Choosing The Right Marine GPS Chartplotter
When selecting a marine GPS chartplotter, it's important to understand how you'll use the navigational tool, how much you want to pay and where it will be placed. Likewise, it's important to know that other gear can be used in conjunction with the device, and it can help to understand all these options thoroughly.
There are two mounting methods available, including flushing and bracket options. Almost every device can be bracket mounted and can be installed onto the overhead electronics box or helm dash. You can install the unit near to your line of sight and can remove it when it's not needed. Plus, you'll be able to swivel the unit vertically or sideways.
The flushing mount option is more complicated, but can still be done by novices, in most cases. It is mounted directly in line with everything else, which gives a more uniform and clean look. Plus, you'll save space and still have instant access when necessary. Because it cannot be removed, you may want to place a lockable door on it to ensure it doesn't get stolen or broken.
When it comes to the size of the display screen, you'll want the largest marine GPS chartplotter screen you can afford. However, it's not just about the size because it has to fit in the mounting location. Larger screens give you more pixels, which can provide more detail on the chart, as well as more information. LCD options are much more technologically advanced now and can be up to 12 inches (diagonally).
The marine GPS chartplotter you choose must be user-friendly. You'll be using it for a variety of functions and need to be able to understand it and learn it quickly and efficiently. Touch-screens are becoming more popular, but can still be a little costly. Therefore, you may have front-mount buttons or specialty keys for quick access.
Clearly, the device you choose must be as accurate as possible. You are using it to tell you where you are and where you're going, or how to get back home. Therefore, make sure that it is as accurate as possible, within 10 feet of where you are.
When choosing a device, you need to decide whether it will be a standalone machine, multi-function plotter or be a combination unit. To determine which one is right for you, you'll need to decide what you need, how much space you have, and how much you want to pay.