Review Snapshot

Full featured and high quality. Daylight viewability is praised, as is touch screen and vision maps. Company has high reputation both in marine electronics and GPS enabled products.


None - unless you prefer to use a computer as your interface.


This standalone unit is robust, flexible and reliable. Enjoy!

Reviewed by:
Jackie Gay : A published novelist, editor and university teacher, Jackie has recently moved t...Member Reputation 177 • 198 active Krits
Garmin GPSMAP 740s Chartplotter review from Garmin
Garmin GPSMAP 740S Review
Jackie Gay rates this 4.5/5
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Garmin GPSMAP 740s Chartplotter review detailed information
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FULL REVIEW: Garmin GPSMAP 740S GPS & Chart Plotter

There are few areas where the availability of GPS satellite technology has made more impact than in coastal navigation.

For centuries - ever since man set out to sea - once that shoreline was left behind (or the fog came down) then it took a combination of wit, observation, experience and guts to venture further. It is said that Christopher Columbus was so disorientated when reaching Cuba and Hispaniola that he thought their mountain peaks were part of the Himalayas.

Enter modern navigation and the Garmin GPSMAP 740S GPS Chartplotter with Sounder.

It's taken a while to get here. But with these latest machines, navigation is a cinch. You simply plug in the chartplotter and your location is displayed on the screen and your course (and lots of other data) recorded. For $1499.99 you get a standalone unit, with a panoramic display; menu-driven touchscreen control and radar interface.

No more interfacing with computers or loading up charts and mapping software; this machine does it all.

'Great value for any boat or budget,' say Garmin, and it's hard to disagree.

Along with connectivity for engine, fuel, VHF, autopilot and other data monitoring and a standard radar port you can connect with any Garmin GMR series marine radar, this product does it all.

This model comes preloaded with worldwide marine basemap (easily enhanced for expanded coverage of specific regions such as the Great Lakes and Inland Waterways); plus detailed offshore maps for all U.S. coastal areas, including Alaska and Hawaii.

This product truly does, 'bring a new level of functionality to your vessel'.

You can upgrade to premium features such as aerial reference photos (to help orient yourself in unfamiliar areas), and MarinerEye and FishEye views for a 3-D perspective both above and under the waterline - you literally see the contours of the coastline you're traveling through on the screen.

The 740s also features a powerful digital sounder with built-in sonar which can scan for fish, structures or other items (treasure!) up to 2,000 feet.

And Garmin are known for their superior satellite tracking and quick acquisition times. You can even receive graphical weather data through a separately sold receiver.

So how easy is it to use all this impressive technology? Well with an intuitive touchscreen interface - simple.

'The screen is easy to read,' said one customer. 'I'm glad we went for the 7". The 'previous path' feature is fun and helpful. Great graphics. Much more to learn and explore on the screen and on the water.'

The device offers flexible brightness levels for daytime readability along with low-light dimming during night use - both important on the water.

And among the impressive features is Auto Guidance technology which searches through all relevant charts for you to create a route you can actually follow avoiding obstacles, shallow water, buoys and other obstructions.

'Works great sitting on my wife's kitchen table hooked up to a battery,' said one buyer (who couldn't wait to get to his boat to try it out). 'Instantly and accurately determined my location from inside the house. The extra sensitive built in GPS antenna does what Garmin claims. Can't wait until the weather starts to warm up to go hook up in the boat and chase some king salmon and some big fat fish...'

So the user feedback is wholly positive. 'The Garmin 740 is great,' said one, simply.

Especially useful for those boaters who don't generally venture outside their local waters, this product gives you that all-important confidence. 'Motored to Mackinac Island in Lake Huron for the first time,' said one customer. 'The Garmin 740S made the trip hassle free. Touch scren and immediate response is terrific. Great screen resolution as well.'

So you can relax and enjoy your time on the water.

'Blows away the competition,' said another. 'Garmin makes the best and easiest to use units on the planet.'

So you can always be sure which part of the planet you're on!

The only reason I don't give this 10/10 is that some customers may prefer to interface their GPS through a computer because they use the computer for other purposes on the water. But if you'd prefer to get away from your email while on the boat then this is the unit for you!
Date Reviewed: April 18, 2012, 10:33 am
Reviewed by Jackie Gay
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