Say hello to the Garmin GMI 20, a NMEA 2000-ready instrument that notably gave me a long list of possible fuel tank labels like Port, Center, and Aft. This is the sort of nuance that will make installation and troubleshooting a lot easier, especially as more and more systems sensors get on the N2K bus. Of course the ideal is custom labeling, preferably done with a keyboard, but I’ve only seen that so far with BEP Czone and with Maretron gear. But those custom labels only show up on the displays of the specific developer or partner, and even the fuel tank “Port” and “Starboard” designations possible with the Garmin GMI 20 and Furuno TZT do not travel around the network well. I believe that custom labeling is built into the NMEA 2000 standard but hasn’t been utilized.
But I digress. Another nice nuance I noticed on the GMI 20 is Profiles, which lets you pick a whole set of screen pages by boat type or your main data interest. Then when you customize a profile you can select from prebuilt “fancy” screen pages related to surface, wind, etc. and you can also reorder pages within a profile. I’m not sure that any other manufacturer has made it so easy to set up the screen selection(s) you want.
I don’t yet have Gizmo’s engine-sensor data translating into NMEA 2000, but it’s getting toward the top of the to-do list and I suspect that the GMI 20 may be the easiest display to see it on.
This article originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.