In 2014, I installed a Garmin 741xs chart plotter (~$1300 retail) with CHIRP transducer and 24xHD Dome Radar (~$2400) in my trawler to replace an antiquidated system. I totally love this chart plotter/sonar/radar combination. For me, touch screen is preferred and the affordable entry price also offered me multiple upgrade pathways in the same unit, including displaying NMEA 2000 instrument data. For example, my analog tachometer displays were dead, so my technician found a NMEA 2000 bridge for about $600 which integrated with the Garmin and now I have digital tach data on my 741xs screen, and the capacity to display other instrument data in the future just by feeding more sensors into the NMEA bridge.
But....the feature I find priceless is the Radar-Over-Chart display. Its immediately intuitive which reflections are fixed (land, obstructions) and which are not. For the newbies (and probably everyone), this one feature removes much of the interpretive errors with radar imaging. I would highly recommend that any system you choose, from any vendor, includes this option. If in doubt, check out the Garmin site and investigate what this feature does. For a $1300 base price, the ability to display Radar-Over-Chart is an amazing price-performance bonus.
The 741xs also includes has a wireless basestation so you can mirror the Garmin display onto any iPad. So, when running from the flying bridge, I can view and control the 741xs on my helm. The cost of all this additional functionality was about $10 to install a 12V charger on my fly bridge to keep the iPad battery up.
The Garmin 741xs was some of the best $$$ I have spent. There are other Garmin models with similar features but larger screens. However, I had limited physical space and budget, which I feel I maximized with the 741xs model.
LaConner, WA, USA