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Garmin GPSMAP 8000 Series

Starting at $4,099.99;

Garmin introduced the GPSMAP 8000 series, its new flagship line of multifunction displays, at the Miami International Boat Show in February. Up to 20 units can be networked together to offer an integrated helm solution.

Garmin GPSMAP 8000 Series - click to enlarge

The GPSMAP 8000 series comes in 8-, 12-, and 15-inch multitouch displays that are up to 32 percent slimmer than earlier models of similar screen size. The units can be flush-mounted or even inset in the helm dashboard for a nicely finished glass-bridge look.

A streamlined user interface offers quick access to oft-used settings and features, including a user control bar at the bottom of the screen that gives one-touch access to waypoints, autopilot control, and the all-important home menu.

SmartMode is a new feature that allows the user to customize preset modes for various boating applications, such as offshore cruising, fishing, coastal cruising, and others. When a boater activates a mode, all networked screens instantly turn to their assigned tasks, saving the time it would take to set each display to a different job when changing from mode to mode.

A built-in autopilot control means the sleek glass-bridge feel is preserved, because it requires no additional control head nearby. An optional Garmin Remote Input Device ($399.99, not shown) can be mounted in a helm-chair armrest for even more convenient control.

This article originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.