New Garmin 7600 Series Buyers Guide

Discussion in 'Electronics Q&A' started by CSR_Admin, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. CSR_Admin

    CSR_Admin Administrator Staff Member

    Mar 10, 2004
    The Garmin 76xx Series is Garmin's latest release for 2015, and the capabilities likely have your head spinning! It is an awesome platform for sure. We can help you pick out the right system for your boat. In fact, Garmin has recently instituted a new pricing structure, so these units will be offered at the same price no matter who you buy from. You might as well buy from the dealer that will advise you on how to properly outfit your boat for your needs, and the dealer that will pick up the phone after the sale to answer your questions once you start using the new system. BOE is that dealer, we have the deepest knowledge base of any marine electronics retailer. We'll be glad to help you!

    If you ever find a lower price, whether it is a dealer rebate, or package deal or whatever, just let us know and we'll match it if able. And you'll still be able to get our World Class support.

    This "Buyer's Guide" is intended to give a brief overview of the units. It should serve to answer basic questions. You are welcomed to call or email us for a more thorough discussion.


    The Basics:
    The Garmin 76xx Series is comprised of 5 units of varying size. They are offered in 7", 8", 10", 12" and 16". These color touchscreen units include built-in wifi, bluetooth and internal GPS antenna. They are also available with the "XSV" designation which means they also have built-in Dual Channel CHIRP Sonar, Traditional Sonar, DownVu and SideVu. The capabilities of the 76XX Series is broad. With the right add-ons they can function as radar, thermal imaging monitors, XM weather, network with other 76xx units (and most any Garmin unit), control autopilot, AIS data, display engine data and more. In fact, there are not any current recreational technologies that these units can't do.

    Model Numbers:
    The first part of the model number is the series. They all start with "7". The 2nd digit refers to the preloaded charts. In the USA we will use the 76xx series which has US charts preloaded. These units are also offered in the 74xx Series which do not include maps. Finally, the last two digits represent the screw size, measured diagonally. So the 7607 has a 7" screen, 7608 has an 8" screen, 7610 has a 10" screen, 7612 has a 12" screen and the big 7616 has a 16" screen. These units are offered two ways, either with the built-in Sonar or without. The units without Sonar have no suffix, for example 7612. The units with Sonar have an "XSV" after the numbers. For example, 7612xsv.

    Links to the Units:

    Multiple Displays and Networking
    Often, customers will set their boats up with multiple displays. These units are fully networkable so you can easily install multiple units and connect them via Garmin Ethernet Cables. The units feature mutliple network ports in back so you should always have room to add more displays or network devices like radar. When units are networked together they can share just about anything including, sonar, radar, charts, waypoints, position, etc. If you have an XSV unit with a sonder built in and you want to have a 2nd display, your 2nd display does not need to be the XSV version. Because one of the units on your network features a sonar, it will basically convert any 76xx Series unit on your network to an XSV unit which will display and control sonar. The same goes for radar. The radar can plug into one unit and all units become a radar.

    Garmin is generally regarded as having the best chartplotters on the water! This is because of how intuitive they are to use, and how easy the charts are to view. In fact, Garmin's charts often appear a little more animated than others with clutter significantly reduced. This makes them very intuitive which in turn helps the captain's situational awareness. Garmin has some cruising features that nobody else offers with their Vision Charts. The charts can be viewed various ways, including some unique 3D views, like Mariners Eye, that is practically like looking out your windshield. The water ahead of the boat get's color coded in a 3D view to instantly let the captain know if it is deep enough, too close for comfort, or too shallow. Garmin also offers "Auto Guidance" which literally lets you search and activate a destination, and the unit creates a route there for you based on your boats underwater and overhead draft. Pretty amazing stuff. The units also include a built-in GPS antenna. Installation on your boat is as easy as connecting the red and black wires to power and mounting the unit!

    Any Garmin "GMR" radar will work with these units. Garmin radars are available from small 18" 4kW Domes up to 6' 12kW Open Arrays. They simple plug into the back of a 76XX Series unit with the included ethernet cable.
    Popular Radars

    The Garmin 76xx "XSV" units have a built in sounder. Actually 4 built-in sounders! These units have an 8 Pin, and 12 Pin Sonar ports in the back. So you can plug in any combination of Garmin or Airmar Trasducers you want, as long as they have the 8 Pin or 12 Pin plug on them. Garmin has a whole new Series of Transducers available to take advantage of the CHIRP, DownVu and SideVu capabilities. These transducers are available in low power for shallow water and high power for deeper water. They include a Medium CHIRP frequency ideal for most depths. They also have DownVu and SideVu built in. These transducers are offered in Transom Mount or through hull varieties.
    Popular Transducer Options:

    Panoptix - Live 3D Sonar
    Garmin is the first to market with a new form of live 3D sonar imaging called Panoptix. It gives a 3D image all around and under the boat. A simple analogy to help you understand the technology is this - you can literally cast your boat out, reel it in, and watch the bait move through the water on your Garmin display. Panoptix is nothing more than a transducer available in a few different varieties. The transducer plugs into a capable Garmin display like the 76xx series via ethernet. Transom mont and trolling motor mount versions are available as of today (2/19/15) but we expect to see more available in the future.
    Panoptix Transducers

