To my knowledge no one makes a handheld GPS
that uses free NOAA charts
. All Garmins use their own proprietary charts, and the few other brands I've seen seem to use some variation on CMAP or Navionics
One option is to use an iPhone
, which supports NOAA raster (but not vector) charts. There are a variety of threads around about the iPhone
and options for waterproofing.
Another is to find a weatherproof tablet PC, or use a netbook or similar down below hooked to a weatherproof monitor
on-deck. On either you could use OpenCPN
which supports both NOAA ENC
and raster charts.
None of that is very satisfying, I know, but that's the state of things. Most GPS manufacturers appear to be doing everything they can to keep you locked into pay-charts.