If you’re doing coastal cruising or offshore passages, it’s no longer accepted by the sailing community to merely have a map and sextant. Instead, you should be reaching for some real technology that has become remarkably cheaper over the years.
For me – it’s difficult to even consider anything other than a Chartplotter these days.
So with that in mind, I’ll be covering some of the best chartplotters for long-distance sailing and liveaboard cruising.
1. B&G Vulcan 7
The B&G Vulcan 7 is a Chartplotter with an easy-to-use 7” multi-touch screen to help with navigation while sailing. The Vulcan 7 is designed to be intuitive for sailors of every experience level, with features similar to a smartphone or tablet.
The Vulcan 7 will safely guide sailors to their destination with clear, real-time graphics and data. It is durable, compact, and even has a convenient auto-pilot system.
2. Raymarine Axiom
The Raymarine Axiom series uses touch screen multifunction navigation displays to provide all the features necessary for easy long-distance navigation.
Raymarine Axiom has three different display options. The Axiom 7 has a 7” display with built-in DownVision and 600W sonar. The Axiom 9 has a 9” display with built-in 3D RealVision and 600W Sonar. Finally, the Axiom 12 has a 12.1” display with built-in 3D RealVision and 600W Sonar.
3. Garmin Striker 4
The Garmin Striker 4 has a 3.5” display with built-in, high-sensitivity GPS. The Striker 4 provides smooth navigation with features such as advanced scanning sonar technology. This CHIRP sonar technology sends a continuous sweep of frequencies to help users keep track of everything surrounding them.
The Striker 4 also allows users to upgrade to high-performance Garmin CHIRP technology which provides clear sonar images with better resolution.
4. B&G Zeus 3S Chartplotter
The B&G Zeus 3S Chartplotter boasts several convenient features for safe and easy long-distance navigation. The Zeus 3S Chartplotter has a high-performance processor that delivers the information with a fast response. Its full, multi-touch display has top-level features for premium clarity. It works well in both bright, rainy, and windy weather conditions.
The Zeus 3S Chartplotter can also be connected with other devices such as a smartphone or tablet for screen sharing.
5. Simrad GO7 XSE Chartplotter
The Simrad GO9 XSE Chartplotter has an easy-to-use touchscreen display. Its high brightness enables sailors to see the screen even in direct sunlight. The GO9 XSE Chartplotter has ForwardScan sonar for navigation, as well as Broadband Sounder CHIRP Sonar for fish-finding.
This Chartplotter has four options of screen sizes, with choices of 5”, 7”, 9”, and 12” displays. Customers can also choose between three Transducer options, or none: Active Imaging 3-in-1, Med/High HDI, or TotalScan.
6. Garmin EchoMAP With 63cv
The Garmin EchoMAP 63cv Chartplotter has a bright, 6” screen that is easy to read even in direct sunlight. It includes a GT20 transducer for Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar. With built-in ClearVU CHIRP, this Chartplotter provides clear HD images of everything surrounding the user’s boat, whether underwater or above.
The EchoMAP 63cv can also be connected to a compatible mobile device through Garmin’s ActiveCaptain mobile app. With this tool, users can manage their marine navigation from anywhere.
7. Garmin EchoMap
The Garmin EchoMap is a neat and affordable little screen. This Chartplotter comes with a compact 6.2-inch screen with physical input buttons for navigation. They also have a quick-release ball mount for ease of access and movement and the screen works great even on the brightest days on the water.
The best part is these screens are one of the most affordable on this list.
8. Garmin GPSMap 8612xsv
The Garmin GPSMap 8612xsv is another top-level Garmin Chartplotter. It has an easy-to-use and easy-to-install system with a Chartplotter/sonar combination that delivers a multi-function display. It can be either flat-mounted or flush-mounted, either of which creates a stunning helm.
This Chartplotter is available in three different sizes, with choices of 10”, 12”, or 16” displays. It can also come with an optional Grid 20 Remote Control that provides users with remote access and control of the entire Garmin marine system.