The latest edition (sept) of PS has a feauture on nav software.
1) Best Choice = MapTech Chart Navigator Pro (Rose Point's Coastal Explorer)
After some looking around, and having used Ocean Navigator and CapN before, I decided to take PS's advice and bought Chart Navigator Pro from Landfall for a discount at $409 today. Very impressive features and full rastor and vector maps included.
I have the Garmin 178C It is small but then again it was priced under $500 and also has depth sounder, fish finder, and temp sensor. If you go the SSCA site and look for S/v Third Day he has some very competitive prices on lots of MarineElectronics and other marine equip. Shipping is a standard $7.99. But I would have to agree that the Chartplotter is only as good as its charts. In other words pick the charts for the area and then the plotter.
Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions.Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad