GPS Plotter Sounder

An essential piece of equipment for your boat, the GPS can come in different versions: GPS plotter to create your routes and plan your itineraries, Fishfinder to detect your future catches and distinguish the nature of the bottom, or the combined GPS Plotter Sounder including these two functions.

The best brands are at Comptoir Nautique, Garmin, Humminbird, Lowrance, Raymarine etc...

Comptoir Nautique's experts will guide you towards the best appliance for your needs, at the best price on the web. What's more, you'll benefit from fast delivery (24 to 48 hours for in-stock models). If you'd prefer a portable model to help you find your way around on land, take a look at our portable GPS category, with the gps etrex 32x, for example.

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499,90 € 579,00 € -13%
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gamme gps traceur sondeur


With the huge range of multifunction displays, fishfinders, features and names, it's easy to get lost and not understand the difference between: a multifunction display, a GPS plotter, a GPS plotter or a GPS fishfinder combo. Here are the answers to your main questions:

  • Which GPS plotter sounder to choose?
  • What is a fishfinder, GPS fishfinder, GPS plotter?
  • How do you tell the difference between a GPS plotter, a GPS sounder and a multifunction display?

You will find 4 main brands competing on the market of multifunction displays and combined GPS sounder / chartplotter

The brands Garmin, Humminbird, Lowrance and Raymarine but all 4 offer similar devices.

The family of navigation screens GPS sounder / plotter etc. ... consists of 4 models

  • GPS sounders
  • GPS trackers
  • Combined plotter / GPS sounder
  • Multifunctional screens 

To fully understand :

  • One handset = one plotter/sounder/GPS device
  • Multifunction display = A device that combines all functions (plotter/GPS/Sounder) and also displays information from a radar, onboard camera, autopilot or other compatible equipment.


Remember also when choosing your product, to check the accessories in our dedicated category, which you will need: Cable, bracket, embedding kit, support, protective cover, external antenna etc...

You will also find RAM Mounts, robust and adaptable to all types of mounting and devices such as Echomap, Striker, HDS, Helix, Solix etc. ... and even support for probe, support probe humminbird...

gps sondeur garmin


The sounder range is composed of the color sounder without GPS that does not have GPS function and only sounder and the color sounder with GPS.

1) Sounder without GPS :

A must-have for fishing, the color sonar is a concentrate of technology that allows you to easily locate fish by scanning the ocean floor.

From the affordable model like the hook 2 4x from humminbird for sea fishing, or freshwater float tube fishing for example, whether it is occasional or more frequent fishing. To the more expensive model and reserved for a professional public or experienced fisherman as can be the S2009 Sounder from Simrad... The fishfinder is an ally of choice.

Special mention to portable fishfinders like the Deeper Chirp, rather recent, and innovative, these fishfinders without screen are used in static fishing or trolling and connect to the smartphone to display the depth information and scan the area to locate fish. A ball that fits in the hand with the sonar technology Chirp and many other features concentrated in its small size.

2) GPS Sounder

Fishfinders with GPS have the added feature of tracking and can record your waypoints while fishing. Examples include the Helix Humminbird and Lowrance Hook reveal . With a GPS sonar unit, you can, for example, once you've located a fishing spot, enter its precise location into the GPS memory at the touch of a button. Then, on your next trip, the GPS sonar will direct you directly to your favorite fishing spot. Fishfinders with built-in GPS can be upgraded with accessories such as an external GPS antenna to boost the signal.

GPS Fishfinders or Echosounders are generally less expensive than multi-function displays, they have less functionality but are ideal for fishermen who do not want to be burdened with unnecessary technology. This is the case, for example, with the humminbird helix 5, which has only 2D technology.

Note: some units, such as the Striker range with the small Garmin striker 4, the Garmin striker 5cv or Garmin use the QuickDraw Contour function, which allows you to record your own bathymetric map on the GPS (recording the contours of the sea floor). As the boat moves forward, the echo sounder records depth data. To learn more about how this technology works, follow the guide.

