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Waterproof Marine GPS System

The search for a waterproof marine GPS system is easier now, more than ever. Thanks to technology combined with weatherproof casings. Handheld and stationary designs offer the latest developments in GPS technology.

How GPS Systems Retrieve and Provide Data

Stationary GPS

GPS systems provide precise positions of your location from satellite data obtained from a Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS). GPS systems work in conjunction with signals based on a network of approximately 25 ground reference stations. Development of the system was originally constructed for use by the U.S. military and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to assist pilots.

Wide Area Ground Reference stations (WRS) are reference stations that monitor and determine if errors exist. The WRSs form the U.S. WAAS network. Data is transferred to the wide area master station (WMS) where the information is then computed and corrected if necessary.

Two geostationary satellites provide service for the entire WAAS area.

  • AOR-W (Atlantic Ocean Region-West)
  • Inmarsat III: POR (Pacific Ocean Region)

Accuracy of GPS systems are reportedly at or near 7 meters, according to WAAS. However, some manufacturers report reception accuracy to be less than 3 meters with corrections. Just imagine how much treasure would not have been lost if captains on old sailing ships had access to a marine GPS system!

Available GPS Options

Several models feature waterproof designs and can be either the handheld or stationary mounted units. Several models offer the ability to perform within a vehicle and a boat.

Benefits of a Portable Waterproof Marine GPS System

Marine GPS
  • Portable and easily carried in the hand or a pocket
  • Integrated shoreline data
  • Waterproof rated
  • Data protection from outdoor elements
  • Operate on battery power

Handheld or Stationary GPS Key Features

Marine GPS
  • Preloaded with worldwide cities and nautical navigation aids
  • Preloaded with tide data for the United States
  • Large internal memory capacity
  • User-friendly interfaces for ease of use
  • Waypoint alarms
  • Various levels of backlighting
  • Depiction of thousands of U.S. lakes, channels, and waterways
  • XM WX Satellite weather information
  • Course deviation indication when navigating
  • TFT display screen for use in direct sunlight

In addition, many offer built-in marine specific features, such as fresh and saltwater temperatures, shoreline detail, river and creek channels, streams, islands, fish finders, boat ramps, and marine landmarks. Boating enthusiasts will appreciate maps outlining tide stations and predictions.

Safety When You Need it Most

Utilize them to identify where wrecks and obstructions are. Access the U.S. Coast Guard aids to navigation. Some models offer additional optional weather, celestial information, audio and sonar capabilities.

Outdoor enthusiasts will benefit especially from waterproof marine GPS systems. Sporting activities of any type are enjoyed, without worry of potential product damage. A waterproof designed casing will protect the enclosed electronic computer components when exposed to water.

Boaters, hikers, cross-country skiers, hunters, campers, as well as numerous others, will benefit when they take advantage of GPS technology; combined with waterproof peace of mind.

Some waterproof marine GPS systems provide the combination of both chart-plotter and street navigation preloaded with detailed marine and street maps, so you can find your way on the water or on land, virtually anywhere.

How to Decide Which Model is Best

GPS systems vary greatly in how they perform functions. Some merely tell you where you are located. Information may be displayed on detailed maps, or it can be a simple latitude/ longitude number.

Some systems offer turn-by-turn instructions, either visually or audibly. A "pleasing" voice reminds you that you will need to turn ahead, keep to the left, or warn you of problematic situations.


GPS systems are designed to offer robust information for any sporting enthusiast; at the press of a button. Nearly all GPS systems have a “points of interest” database with tens of thousands of restaurants, hotels, gas stations, schools, campgrounds, shopping, hospitals and other locations pre-programmed in the units. As always, the more detailed information you have, the more useful a system will be to your specific needs. Deciding which model for wet or dry conditions, is all that remains!