The Official Magazine of the Bluewater Cruising Association

Garmin Training Products

Jeff Cote

Pacific Yacht Systems
January 23rd, 2016

We recently attended a Garmin training course and thought we would share some of the things we learned.  Some, we knew and some are new.

For 2016, the Garmin GPSMAP 76XX series Chartplotters will include the full Western Canada G2 charts.  Up until now, only the USA charts were included.  Great news for G2 users but, unfortunately, it does not apply to Vision.

The Garmin GPSMAP 74XX and 76XX series Chartplotters include built-in WiFi/ANT for use with Garmin Helm and BlueChart Mobile.  Garmin Helm allows you to view and control your Chartplotter from a smartphone or tablet and BlueChart allows you to chart routes and get up-to-date weather information.  These Chartplotters will also allow you to link with your FUSION-link-enabled entertainment system.  We also learned that the newer, GPSMAP 80XX series does not include WiFi.

A new product, designed as a type of rugged go-pro, adapts exceptionally well for boaters.  The Garmin VIRB X Waterproof HD Action Camera shoots rich, high-definition, wide-angle footage at 1080p30, and 12 megapixel photos, at up to 10 frames per second.  You can even capture photos while recording video.  It includes built-in WiFi that allows you to connect one or more VIRB X cameras to the VIRB mobile app on your smartphone or tablet.  Garmin even provides free desktop software, VIRB Edit, that allows you to review and edit your footage.

The new EchoMap series of Chartplotters now combines traditional HD-ID sonar, with really clear CHIRP, DownVu and SideVu scanning sonar images.  Garmin has completely re-vamped this series to feature 60% more processing power than the previous generation.  Along with this technology, Garmin has also introduced a number of new transducers, both thru-hull and transom mount.  The new software update also includes contour mapping.  If you have a structured scan transducer, this function will allow you to cruise your favourite bay and automatically generate a very detailed chart of the bottom, which you can layer on your Chartplotter display.  You can then save and share these charts; this is a great option if you tend to boat in areas that do not have a lot of traditional chart details.

Garmin has recently updated their auto-pilot product line under the name GHP Reactor.  This solid-state, 9-axis Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS) minimizes heading error, course deviation rudder movement and power consumption.  The patented Shadow Drive automatically disengages the autopilot if the helm is turned and automatically re-engages when you hold a steady course.

And lastly, from the Garmin-Nexus series, comes a line of GNX displays.  They are the first, glass-bonded marine instrument with a combination of directly driven LCD segments and a dot-matrix field to display graphical information.  This low power consumption, highly visible display, comes with a really cool auto-scroll function that rotates through data screens for hands-free operation.  If you are going for that “glass mast” look, Garmin also offers a carbon fiber mast bracket specifically designed for the GNX instrument displays.

– Lyle

PYS Electrical Technician


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