Why are chartplotters so expensive?

Chartplotters are very expensive, and are seemingly getting more expensive every year. Let’s look at some examples. I’m making this list in February 2022, so things may change somewhat. Nevertheless, you get the general idea! Read on below, or check out my page here where I offer a compelling alternative to major brand chartplotters with my navigation laptops. Read on to find why chartplotters are so expensive, and what can be done about it.

Why are major brand chart plotters so expensive? 12 inch examples

  1. Garmin ECHOMAP Ultra 126sv $2500 USD. 
  2. Lowrance HDS-12 Live $3500 USD. 
  3. Raymarine Axiom 12 RV $2800 USD.
  4. Furuno TZTL12F $2300 USD.
  5. Simrad GO12 XSE $2500 USD.
  6. B&G Zeus3S 12 $4400 USD.
  7. Humminbird HELIX 12 CHIRP MEGA SI+ $2500 USD.

At an average cost of close to $3000 USD just for the units themselves, they are far from affordable. A 12 inch screen isn’t even that large. For example, I offer a Midrange 13 Standard Plus Package for $1150 that has a significantly bigger display.

Why are chartplotters so expensive? Furuno TZTL12F 12 inch is nearly $2500 for the display only! Why are chartplotters so expensive? Garmin ECHOMAP Ultra 126sv 12 inch is nearly $2500 for the display only! Why are chartplotters so expensive? Lowrance HDS-12 Live 126sv 12 inch is nearly $3500 for the display only!

So why are chartplotters so expensive?

There are many reasons, of course. Let me outline some of them. There’s many more, but I believe these are the main ones.

  1. The chartplotters consist of custom hardware and custom software. Having to develop both hardware and software comes at a high price. Because the chartplotter hardware is custom, all the components cost more to produce per unit. Replacement components are also very expensive if you break something. Once a few years pass, good luck getting parts. This also means that they are hard to repair and upgrade, unlike my navigation laptop units which are highly serviceable and always have parts available.
  2. They have cool sonar tech and impressive bells and whistles. My units do chart plotting & GPS only, unless you get a fish finder as well. However, not everyone needs this crazy stuff for their boat. Many people just want a large easy to see screen which will take them from A to B safely.
  3. People are willing to pay these prices. If there was no demand, companies would never offer such expensive units. Simple supply and demand economics here.
  4. These companies have cornered the market and who is to say there isn’t some pricing agreement involved here? As George Carlin said: It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it.
  5. These are large multinational companies with an extensive dealer network which needs to be maintained. All these middle men mean high overhead costs. That large West Marine store lease ain’t going to pay itself!

How about some BIG SCREEN affordable chartplotters?

  1. You can get a 10 inch or 13 inch unit from me for under $1000 well configured! Indeed, many of systems I offer are cheap.
  2. Highly expandable with support for AIStransducerradarweather stationauto pilot, and other NMEA 0183 and 2000 devices.
  3. customize each unit exactly to your needs, so no need to buy what you don’t need.
  4. No planned obsolescence as my units are highly serviceable.
  5. Personalized approach as you deal with me directly, rather through some 1-800 number.

Why are chartplotters so expensive – click to see price

  1. Garmin ECHOMAP Ultra 126sv.
  2. Lowrance HDS-12 Live.
  3. Raymarine Axiom 12 RV.
  4. Furuno TZTL12F.
  5. Simrad GO12 XSE.
  6. B&G Zeus3S 12.
  7. Humminbird HELIX 12 CHIRP MEGA SI+.

Why is a laptop chartplotter the way to go

My systems can be much more affordable than commercial chart plotters such as: GarminLowranceSimradB&GFurunoHumminbirdRaymarineSi-Tex. They will be supported forever! Furthermore, I believe that some of the commercial chart plotter brands gouge their customers. Companies force clients to upgrade by no longer supporting older units. In addition, they charge exorbitant fees for simple things like a bigger screen size. Don’t hesitate to contact me and I will help pick the right unit for your boat! I am always happy to answer questions, and provide additional information. For example, exact dimensions, video demos of how something works, precise capabilities, screenshots of charts in your area, and more. Stop asking why are chartplotters so expensive and get an affordable unit from me!