GPSMap 86i: More than just a portable GPS
Portable GPS, which was widespread at the beginning of the famous positioning system, has almost disappeared from the area. However, Garmin's new GPSMap 86 could appeal to many boaters. Although the screen remains small given the size of the object, the quality of the mapping and its readability are now at a good level. Lightweight, it floats, avoiding the risk of loss in the event of a fall overboard. An SD port allows Bluechart g3 cards to be added to the pre-installed global mapping.
But beyond these classic GPS functions, it was the communication innovations of the 86i version that won the jury of the DAME Award at METS Trade 2019. The GPSMap 86i incorporates InReach technology. This allows the yachtsman to communicate with people ashore by sending and receiving SMS messages via the Iridium satellite network. An SOS message can also be sent to the emergency services via this channel. The navigator can also receive weather reports.
A safety tool for small boats
While portable GPS has almost disappeared from livable sailboats, it is still used in small boats, from kayaks to dayboats. By adding communication functions, Garmin intends to transform its GPS into a security tool. The GPSMap becomes an active satellite distress beacon when needed. The jury of the DAME Award motivated the award of the prize in the electronics category by this versatility, safety features and ease of use.