by Dom Wiseman

Garmin have released the ECHOMAP Plus series, the next generation of chart and sonar combo units. These new units follow on from the ECHOMAP CHIRP and feature powerful sonar capabilities, preloaded charts and mapping, plus built-in WiFi providing access to the new Garmin ActiveCaptain app.

“The ECHOMAP series has been popular since its introduction nearly five years ago,” said Adam Howarth, General Manager Garmin Australasia. “We’ve taken the proven design of these all-in-one combos and have given them exciting new functionality to meet the demands of today’s angler, including keyed-assist touch screens and connectivity capabilities. Whether you’re Chasing snapper in Port Phillip Bay or the Marlborough Sounds, down rigging for Kings in Sydney Harbour or chasing Barra in Queensland, the ECHOMAP Plus series has you covered.”

The new units feature bright displays for maximum viewing during daylight hours and come in 4, 6, 7 or 9 inch sizes. The 6 inch unit replaces the previous 5 inch and contain more pixels for a better display. The larger units allow space for the new keyed assist  touch screen offering users faster access key features.

ECHOMAP Plus also comes with built-in Wi-Fi (excluding the 4 inch model) so anglers can utilise the free Garmin ActiveCaptain app on their mobile phone that can be used to access, update and purchase maps and charts from the OneChart online store on a mobile device anytime. They can also interact with other users on the ActiveCaptain community for shared information and Quickdraw Community data. It allows captains to study any map well before they step aboard their boat.

Units offer built-in CHIRP traditional sonar and CHIRP ClearVü and SideVü scanning sonar. CHIRP sends a continuous sweep of frequencies and interprets them individually upon their return. ClearVü provides a nearly photographic view with excellent resolution and target separation in both freshwater and saltwater while ECHOMAP Plus “sv” models also add SideVü scanning for customers who want to see what’s located on both sides of the boat.

The 7 and 9 inch Plus units provide support for all Garmin Panoptix sonar transducers to provide real-time sonar imagery. Panoptix can show fish swimming and moving toward or away from the boat even while stationary up to 100 feet away.

The  ECHOMAP CHIRP range is pre-loaded with Australia and New Zealand BlueChart g2 HD cartography