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FLIBS 2017: Garmin focuses on compatibility and keeping older units current

FORT LAUDERDALE — Garmin Ltd. discussed its recent acquisition of Navionics S.p.A. at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show on Wednesday and looked forward to a future with software updates that will let users see more information on their Garmin marine-product screen.

A software update called ActiveCaptain will give users a one-stop app that lets them see text messages, emails, phone calls and software updates on a chart plotter.

“You can plan your trip at home and go back and sync it with your plotter instantly,” said David Dunn, director of marine sales for Garmin. Additionally, customers who bought a chart plotter two or three years ago and update it will get all of the improvements that come with ActiveCaptain.

“We bring backward compatibility as far back as we possibly can,” Dunn said.

Owners can see many of their boat’s on-board systems on an iPad with ActiveCaptain.

Owners can see many of their boat’s on-board systems on an iPad with ActiveCaptain.

Owners can access, update and purchase maps and charts from Garmin’s OneChart storefront. It’s available on Google Play, and Garmin is waiting for Apple to finish the approval steps so users will be able to purchase the software from the Apple Store.

For users of the Garmin EchoMap Plus, upgrades include 4-inch to 7-inch displays with CHIRP Sonar, Panoptix, LakeVu, Bluechart2 and more. Dunn said Garmin has created a 6-inch display that costs the same as a 5-inch display, and consumers can opt for a 7-inch or 9-inch display. Prices range from $199.99 to $1,099.99.

The EchoMap series ranges in screen size from 4 to 9 inches.

The EchoMap series ranges in screen size from 4 to 9 inches.

Garmin’s Striker Plus is a basic fishfinder that has been upgraded with features that include GPS and Quickdraw Contours mapping software. The basic fishfinder can store as much as 2 million acres of maps with 1-foot contours. Prices for the Striker Plus range from $199.99 to $1,099.99.

The Striker Plus series enhances basic fishfinders with popular upgrades.

The Striker Plus series enhances basic fishfinders with popular upgrades.

Lastly, Garmin is introducing partnerships with industry companies whose products can also be controlled on a Garmin multifunction display. Garmin MFDs can control Lumishore underwater lights and Seakeeper stabilizers on smaller boats.

For larger vessels, Garmin is working with Böning and its vessel management systems.

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