A Review on Some Marine GPS Devices and their Functionality

GPS has changed the way we roam the world today. People rarely go outside without bringing a device with GPS. In the same way, people rarely go out at different bodies of water without a marine GPS.

The GPS helps boating enthusiasts to get to a certain destination, locate fish or any other marine life, and sail back safely home. It also tells them if there are any other boats or vessels in the same body of water.

Different marine equipment manufacturers have created different devices which can house a GPS.  In this review, let’s take a look at the things a marine GPS must have and the best brands or devices to use for this purpose:

Screen Size and Brightness

As in any monitor, it is always more comfortable to look at your data on a bigger screen, especially maps and locations. The brightness should also be flexible. It should be able to emit strong light for boats or vessels who sail on bodies of water during the day or have a good backlight for boats or vessels who sail during the night.

The Lowrance Elite Series are some of the best in this field. They have a screen size of 4.3 – 5 inches. This may not be the biggest on the market, but they are just the right size. Navigators can see the data and will not need to worry about the device falling off because of its size.

Waterproof Device

Although the majority of marine equipment are made to be water resistant by default, some of them are not fully waterproof.

The Garmin GPSMAP 78 is one of the best in terms of water resistance, because aside from being fully waterproof, it also floats when on the water. Navigators have a better chance of retrieving this GPS among others in time of accidents.


It is a no-brainer that handheld GPS devices are the most portable, since users can bring it anywhere in the boat or on the boat. However, the size of this device sacrifices the mapping ability. It would be a good idea to get a device which has a bigger screen, because most of these can also accommodate other applications like a fish finder or entertainment applications.

The Raymarine a78 Multifunction/Sonar Display is an example of a marine equipment with this capability. It has a 7-inch screen making it easier and more comfortable to view the data, and it houses a lot of features like bright display, advanced LED backlight, Bluetooth, and is equipped with CHIRP Down Vision Sonar too, so you can see the view below clearly.

A marine GPS is created for the safety of navigators on water, and the three devices mentioned in this review can definitely be able to help with that.

Rob Quint is the author of this article on marine GPS. Find more information, about Lowrance.