As a suggestion, approach this with an eye towards your overall plan for redundancy. If you have a main chart plotter that uses a Navionics
chip and a hand-held that uses different cartography then you increase the overall cost.
I chose the Garmin route
and bought a GPSMAP 76c. Turns out that the new to us boat came with a Garmin
2010c unit. So under their license
agreement I can legally load both devices with a single
map area purchase
. I'm sure other vendors have similar arrangements.
For less than $250 the little 76c unit provides enough chart detail to use as a primary chart plotter IMHO. Take it anywhere, hard-mount it at the helm
with the external power cord, and then use your laptop
for voyage planning on a bigger screen
. And oh yes - the laptop
is actually a 3rd chart plotter aboard. Costs only the BlueChart software license
and a USB GPS
receiver (dongle). I bought the USB data card programmer from Garmin and can load any memory cards for the 2010.