Best GPS for Marine Use – Our Top 7 Picks

Having a GPS unit with you can bail you out from a difficult situation when you are out in nature.

No matter what adventure sport or leisure activity you are into, be it sailing, hiking, trekking, camping, sailing, or fishing, a GPS will help you find your way back to land. It will also let you rest easy on your boat with greater peace of mind.

What is the best GPS for marine use? According to our research, the Humminbird Helix 5 is the best GPS for marine use for its all around great features and price point. Our top handheld GPS for marine use is the Garmin GPSMAP 64st.

However, there are many other GPS systems that are popular. Here are our top 7 picks for the best GPS for marine use.

  1. Garmin GPSMAP 64st – Click here to see it on Amazon – Our #1 Top Pick!
  2. Humminbird Helix 5 Click here to see it on Amazon
  3. Garmin Striker 4
  4. Garmin Oregon 600
  5. Standard Horizon HX870
  6. Garmin eTrex 10
  7. Lowrance Mark-4 Chirp

Before GPS, sailors had to rely on compasses, maps, and very early sailors, and they tracked their position by the constellations. But now, with the GPS available right in one’s hands, it has become so much easier.

Most GPS systems in the current times come with features where you can visit links to download maps, bookmark a favorite location, and get access to the exact coordinates of a particular location, and many more.

It proves to be a beneficial device for saving one’s life in a storm or getting lost.

Also, for an excellent GPS system, take a look at our top pick, the Garmin GPSMAP 64st:

Click here to see it on Amazon.

Best GPS For Marine Use – Our Top 7 Picks

1. Garmin GPSMAP 64st

The Garmin GPSMAP 64st boasts of a superior quad-helix antenna, which gives it a superior reception capacity.  Its 8 GB internal memory can be used to store pre-loaded maps, which can help during navigation.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

The GPS is compatible with an iPhone and allows you to share your location and maps with other compatible units via Bluetooth. It allows wireless communication so that you can receive and send emails, notifications, alerts, etc.

The slim and lightweight GPS has a tilt-compensated electronic compass so that you get your bearings right. It has a 2.6 “color display and a dual battery system which allows you to choose between rechargeable NiMH batteries and AA batteries.

2. Humminbird Helix 5

The Humminbird Helix 5 is the perfect handheld GPS for you if you wish for a good catch. Its supreme fish finder and sonar transmitter makes it an ideal piece of technology.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

It has side imaging technology and an obvious and bright display making it easier to identify the right locations to drop a line.

The unit has a handy microSD card slot, which allows you to store your maps. It has a 5-inch backlit 800×480 color display, which makes it easy to navigate.

It is an ideal choice for those who own small boats, rafts, and kayaks. The unit also has a mounting bracket, transducer, and a power cord.

3. Garmin Striker 4

The Garmin Striker 4 features an in-built GPS and Garmin’s CHIRP transducer that is powerful enough to give you near-photographic images of the water surrounding the boat.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

The high-frequency sonar of the Garmin Striker 4 is also capable enough to delineate underwater anomalies with high accuracy. If you wish to move outside of regular channels, this is a GPS powerful enough to be reliable.

The Garmin Striker 4’s CHIRP 77/200 kHz transducer can do a full frequency sweep and perform comprehensive analysis in a matter of seconds, giving you the kind of clarity that can help you navigate safely, even in foggy weather conditions.

It has the ability to identify docks and hot spots for convenient navigation.

The device comes with a waterproof rating of IPX7 (it can withstand a one-meter immersion of water for half an hour without any problems). The portability is high, there are no issues in winters, the screen is high resolution, and the interface is user-friendly—what’s not to like!

4. Garmin Oregon 600

The Garmin Oregon 600 is equipped with a three-axis compass, three sensors, a barometric altimeter, and an accelerometer, which helps you keep track of the weather.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

Like other Garmin GPS units, this one is also enabled with Bluetooth technology to share and receive files like maps, waypoints, pictures, and geocaches with other compatible devices.

The Garmin Oregon comes with a touchpad and has an auto-switch mode, which allows it to switch between landscape and portrait orientation. The touch screen is sunlight reflective, allowing good readability in the sun, and is also crack-resistant, making it a great choice for navigators.

This device uses WAAS and GLONAS receivers to maintain its correct GPS location at all times. The GPS unit comes with a dual battery system to choose from.

5. Standard Horizon HX870

The Standard Horizon HX870 is known as one of the masterpieces of GPS technology. It has a VHF radio and also comes with an internal GPS. It also is enabled to carry out digital selective calling and for receiving DSC calls. It has selectable output power and a GPS unit of 6 watts.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

What makes it an interesting choice is that it also floats on water apart from being a handheld unit. This ensures a sense of assurance and safety of the unit.

For a superior signal, the unit works on a 66 channel WAAS GPS receiver, and it also comes with a noise-canceling feature for better signal reception.

The unit comes with a full dot-matrix oversized display for better visibility. It can be used to transfer data through its USB port.

6. Garmin eTrex 10

Along with a high level of accuracy, the Garmin eTrex 10 has a unique design devoid of any external antenna.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

It comes with a 2.2-inch monochrome display, which ensures good readability in all weather conditions. It also has the option of downloading custom maps for easy navigation and geocaching.

The GPS unit can be used to store information like locations and terrains. The device uses a WAAS GPS receiver, which can be used together with a hotfix satellite prediction feature to find locations quicker. The best part is that it is functional even when under heavy covers and canyons.

The unit tracks both GLONASS and GPS satellites. It comes with a USB cable and port which you can connect to your computer for sharing files. It also allows you to use geocaches for navigation and has a battery life of 24 hours.

7. Lowrance Mark-4 Chirp

The Lowrance Mark-4 Chirp is a truly remarkable piece of technology making it arguably the best GPS for marine use.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

It comes with a chart plotter and a fish finder feature that will make your journey worthwhile. The display comes in a monochrome color, yet with high resolution, which gives it high readability.

The unit boasts of an 83/200 kHz mount transducer, which gives its performance a good boost.

As the name suggests, this piece of technology comes with the CHIRP Sonar, which makes it even greater. If you are looking for a device that can perform beyond its predetermined expectations, this is the one for you.

Conclusion – Best GPS for Marine Use

We have looked at some of the best GPS units best suited for marine use. The above details and specifications will help you select the ideal GPS unit that suits your needs and make your voyage worthwhile.

When buying a GPS unit, make sure to check the ratings and customer reviews on the product.

If you personally know other marine enthusiasts and have prior experience of using a GPS unit, it is better to consult with them on their experience and then make a carefully reviewed purchase decision.

Doing this exercise will help you avoid any pitfalls and give you a real and honest idea about the product. It will help you in making the correct choice when you buy a GPS unit.

So to recap, what is the best GPS for marine use? These are our top 7 picks. 

  1. Garmin GPSMAP 64st – Click here to see it on Amazon – Our #1 Top Pick!
  2. Humminbird Helix 5 Click here to see it on Amazon
  3. Garmin Striker 4
  4. Garmin Oregon 600
  5. Standard Horizon HX870
  6. Garmin eTrex 10
  7. Lowrance Mark-4 Chirp

Make sure to do thorough research and understand the purpose for which you are buying a GPS unit.

It will help you determine the correct unit for your needs and save you from investing in unnecessary gadgets. Understand the specifications and technology on which a GPS unit works. This will help you feel at ease with a device when you buy it.

Next time you are out on the water, I hope you have a great experience with your new GPS device and have smooth sailing.