Refining sounder marks with a computer

Hey guys,

I'm keen to hear if people are able to refine their marks using a computer, instead of poking around pressing buttons out in the garage in their boat, after a session.


I'm finding that when on the water, there's a lot of stuff going on with rods, sounder images, bites, radio crackling away etc.  It's hard enough just remembering to press the "Mark" button when you find something decent on the sounder, let alone futzing around trying to name it properly.  I'd like to review the marks the next day, to throw away the bad ones and highlight the good ones, in the comfort of my office.  


Does anyone else do this?


I have a Garmin Echomap Chirp 95SV if that helps.  I'm open to changing sounder if that would make a big difference.

still trying's picture

Posts: 662

Date Joined: 27/06/17

 I have recently bought the

Mon, 2021-01-11 05:15

 I have recently bought the garmin striker plus not as good as yours but I'm sure yours can access active captain which you can get an app for your phone and computer. You can transfer between the two in seconds and edit etc, it also was really easy to get all my marks from navionics onto my new sounder. Haven't worked out yet how to get my new marks from active captain to navionics yet. Let me know if you need any help I have the instructions still. 


 rather be fishing

dmck's picture

Posts: 195

Date Joined: 07/03/19

Ozi Explorer is the s/w I use

Mon, 2021-01-11 10:19

  I can download my GPS into OziEx and see them on a digitised chart.  I can add, edit, delete marks as I need.

Ozi doesnt come with charts but any chart can be digitised by scanning it.  Any company that can scan house plans can do it, usually cheaply.

Then its just a matter of importing them and setting reference coordinates.

The resulting marks can be saved in a number of GPS formats including GPX, for uploading back in to a GPS



scubafish's picture

Posts: 847

Date Joined: 15/08/12

Buy a extra power cable

Mon, 2021-01-11 12:48

And you can sit anywhere .
With a 12 v power supply.


Posts: 170

Date Joined: 27/05/11

There have been a few

Mon, 2021-01-11 13:37

There have been a few versions of Garmin echomap over the last few years (I've had both)

If you have the original, which is not touch screen, I'm not certain that Activecaptain can sync to it. If not, you can use Garmins free HomePort program to do what you are after

If you have the touchscreen echomap, which can also connect to your phone through wifi, download the Activecaptain app onto your phone. You can easily sync all your marks and do what you are after and as a bonus, you will have all your maps on your phone.

However, regardless of which version you have, there is an alternate way to record a new mark that won't require any messing around. Rather than press 'Mark', pause the screen and use the cursors (or touch screen) to whatever was of interest on the sounder and the mark will be where you want it. With the touchscreen version, it is easy to create an appropriate name, slightly more cumbersome without a touchscren.

Another little tip that you may be interested in, both models can record your sounder and save the file onto an SD card. You can then replay the recording using Homeport (you can speed up the playback) and create new 'marks' as you come across anything of interest. Also works with sideview (however I had a few bugs with Homeport on the Mac).




Curndog's picture

Posts: 369

Date Joined: 21/11/16

 Hey selthy,I have the older

Mon, 2021-01-11 17:22

 Hey selthy,

I have the older 95sv that isn't touch. I have manually written down most my marks but was thinking of getting micro SD card and micro card reader for the computer. Have you ever grabbed marks of your plotter this way just to save them? I've written down because I'm paranoid of fucking something up when I try do it and losing everything. But I don't want to keep writing them down in the future.

Posts: 170

Date Joined: 27/05/11

 Yep, Works quite well. From

Mon, 2021-01-11 20:09

 Yep, Works quite well. From memory, the setting on the echomap is "Write to SD Card". Plug the card into a computer and import in Homeport, or any other app. I suggest Homeport as if you edit any marks and resave to the SD, it will save in the right format for the sounder. When you plug the card back into the sounder, there are 2 options. 1 will replace all the marks on the sounder with what is saved on the card, the other (merge) will keep those already on the sounder and any new marks you have entered. I found it easier to enter any new co-ords that someone might suggest, into Homeport and then save to the SD and import onto the echomap... I found entering co-ords using the dial pad on the echomap frustrating.

