The Importance of a Quality GPS System

Outfitting your boat with a good GPS is one of the most important decisions you'll make as a marine enthusiast. Few environments test electronic equipment like water does, and few devices will serve you as well in that domain as a good marine GPS. After nearly a decade of smartphones, not to mention billions of marketing dollars spent, you might be tempted to believe that your iPhone or Android can replace a GPS designed for on-the-water use. Is that true? No. Could you get away with it? Honestly, that's probably not the best idea. Marine GPS units are safer, more accurate, feature-packed, and designed to serve your needs better than any multi-purpose device.

More Accurate

You know how global positioning works: A gadget connects with orbiting satellites and is provided accurate location data. The data is refreshed, i.e. communicated between the device and the satellite, as quickly as possible. The average smart phone refreshes at 1 Hz, or about once per second. A dedicated marine GPS, depending on the model, can refresh at ten times that speed or more. Marine navigation requires a great deal of precision compared to, say, navigating over a roadway. A high-quality, dedicated marine GPS gives you the data you need, faster.

More Features

One item to consider while selecting a GPS system is whether its features truly serve your needs. As a sailor, you understand that there's more to navigation than latitude and longitude. Weather is a defining factor in sea travel, as is tide and wind. Some marine GPS units are designed to help its users gather and plan around all of that data. In addition, sounders interact with marine GPS devices to gather data from below the water. Other features might include WiFi capability for passing data to a phone or tablet, CHIRP for fish-finding, and even entertainment features like audiobook playback.

More Dependable

Whether you're fishing on a freshwater lake or sailing across the ocean, you need to ensure you can navigate if your GPS gets wet. In addition, if your GPS interacts with other devices like a sounder or chart plotter, you must be confident that the power supply and all connections will remain functional after prolonged exposure to sea air and moisture. A good marine GPS is built to endure. It should be totally waterproof, ready to take humid air and salty seas. A great boat GPS is also designed to keep connected when other devices won't: It will keep talking to positioning satellites in the open water in spite of bad weather or conditions that might obscure a good signal.

More Trustworthy

Selecting the right GPS system should be a thoughtful process, one that will no doubt result in peace of mind while you enjoy life on the high seas. The right device is one that is dedicated for marine use, provides far more accuracy than a smartphone, is packed with features you can use, and will remain dependable for years.