whether you want your marine GPS device to have the ability to connect to computers. This function will be mainly needed to save important data such as waypoints, usual routes and any maps.
Also, if you will be willing to spend a couple of extra hundred dollars then you could get a marine GPS device with an external antenna that would provide the extra reception needed for better signal, more accurate forecasts as well as better mapping of the area.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Do I Need a Marine GPS?
A: Getting a marine GPS depends on your activities out in the open sea. If you plan to voyage pretty long distances in the open ocean, a marine GPS is necessary. It is quite easy to become disoriented and lost in the vast ocean. Having a reliable, modern GPS can guide you to your location with ease.
Not only can a marine GPS help you orientate yourself in the open sea, but it can also help you find valuable fishing courses. Modern GPS can also come with fish finder software. These will tell you where fish tend to gather and have built-in features such as maps of coastlines, rivers, and lakes. This makes the marine GPS a valuable piece of equipment to have on board.
Q: How Accurate Is a Marine GPS?
A: Modern GPS technology is highly accurate. However, it needs to have favorable atmospheric conditions to work correctly every time. GPS communicates with various satellites in low orbit, so having great weather won’t interfere with that connection.
Other factors such as tall buildings or densely populated areas can also affect the GPS’s performance; however, both of these aren’t a problem out in the open sea. Marine GPS is commonly used by the military, such as Coast Guards, because of its accuracy and reliability.
Q: What Is the Difference Between a Chartplotter and GPS?
A: When searching for a GPS, you might’ve heard of the term “Chartplotter.” The difference between a Chartplotter and GPS is that GPS will provide your location but doesn’t apply it on a map. Meanwhile, a Chartplotter will take the location provided by the GPS and apply it on top of a map. In short, all chart plotters are using GPS, while not all GPS are chart plotters.
A good and reliable marine GPS is crucial for safe marine journeys because there are no directional signs of any sort on the water plus without a marine GPS system boaters could potentially get lost and even die out at sea. Once you buy your marine GPS device make sure that you correctly install it and pay attention to whether your marine GPS device has internal or external antennas as the installation process will slightly differ between the two.
Moreover, GPS devices with internal antennas are more suitable to be used on open boats without a roof or tent cover as the satellite receiver will be much weaker in such models. On the other hand, GPS models with external antennas will need to be installed on top of your marine vessel cover and will need to be wired to the console and the receiver separately.
Also, think about downloading and installing a regional map as it will contain far more details than a general world map will. Plus stock up on batteries if your model of choice operates on AA batteries or ensure you have a reliable battery charger on board. You wouldn’t need to buy an expensive carrying case, just one that is made from durable material and thick enough to prevent scratches occurring on the marine GPS.
Look for marine GPS devices that come with a warranty and an adequate exchange window too as this will give you a chance to return the product if for some reason you will not like it. With all this information presented to you, we hope you now know how to select the best marine GPS device that will be durable, reliable and will serve you for years to come.