Fish-finding and GPS charting technology continues to evolve at a blistering pace. At the high end, integrated multifunction displays provide clearer, more detailed sonar images, lightning-fast processors, and responsive touchscreens. At the entry-level, technology continues to trickle down and value-minded anglers can access high-tech features that were out of reach just a few years ago.
Of the major marine electronics manufacturers, each offers a suite of products to meet the needs of boaters with different budgets and available dash space. Among them, you’ll find slight differences in user interface, available features, and options for growth. Whether you’re starting with a blank dash or upgrading an existing suite of electronics, review our buyer’s guide to compare options and then visit a local retailer to demo them in person.
Simrad offers customizable modular technology that lets you create the perfect sportfishing system with advanced charting, sonar and radio technology, HALO Radar, and fully integrated autopilot. Simrad’s premium NSOevo3S glass bridge systems are suited to larger sportfishing vessels, while the NSS Evo3S multifunction displays are designed for 20- to 40-foot center consoles. The GO series of multi-touch chartplotters are suited for smaller center consoles and bay boats, while the Simrad Cruise is an intuitive,easy-to-use chartplotter.
Starting at $449 • Visit Simrad-Yachting.com
Simrad GO series displays are designed for dayboats and center consoles. Behind the sunlight-viewable touchscreen lies a built-in GPS receiver, echosounder, and wireless connectivity. Navigate, connect with mobile devices, control your on-board sound system, and choose from an array of built-in sonar features. Radar capability is available on the GO7 and above. Available in 5-, 7-, 9-, and 12-inch sizes.
Starting at $2,599 • Visit Simrad-Yachting.com
The SIMRAD NSSevo3S improves on the previous model with better processing power and a better user experience. That means faster switching between split screens, smoother panning and zooming, and faster viewing of high-resolution graphics. The NSSevo3S system includes a built-in GPS receiver and high-performance echo sounder, support for HALO dome and open array radars, and Simrad autopilot integration. Available in 9-, 12-, and 16-inch models.
Starting at $479 • Visit Simrad-Yachting.com
Simrad describes the Simrad Cruise as the most intuitive chartplotter available. Everything you need for simple and straightforward GPS navigation is inside the box, including a sunlight-viewable display, mounting bracket, and sonar transducer. Rotary dial and keypad controls make navigating through menus, creating routes, and accessing temperature, speed, and depth readings effortless. Available in 5-, 7-, and 9-inch models.
Lowrance offers innovative solutions targeted toward inland and coastal fishermen. Their flagship HDS LIVE series offers premium performance for serious freshwater and saltwater anglers and supports revolutionary ActiveTarget Live Sonar. The new Elite FS (Fishing System) series of mid-range, easy-to-use products are perfect for both inland and coastal fishing enthusiasts. The Hook Reveal series is focused on providing easy-to-use fishfinders at great prices.
Starting at $699 • Visit Lowrance.com
Powerful yet affordable, the new Elite FS gives anglers access to the full lineup of Lowrance fish-finding tools – including ActiveTarget Live Sonar, Active Imaging, Fish Reveal, and preloaded C-MAP Contour+ charts—in an affordable display that’s easy to use and install. Wireless networking delivers full connectivity without cable installation. Available in 7- and 9-inch display sizes.
Starting at $1,199 • Visit Lowrance.com
Lowrance’s high-performance line of fishfinders/chartplotters brings a sleek design, fast processor, suite of HDS navigation tools, and support for a wide array of new fish-finding technology. It includes built-in Lowrance CHIRP sonar, along with support for Active Imaging and ActiveTarget Live Sonar. Lowrance HDS LIVE is available in 7-, 9-, 12- and 16-inch display sizes.
Starting at $329 • Visit Lowrance.com
The HOOK Reveal makes fishing easier, delivering powerful performance with proven fish-finding tools including FishReveal, which makes fish easier to see by combining the benefits of Lowrance CHIRP sonar and DownScan Imaging on one screen. Whether you’re fishing a local spot or unfamiliar water, find the best fishing areas with preloaded mapping or map uncharted water in real time with Genesis Live. Available in 5-, 7-, and 9-inch displays.
