I bought a Lowrance GO2 at Bass Pro last year for around $100. It was the best money I have spent on fishing gear, ever. I fish the upper bay and the area around Wachapreague Va. The mapping is exellent and has many features. Operation is simple and does not require memorizing an instruction manual. It saves hundreds of way points and has a "man overboard" feature for quick marking a point. Check it out. Hope that helps. :clapping2:
I have a Lowrance ifinder H2O . It's great and it's waterproof . Also takes the Navionics data cards for more precise mapping . I have the B&W version . $ 169.99 or you can get the color unit for $100.00 more .
Any of the newer Garmin models with built in map. I believe the one I have is the Legend CX color.
The color map makes reading the small screen much easier IMO.
Also the newer models have longer battery life although if that's an issue you can buy a 12v power cord for most models.
I'm editing my post because ironically after logging off of TF I starting thumbing through the April edition of a magazine a friend brought me while I'm home-bound and they did a comparision of hand-held GPS. The Garmin 76CSX was voted the best overall for boat/car/field.
Whatever handheld GPS you chose, consider mounting it with a RAM handheld mount and ball. Used one on my last boat. Worked great! Never came loose while running, fishing, or trailering. It also came off easy at the end of the day to preclude it from "walking off."
As a backup the wife and I bought a Garmin GPSMAP 478. I know you said handheld but
if you got big hands this one will work. It has all the garmin charts preloaded. It also has
the navigation software that tells you how to get from point a to point b. The batteries will
last a while, the box says about 12-14 hours, and it can be expanded. I originally wanted
the garmin 76csx, but for a little bit of extra money, the 478 was worth it.
I have been pleased with my Lowrance H2O color........bought as a companion and back up to the dash mounted Lowrance 110C..........I don't think you can go wrong with either the Lowrance or Garmin handhelds.......
RAM makes a mount that will fit perfectly on the thwart of your canoe. It's a one inch ball that clamps right to the thwart, no drilling at all. Part # RAM-B-247U. This piece is just the ball. Then you can add whatever cradle fits the model GPS you decide to get.