Curndog's picture

Posts: 369

Date Joined: 21/11/16

 Cheers mate very helpful

Tue, 2021-01-12 15:52

 Cheers mate very helpful

ranmar850's picture

Posts: 2702

Date Joined: 12/08/12

There is always GPSU

Mon, 2021-01-11 19:02

 GPS Utility is an older program which works well, masses of functionality built in.  Up to 200 marks, IIRC, it is freeware, more than that you need to buy, not expensive. But probably not for people who struggle with computers. I had over 20,000 marks left over from crayfishing days, all the way from south of Dongara up to DHI, needed to reduce to file sizes the Raymarine system could handle, but still have it useable by area, relevant to the smaller boat. Lotta work, but got it done. 

You can just save the marks to an SD/Micro SD card, and keep them on the computer--even if you can't read them on the computer in any way, they are still backed up.  

Posts: 6

Date Joined: 11/05/19

Do you keep your symbols?

Tue, 2021-01-12 17:37


Do you manage to keep your Raymarine symbol library on conversion?

I have tried a few gpx utilities and I always end up trashing the raymarine sybols and get all x’s or such.

Axiom running latest Lighthouse 3


ranmar850's picture

Posts: 2702

Date Joined: 12/08/12

Here is the problem

Wed, 2021-01-13 10:14

 I was converting from the C-Plot format ( was .usr, IIRC) The are lots of options for using different symbol sets, there is a massive library of them, but, in the end, it just wouldn't do a straight conversion on them.  I was not converting from Raymarine, I was  converting from .usr to .gpx. So, yes, I ended up with a lot of red x's .   This was really annoying for me, as I had a set system of colours and shapes for different things--you need some kind of system when you are managing the amount I had. Raymarine has it's own utility for managing this, I ended up putting the converted marks into that and got a slightly better result.  But I don't think there is a utility that will do a conversion from one format to another and allow you to keep all your symbols the same. The other format would need to be using exactly the same library. For example, I have converted a few Lowrance symbols sets into Lighthouse, things are never exactly preserved. The conversion just assigns a new shape , based on what is available.  You'd probably even have trouble preserving the appearance between earlier versions of Lighthouse and later versions, if the library is a bit different. 

Posts: 6

Date Joined: 11/05/19

I feel your frustration

Thu, 2021-01-14 08:45

Ranmar, thanks for the feedback.  One of the good things about forums like this.

What is the Raymarine utility you use? I believe voyage planner was ok but no longer available.

ranmar850's picture

Posts: 2702

Date Joined: 12/08/12

Yes, it was Voyage Planner.

Thu, 2021-01-14 12:29

 I didn't realise it was gone until you raised it. Seems that the function has now gone to a program from Raymarine called Seapilot.  Available as freeware, or ,of course, you have to pay a bit to get full function 

Just on general principles, if something is special, I'll just name it immediately. It was/is a real PITA  with non touchscreen stuff, using the cursor button to scroll across the keypad.  The touchscreen systems make it so quick, you may as well spend the 10 seconds to do it straight away. 

Posts: 6

Date Joined: 11/05/19

seems nothing can be simple

Fri, 2021-01-15 08:05

I have the challenge of quite a few points gathered from various gps.  All symboled to make a look at the plotter easy to see what the attraction was.  Keeping that plot symbology consistent is a pita.  I try and keep up to date on board but we all get a bit excited when fish are up.

i have given up and bought a new power cable for the Axiom and can sit on the couch hooked to a battery and tidy up, rather than sit outside in the boat.  All backed up via the micro sd card, and then PC. 

If only there was an easy “universal” system.

crano's picture

Posts: 658

Date Joined: 04/11/09


Mon, 2021-01-11 20:35

 Nothing to do with computer but when I go out I always leave waypoints 1 to 20 vacant so GPS automatically fills these numbers first when adding new marks. Then when I come home I look at these and either delete them or renumber them if I want to keep them. That way I always know where to look for any new marks.