Choisir son traceur de carte GPS


Unlike GPS fishfinders, GPS plotters are not designed to sound the bottom. Initially designed for sailing, GPS plotters can also be used on motorboats that are not intended for fishing and do not require a fishfinder. 

Chartplotters usually have a built-in GPS antenna, can be touchscreen or button operated, and have a color display. Most GPS plotters are NMEA183 compatible, a technology that allows you to connect them to your old autopilot or VHF for example.

Today, more modern chartplotters are equipped with a NMEA2000 connection. You can connect a receiver or transmitter to AIS and view nearby equipped boats on the screen.

How to use a map plotter?

To use the unit's plotter and GPS function, you'll need to add a map to get all the navigation details: harbor entrances, buoys, beacons, wrecks, riprap, lighthouses, etc. The GPS plotter will take you from point A to point B.

You'll be able toenter a destination by clicking on the touch screen or using the buttons on your unit, plan your route or plot a course. You can also save waypoints as you navigate, so the next time you go out you can take the exact same route by connecting your plotter to your autopilot.

To know: Garmin GPS plotters are the only ones that are compatible with Garmin G3 maps that allow the use of the autoguiding function. That is, the marine GPS acts like a GPS car and avoids obstacles.

Choisir son combiné traceur sondeur gps


First of all, you should know that a "combined" unit, i.e., one that combines the sonar and GPS plotter functions, is more expensive than a simple sonar unit or plotter. A GPS plotter, sounder or GPS combo offers the advantage of being able to get rid of a device since it offers 2 features in 1. 

You can connect a fish finder to the GPS plotter, but you can also plot your course and navigate on the open ocean. 

For example GPS plotter sounder Garmin echomap UHD as the Garmin Echomap UHD 92sv will combine the best features of a plotter such as compatibility with G3 charts, the ability torecord waypoints, plot and plan routes and those of a sounder with QuickDraw Contour seen earlier or ClearVü technology. Or humminbird helix 9 G4N CHIRP MEGA SI+ which combines the best Humminbird Mega Side Imaging + technology and is radar upgradeable.

Some devices have only Down Imaging as for example the humminbird piranhamax 4 di

You can choose your GPS fishfinder handset based on your budget, the technology you need for fishing or tracking, but you'll also want to think about comfort. Dual functionality means you can divide the screen to display the chart on one side, the sonar data on the other, or the nearby AIS targets. In this case, it's best to opt for a large screen (7" or larger). 

If you're into real-time fishfinding, it's ideal to have a large screen with a Mega Live or Garmin Fishfinder Livescope

GPS handsets can be touchscreen, button, or mixed (button + touch). Knowing that in the open sea in a motorboat for example it may be easier and more accurate to use physical buttons rather than pressing the screen. 

Choisir son ecran multifonction gps traceur sondeur


The final category ofmarine equipment for sounding or plotting routes at sea is the multi-function displayor MFD.

A multi-function display is a device that combines the features of a chartplotter/fishfinder/GPS unit, but can also connect to all kinds of devices via a NMEA2000 connection, including radar, to display information from the radar on the screen. 

A multi-function screen can therefore display information from a depth sounder, a nautical chart, a radar, an on-board camera, theAIS, etc.

For example, theRaymarine Element 7S multi-function GPS fishfinder plotter will act as a fishfinder when used with a transducer, but can also direct you with its GPS function and navigation chart compatibility.

As amultifunction device, it is also compatible with Quantum radar and connects to it via wifi to detect boats, landmarks and buoys. The sounder function coupled with the plotter function allows you to draw your own underwater maps and then find your best fishing spots. This is the case of the range Solix Humminbird or GPSMAP Garmin

The major difference between a multi-function unit and a GPS plotter is its radar compatibility and support for other devices and technologies (wifi, NMEA2000, Bluetooth, etc.)

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