The 3.5-inch color screens on Garmin's new do-it-all instrument heads looked bright and sharp at the European trade show where I saw them previewed, and they should be available by presstime. They purportedly can display just about any NMEA 2000 data, including engine info, as well as sentences from NMEA 0183 smart sensors, and those three soft keys are supposedly all that's needed to set up and cycle through a variety of useful graphic pages like the speedo/compass. Along with the $536 GMI 10, Garmin is also introducing two N2K "Intelliducers"—a $217 fuel-flow and tank-level sensor, and a $200 depth- and water-temperature sensor. All should mix and match gracefully with the three other recently unveiled NMEA 2000 instrument and sensor systems, and I hope to test them soon with and alongside Furuno's FI50, Simrad's IS20, and Raymarine's ST70. Garmin also added two new display sizes (ten- and 15-inch), to its 4- and 5000 series, and previewed an innovative and NMEA 2000-based GHC 10 autopilot whose control head matches the GMI 10. Thus ends any doubt that Garmin is serious about bigger boats.
This article originally appeared in the April 2008 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.