FLIBS 2018: Garmin debuts new products as boat show opens

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FORT LAUDERDALE — Garmin International today launched a series of new products at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. The electronics manufacturer did a sneak peek for the editors in Active Interest Media’s Marine Group before the show opened.

The GPSMAP 8600/8600xsv series is an extension of Garmin’s flagship GPSMAP 8600 series. It is is Wi-Fi-enabled for full connectivity and networkability so boaters can customize their systems based on preferences.

“Garmin was the first to create a glass-helm design, and we’re excited to bring this stunning appearance to smaller, more affordable displays without compromising the premium performance from our GPSMAP series,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin worldwide vice president of consumer sales, in a statement.

The GPSMAP 8600/8600xsv series comes loaded with Garmin’s BlueChart g3 coastal charts and LakeVü g3 inland maps with Navionics data and Auto Guidance technology. “This new Garmin cartography brings unrivaled detail and convenience to users by blending the best content from both Garmin and Navionics,” Bartel said. “Garmin’s preloaded BlueChart g3 is also the first to offer built-in Auto Guidance technology that instantly searches through relevant charts to create a suggested route based on the dimensions of the user’s depth and overhead clearance.”

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The cartography includes navigational aids, spot soundings, depth contours, tides and currents, and detailed harbors and marinas.

“It offers seamless chart presentation with up to 1-foot fishing contours that provide a more accurate depiction of bottom structure for improved fishing charts and enhanced detail in swamps, canals, marinas and port plans,” Bartel said. “What’s more, Garmin was the first to introduce Auto Guidance, and now this simple marine auto-navigation technology is included with all Garmin g3 accessory cards, and it’s even built-in to many Garmin chart plotters — all at no additional cost to the consumer.”

Garmin’s InReach MiniMarine Bundle is also being displayed at FLIBS. The inReach Mini, which measures 4 inches long and 2 inches deep, wirelessly connects with compatible Garmin plotters, handhelds and wearables. It works anywhere when using the Iridium satellite network.

“The inReach Mini is your go-to connection for maintaining off-the-grid contact while giving you — and your friends and family on shore — extra peace of mind on the water,” Bartel said. “The inReach Mini lets you send and receive messages, track and share your journey, and if necessary, trigger an SOS.”

Garmin also announced a number of accessories, including a Reactor Autopilot Remote, GRID 20 Remote Input Device and GC 200 Marine IP Camera.

All the new products at FLIBS are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2019.

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