Features October 2008 Issue

Marine Electronics Test: A Look at Combination Fishfinders and Chartplotters

Garmin and Lowrance rate high in small-screen chartplotter-sounder combo test.

The test field includes devices with 5-inch display screens that provide chartplotting capabilities and information and show detailed bottom contours on a single display screen. These combination fishfinder-chartplotters are fitted with high-powered sounders. Practical Sailor tested units for day and night visibility. Each plotter was tested with live GPS fix information. Chartplotter user-interface was tested by examining actions such as creating waypoints, building routes, and changing map ranges. Units tested were the GarminGPSMAP 545s, which uses Garmin’s Bluechart g2; the Lowrance LMS-525C DF (a Navico brand), which has an NMEA 2000 GPS sensor, uses Navionics cartography, and is capable of interfacing with a Lowrance radar; the Raymarine A60/DSM25 combo; the SI-TEX Colormax SE; and the Standard Horizon CP180.

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