The Garmin 76xx Series is Garmin's latest release for 2015, and the capabilities likely have your head spinning! It is an awesome platform for sure. We can help you pick out the right system for your boat. In fact, Garmin has recently instituted a new pricing structure, so these units will be offered at the same price no matter who you buy from. You might as well buy from the dealer that will advise you on how to properly outfit your boat for your needs, and the dealer that will pick up the phone after the sale to answer your questions once you start using the new system. BOE is that dealer, we have the deepest knowledge base of any marine electronics retailer. We'll be glad to help you!
If you ever find a lower price, whether it is a dealer rebate, or package deal or whatever, just let us know and we'll match it if able. And you'll still be able to get our World Class support.
This "Buyer's Guide" is intended to give a brief overview of the units. It should serve to answer basic questions. You are welcomed to call or email us for a more thorough discussion.
The Garmin 76xx Series is comprised of 5 units of varying size. They are offered in 7", 8", 10", 12" and 16". These color touchscreen units include built-in wifi, bluetooth and internal GPS antenna. They are also available with the "XSV" designation which means they also have built-in Dual Channel CHIRP Sonar, Traditional Sonar, DownVu and SideVu. The capabilities of the 76XX Series is broad. With the right add-ons they can function as radar, thermal imaging monitors, XM weather, network with other 76xx units (and most any Garmin unit), control autopilot, AIS data, display engine data and more. In fact, there are not any current recreational technologies that these units can't do.
The first part of the model number is the series. They all start with "7". The 2nd digit refers to the preloaded charts. In the USA we will use the 76xx series which has US charts preloaded. These units are also offered in the 74xx Series which do not include maps. Finally, the last two digits represent the screw size, measured diagonally. So the 7607 has a 7" screen, 7608 has an 8" screen, 7610 has a 10" screen, 7612 has a 12" screen and the big 7616 has a 16" screen. These units are offered two ways, either with the built-in Sonar or without. The units without Sonar have no suffix, for example 7612. The units with Sonar have an "XSV" after the numbers. For example, 7612xsv.
Links to the Units:
Multiple Displays and Networking
Often, customers will set their boats up with multiple displays. These units are fully networkable so you can easily install multiple units and connect them via Garmin Ethernet Cables. The units feature mutliple network ports in back so you should always have room to add more displays or network devices like radar. When units are networked together they can share just about anything including, sonar, radar, charts, waypoints, position, etc. If you have an XSV unit with a sonder built in and you want to have a 2nd display, your 2nd display does not need to be the XSV version. Because one of the units on your network features a sonar, it will basically convert any 76xx Series unit on your network to an XSV unit which will display and control sonar. The same goes for radar. The radar can plug into one unit and all units become a radar.
Garmin is generally regarded as having the best chartplotters on the water! This is because of how intuitive they are to use, and how easy the charts are to view. In fact, Garmin's charts often appear a little more animated than others with clutter significantly reduced. This makes them very intuitive which in turn helps the captain's situational awareness. Garmin has some cruising features that nobody else offers with their Vision Charts. The charts can be viewed various ways, including some unique 3D views, like Mariners Eye, that is practically like looking out your windshield. The water ahead of the boat get's color coded in a 3D view to instantly let the captain know if it is deep enough, too close for comfort, or too shallow. Garmin also offers "Auto Guidance" which literally lets you search and activate a destination, and the unit creates a route there for you based on your boats underwater and overhead draft. Pretty amazing stuff. The units also include a built-in GPS antenna. Installation on your boat is as easy as connecting the red and black wires to power and mounting the unit!
Any Garmin "GMR" radar will work with these units. Garmin radars are available from small 18" 4kW Domes up to 6' 12kW Open Arrays. They simple plug into the back of a 76XX Series unit with the included ethernet cable.
The Garmin 76xx "XSV" units have a built in sounder. Actually 4 built-in sounders! These units have an 8 Pin, and 12 Pin Sonar ports in the back. So you can plug in any combination of Garmin or Airmar Trasducers you want, as long as they have the 8 Pin or 12 Pin plug on them. Garmin has a whole new Series of Transducers available to take advantage of the CHIRP, DownVu and SideVu capabilities. These transducers are available in low power for shallow water and high power for deeper water. They include a Medium CHIRP frequency ideal for most depths. They also have DownVu and SideVu built in. These transducers are offered in Transom Mount or through hull varieties.
Popular Transducer Options:
Panoptix - Live 3D Sonar
Garmin is the first to market with a new form of live 3D sonar imaging called Panoptix. It gives a 3D image all around and under the boat. A simple analogy to help you understand the technology is this - you can literally cast your boat out, reel it in, and watch the bait move through the water on your Garmin display. Panoptix is nothing more than a transducer available in a few different varieties. The transducer plugs into a capable Garmin display like the 76xx series via ethernet. Transom mont and trolling motor mount versions are available as of today (2/19/15) but we expect to see more available in the future.
Other Popular Add-ons
XM Weather - With the GXM-52 you can get Live weather data and XM Audio to display on your unit. Simply connect via NMEA 2000.
AIS - Use the Garmin AIS600 or any number of NMEA2000 AIS units
NMEA2000 Starter Kit - Add NMEA2000 integration to your unit with this kit