CMap Vs. Navionics

CMap Vs. Navionics- The Superior Navigational Chart


Tired of having to decide between CMap and Navionics? You must be here to table that discussion once and for all.

So, which one’s better, CMap vs Navionics? 

When it comes to beginner friendliness, Navionics is better. CMap on the other hand has a lot of options to choose from. Custom depth shading and bathymetric imagery are just some of them. And with Navionics, you can see all the fish hot spots.

There’re details on the differences in CMap and Navionics further down the article.

Interested in learning about them? Just keep on reading!

CMap Vs. Navionics- Notable Differences

These two navigational charts have some key differences that you can identify at a glance. Let’s see them before you get into the detail-

CMap Navionics
Perfect for professionals Perfect for beginners
Suitable for anglers and divers  Not suitable for divers
Greater chart options Fewer chart options
Special feature shows the whole sea bed Special feature shows hot spots for fishing

CMap Vs. Navionics- In-Depth Discussion

CMap by Lowrance and Navionics by Garmin are both great hydrographic charts. You have already seen their notable differences, let’s give you more insight into their differences. 

People who research on CMap and Navionics also look into Lowrance and Simrad. So, you can check them out if you want.

Without any further ado, let’s dive right in-

Beginner Friendliness

Let’s start off by discussing which one’s better for beginners. The interface of CMap is slightly complicated and it can be hard for a beginner to comprehend.

It’s however perfect for a pro. All those ranges of options are perfect for any advanced navigational chart user.

There are too many chart options under ‘main’ along with some advanced options. A beginner user will not understand all that right off the bat. 

Navionics doesn’t have these problems like CMap. They have a pretty clean and easy-to-understand interface. This makes Navionics perfect for beginners.

So, in terms of beginner friendliness, Navionics takes the deal.

All The Features

We’ll go over all the features of both brands here individually. And at the end of this section, we’ll choose the winner of this section. Let’s get to it then-


Infos of both coastal areas and inland can be found on CMap. It pretty much covers the whole world, but it emphasizes the major fishing locations.

We’ve already mentioned before that CMap has a lot of options. If you want the basic version, you have Max charts. But, if you want some advanced stuff, you can get MaxN and MaxN+.

MaxN+ plus is basically everything that MaxN is, but a little more. One of those additional features is CMap Reval. It’s a special feature that we’ll go into in a later section.

Freshwater anglers can find continental charts here on Cmap. It has great coverage and shows you a very detailed view of everything.

Things like custom depth shading, bathymetric imagery, 3D, and satellite view are great for saltwater anglers. The local and wide charts available for saltwater anglers are very detailed. 

There’s a small kicker here though. Some have complained about the 3D structure scan of Lowrance.

Another cool feature is the CMap genesis. This feature lets you create your own map. You can even add data to the cloud for other users. And in return, you’ll be able to see the data added by other users. 

You can say that CMap is slightly USA-biased. The Precision Contour HD chart and Lake Insight HD are available only inside the USA.


Just like Cmap, Navionics cover the whole world as well. But, in terms of options, Navionics has a lot less compared to Cmap. Don’t be fooled by that though, Navionics still has a lot to offer. After all, Garmin uses Navteq for map data.

They have only two versions for you to choose from. They’re Platinum+ and Navionics+. 

You’ll find the chart customization on Navionics to be very helpful. This feature will help you avoid shallow areas where your boat can get stuck. 

There’s a map-creating option called SonarChart live. And just like CMap, you’ll be able to upload your data here. Also, you’ll find data added by other people there on community edits. 

If you upgrade, you’ll be able to use other features like panoramic photos, 3D, and SonarChart Shading. Navionics also has a special feature called Fish Attractors, about which we’ll talk later.

Winner Of This Section

The winner here will be CMap. The range of chart options they provide is unparalleled. 

Special Feature

The CMap reveal lets you see everything to the bottom of the sea. Starting from reefs to ledges and holes as well. Since you can see tides and marine parks, it’s perfect for both divers and anglers. 

The special feature of Navionics is called Fish Attractors. You can find over ten thousand sunken structures full of fish. So, it’s perfect for Anglers who often visit unknown locations. 

As an angler, you should check out which one suits better in those structures. It could be a lever drag or a star drag reel

Here’s a list of some of the best lever drag reels-

Product 1
Product 2

Since both CMap and Navionics offer some pretty great special features, it’s a tie.

Final Verdict

In the end, our winner is CMap. Don’t think any less of Navionics though. CMap has a lot of extra features which is great for both anglers and divers alike. The amount of detail they provide is absolutely amazing.

But, if you’re a beginner angler, we’d suggest you go with Navionics. It’s simpler to understand and you won’t have a hard time navigating.


Question: Are they both free?

Answer: Navionics has a free version but has limited information. But, CMap is not free.

Question: Can I use them on my phone?

Answer: They’re both available on both iOS and Android. But, CMap shows fewer details on the phone app.

Question: Do they give free updates?

Answer: Navionics gives you free updates for a year. But, if you use CMap, you’ll have to buy all the updates.


That was all about the debate between CMap vs. Navionics. We hope we were able to help you pick one. 

If you have any more questions, let us know in the comments.

Good Luck!

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