With a history of over 40 years of innovation, Humminbird brings fishfinders, GPS systems, radar, and autopilot to anglers. They offer solutions for all types of freshwater and saltwater anglers with the powerful, top-of-the-line APEX Series, the SOLIX series of 15.4-, 12.1-, and 10.1-inch displays, and the HELIX series of 5- to 15.4-inch chartplotters. Link your Humminbird electronics with a Minn Kota trolling motor to create a “One-Boat Network” with seamless integration and communication.
Starting at $2,199 • Visit Humminbird.com
The third generation of the SOLIX series provides an expanded range of MEGA Imaging+, which now reaches up to 250 feet deep with MEGA Down Imaging+ and up to 250 feet to each side with MEGA Side Imaging+. Humminbird’s Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar is built into every model, and for deep-water performance, SOLIX G3 models are compatible with optional Airmar CHIRP transducers. A dual-core processor allows you to execute any command with lightning speed. Available in 10.1-, 12.1- and 15.4-inch Cross Touch displays.
Starting at $299 • Visit Humminbird.com
The Humminbird HELIX series delivers innovative technologies that make finding and catching fish easy. Whether you’re looking for standard features like Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar and built-in GPS, or premium technologies and features like MEGA and Ethernet networking, HELIX delivers. Available in a wide range of models from the HELIX 5 to the HELIX 15.
Starting at $3,699 • Visit Humminbird.com
The new Humminbird APEX series takes fish finding to the next level with standard MEGA Imaging and Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar and a dedicated sonar channel for accessory transducers up to 2kW. See it all clearly with a full-HD touchscreen and add the power of the One-Boat Network for unrivaled control of your vessel. A powerful dual-core processor provides lightning-fast intuitive control as well as customization of features. The APEX series is offered in 13-, 16-, and 19-inch models.
Known for creating user-friendly, intuitive devices, Garmin’s marine offerings include sophisticated chartplotters and touchscreen multifunction displays, sonar technology, high-definition radar, autopilots, high-resolution mapping, and instrumentation. The flagship GPSMAP series includes 7- to 24-inch multifunction displays, while the EchoMap Plus series offers 4- to 9-inch easy-to-use,easy-to-set-up chartplotter/sonar combos.
Starting at $179 • Visit Garmin.com
The Garmin STRIKER Vivid series brings an enhanced sonar experience to Garmin’s STRIKER fishfinder series, now offering Garmin’s most vibrant underwater imagery to date. The Vivid series comes with a built-in high-sensitivity GPS receiver and two transducer options, with and without SideVü, and is available with a 4-, 5-, 7- or 9-inch color display.
Starting at $1099 (w/sonar) • Visit Garmin.com
Building on the GPSMAP series, the Garmin GPSMAP x3 series of mid-sized chartplotters and combination units has a sleek and streamlined design, improved display optics, and a robust feature set that seamlessly integrates into a Garmin marine system, making it easy to build a customized electronics suite, including sonar, radar, autopilots, instruments, cameras, and more. Along with higher-res displays and strikingly increased resolution, the new 7-, 9- and 12-inch GPSMAP x3 series offers almost twice the processing power of previous generation’s devices.
With a legacy of marine navigation technology spanning over 80 years, Raymarine products are renowned today for their ease of use, rugged design, and reliability. Their comprehensive range includes the powerful Axiom family of multifunction navigation systems and the Element HV series sonar/GPS units along with a wide range of marine radar systems.
Starting at $599 • Visit Raymarine.com
Building on the success of their Axiom displays, Raymarine’s Element HV introduces new patent-pending HyperVision 1.2-megahertz sonar technology, featuring ultra-high CHIRP sonar frequencies and enhancing the DownVision, SideVision, and RealVision 3D sonar, allowing anglers to see structure, vegetation, and fish with lifelike detail. The series consists of 7-, 9-, and 12-inch display models.
Starting at $549 • Visit Raymarine.com
The Raymarine Axiom family of multifunction displays is expandable, so its capabilities can grow as needed. It supports the full range of Raymarine accessories, including Quantum radar, CHIRP Sonar, FLIR thermal cameras, audio integration, instruments, cameras, and Evolution autopilot. Standard Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity allow connection to the latest Raymarine apps for tablets and smartphones. Available in a range of 7- to 24-inch display models.