Buying a GPS Chartplotter? Here are 4 Things You Need to Check Out

Chartplotters are essentially devices that generate a display that comes with an electronic navigational chart or what’s also known as an ENC. Often used in marine applications, it usually displays the chart along with other pertinent details such as the speed of the ship, its position along with where it’s headed. Data from sonar or echolocators are often displayed as well.


With so much information on display, it’s wise to choose a Garmin GPS chartplotter with the right display size. A unit that comes packed with a screen that measures around 5” diagonally might be a bit on the smaller side. Though the average size is between 5” to 6”. So try to go for 6 and above. That is unless you’re planning to use this on a small boat. Then you need to adjust your size to what works for your vessel. No matter how much you’d like to take home the unit with the biggest display you can find, you won’t have room in your tiny boat to fit that into.


You could, of course, customize your boat to ensure a large display fits. But you’re going to have to factor in added modifications and higher fuel costs. The bigger it is, after all, the heavier it is on water, so you use end up using much more fuel just to drive it to anywhere.


Boats says you need to check the rating of the unit. The Japanese Industry Standard or JIS rating level two means your equipment is merely splash proof. Anything more than that and you’ll go home with your chartplotter fried to a circuit. If you want to make sure your electronics survives a thorough dunking—just in case the boat capsizes—then go for units with a JIS rating level of eight. Those units are well able to work without a hitch, even after repeated dunkings.


You need to be careful when you buy anything for your boat, even if they’re just connectors. Connectors with plastic collars or metal prongs so thin they get bent out of shape at the slightest pressure aren’t the best choice to go for. So check them out before you buy them. Don’t let those connectors make big problems for you.

Make sure you keep these tips at the forefront when you consider which parts to buy. It’s going to go a long way to helping you get the right parts for your boat.

Hodges Marine Electronics has a slew of marine products for sale. Browse website and shop online!

Be the first to like.