Print Page | Close Window

Options for chart plotters at a reasonable price?

Printed From: The Fishing Website
Category: Saltwater Fishing
Forum Name: Newbies Corner
Forum Description: If you're new to fishing this is the place to ask any questions about getting started ...
Printed Date: 07 Feb 2023 at 6:16pm

Topic: Options for chart plotters at a reasonable price?
Posted By: JKJK
Subject: Options for chart plotters at a reasonable price?
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2022 at 5:53pm
Hey all, I'm just wondering what are my options for getting some kind of entry level chartplotter device? ie as cheap as possible, so doesn't have to be super fancy or a huge screen, just workable.  For my 4.8m fibreglass boat.

Given that I've never had one so i don't know what to look for, and I'm pretty dumb when it comes to anything technical too hah.

Can anyone suggest what models would be good to look at?


Posted By: Kandrew
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2022 at 6:05pm
I have one of these on my 12 footer and very happy with it. It’s a track plotter which gives me the ability to lock-in waypoints and track my drifts when I’m fishing. Works for me but there’s plenty of options." rel="nofollow -

Posted By: Keith C
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2022 at 8:08pm
The most important thing to determine is whether you want a ‘track plotter’ or a ‘chart plotter’. The chart plotter shows location on a map or chart. The track plotter shows your tracks without a map overlay. The track plotter does normally provide latitude and longitude however, so if you know the lat & long of where you are going, you will be able to set a course for your destination.

With a track plotter, you won’t be able to see the charted depths of your planned route, meaning you could be running over rocks if you take a straight line. Hope this makes sense.

Posted By: JKJK
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2022 at 8:15pm
Yeah I meant chart plotter not tracking - want to be able to see exactly where some shallow reefs are to avoid them for example


Posted By: BananaBoat
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2022 at 8:19pm
A couple mates have Kandrew suggestion on their kayaks, they're a very good unit

There's plenty of easy step by step video tutorials on youtube to you learn any unit

Posted By: Keith C
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2022 at 8:31pm
The one in Kandrew’s link is a track plotter, not a chart plotter. Cheapest chartplotter is usually a combo chartplotter/sounder (chartplotter/fishfinder in NZ) at around $600. Stand-alone chartplotters seem to be more expensive than combo chartplotter/sounder.

Posted By: MB
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2022 at 10:09pm
Cheap and cheerful. Phone/tablet with Navionics app.

Posted By: JKJK
Date Posted: 20 Jul 2022 at 1:06pm
Thanks, its definitely a chart plotter I'm looking for - any suggestion on brands/models for a low price?

There's still a lot I dont know sorry - 

Do you need to buy any thing else  when buying a chart plotter eg the thing that goes in the water to make the radar pulses? (no idea what it is called)  Is the installation of this easy enough or do you need to take it to a professional to install?

Do you need to buy the charts separately or are they included?


Posted By: smudge
Date Posted: 20 Jul 2022 at 3:55pm
A chart plotter shows structure & water depths on a chart. A chart plotter has a receiver either built in or as an external unit that is open to the sky that receives satellite signals to determine your position.  

A chart plotter tells you where you are but you can't rely on it to tell you exactly how deep the water is below you. For that you use a depth sounder (fishfinder) which has a hull mounted transducer that uses sonar to read the exact depth you're in and hopefully show you some fish.

Hope that's not too basic and clears up a few things?

Best gurnard fisherman in my street

Posted By: strx7
Date Posted: 20 Jul 2022 at 4:25pm
Buy a 8 inch Tablet $250-300, and a good heavy duty tablet mount, and either Memory Map or Navionics software/app  and away you go....
I can get 3-4 days worth of fishing on one charge.  The cheapest tablets dont have a bright enough screen to be nicely seen in bright daylight. but the $250-300 range works fine.

Posted By: bigred1
Date Posted: 20 Jul 2022 at 5:52pm
The navionics app is ideal for me. $30 I think it is on the App Store and I just use my phone. They used to have a two week free trail. As mentioned above it is a map and the depths are slightly different from real life (that or my sounder is out) but it still marks the reefs/rocks etc and you can add your own points/marks. It is literally all I use 95% of the time.

Posted By: Transformations
Date Posted: 20 Jul 2022 at 9:30pm
I have a lowrance hook2 for sounder ($200) and navionics app on my phone and it works a treat. No need for a larger screen for plotter for me, once you get used to using the app on a phone it's not an issue. I do have the added advantage of having a rugged outdoor phone that can be submerged so don't need to worry about protecting the phone from the elements 👍

We don't know what we don't need till we've got it

Posted By: Crochet Cast
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2022 at 8:41pm
Kinda related and I don’t want to hijack however I’m thinking of getting a tablet to mirror my sounder.

Anyone got a cheaper tablet recommendation?

Posted By: Bertiesdad
Date Posted: 29 Jul 2022 at 7:43am
Samsung make a cheaper model- can’t remember the number. Check the mirroring function will work though- some manufacturers ( I think Garmin and Simrad newer models)allegedly have a defeat technology to darken the head unit screen if the display is mirrored to another unit through a network- wifi Bluetooth or wired. It’s to stop consoles being filled with iPads for a third of the price of the head units- multiple units are common in US on anything over 6m

Print Page | Close Window