    Other Popular Add-ons
    XM Weather - With the GXM-52 you can get Live weather data and XM Audio to display on your unit. Simply connect via NMEA 2000.
    AIS - Use the Garmin AIS600 or any number of NMEA2000 AIS units
    NMEA2000 Starter Kit - Add NMEA2000 integration to your unit with this kit

    Links to the Units:

  2. ttmott

    ttmott MS/PhD in OCD GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    Is the GSD 24 sonar black box compatible?
    Also can you discuss a bit about charts; what's included and what can be added?

  3. CSR_Admin

    CSR_Admin Administrator Staff Member

    Mar 10, 2004
    the Gsd24 is a black box module. You could connect one to one of these units, but if you get the xsv version you have a gsd24 "and then some" already built into the unit.

    to get the enhanced charting features like auto guidance you'll need the vision card. These units come preloaded with Garmin blue charts which are fully detailed charts, but lack the bonus features like aerial imagery, 3d bottom and auto guidance.
  4. 280 Gator

    280 Gator Member

    May 9, 2012
    2018 290 SDX OB
    Twin 250XL Verados with Joystick
    i just posted in the 280 forum and then i saw this forum. not trying to duplicate but this seemed like a logical place to put it. GARMIN GPS on my 280. i have a Garmin 5208 that is giving me trouble and thinking about replacing. i was looking at a GPSMAP 7610 or 7608.
    i have a sounder and XM on the 5208 and also use the vision cards for guidance. As i understand it I will have to replace everything and cables to go to the 7610/7608. i dont have radar .
    I hate to get into changing out all the senders and cables. an alternative is i think Garmin will re build the 5208 but that doesnt seem like money well spent as it will still be ~ 7 years old.
    whats your thoughts and opinions or suggestion
  5. CSR_Admin

    CSR_Admin Administrator Staff Member

    Mar 10, 2004
    You can adapt your transducer with an adapter Garmin makes. Get the Xsv version of the unit which has a sounder built in. Your xm may be adaptable. I suspect it is but have not confirmed. All you really need to replace is the unit and power cable.
  6. 280 Gator

    280 Gator Member

    May 9, 2012
    2018 290 SDX OB
    Twin 250XL Verados with Joystick
    thanks, ill check it out
  7. john289

    john289 New Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    280 sundancer 2004
    twin 4.3 I/O
    I purchased the 7607xsv and the gt51 transum mount Tranducer for my 280 sundancer alpha one twin's. OEM and suppliers said it would work on my boat. Installers all say it will not work. Any one done this. Any success ?


    Oct 13, 2014
    Chesapeake Bay
    up in the air
    I would have gone with the GT50, you can mount it between the engines as deep as possible but idealy would have been the truhull
  9. stevediarchangel

    stevediarchangel Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 28, 2015
    New York
    99 340 Sundancer
    7.4 Mercruiser w V drives
    I just started looking at Garmin GPS's. What made you purchase the 7607 vs the 741 xs? Is the 7607 a new platform?

    Any help would be appreciated. Just saw the 741 on sale and I am considering buying it

  10. be_prepared

    be_prepared Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Oct 12, 2015
    Mattapoisett, MA
    2002 Sea Ray Sundancer 340DA
    Twin Mercruiser Horizon 8.1 inboards
    Winter Upgrade based on Garmin 7600 core

    I've been looking at a winter electronics update for a 2002 340DA, and since I have had experience with the Garmin line in the past, am leaning toward that brand. This is a basic configuration I'm considering, still dabbling with it, but wanted to know if anyone sees compatibility issues, or suggestions for a better combination.

    GPSMAP 7610xsv
    GMR 24 xHD (dome radar)
    VHF 200
    Transducer TBD, might try for a thru hull that will replace the old speed wheel feeding the OEM Raymarine instrument on the dash

    - Adding 2 GFS 10 fuel flow sensors (Has anyone used those with the 8.1 Horizon's? Better to get the whole smartcraft integration kit? I have the analog gauges on my boat. I just really wanted to get a handle on fuel flow for trip planning.)
    - Adding separate GPS head on radar arch (GPSMAP 7610 has built in GPS antenna, is external worth it? Good view of sky from helm on 340)
    - Updating stereo to FUSION product, which I believe integrates with the Garmin via Fusionlink? (boat has OEM Clarion)
    - Replacing the old Ray instrument in the middle of the dash with a GNX20 that's integrated with the rest of the Garmin system, and use the thru hull hole (from that crappy speed wheel instrument that just gets clogged a couple weeks into the season) for the new transducer.

    I think this combination will give me solid chartplotting, radar, and sonar, along with a VHF that should integrate well with the chartplotting if there's a DSC emergency call. The head unit has built in WiFi for displaying on a tablet or smartphone, not mandatory, but nice.

    I have a discontinued Garmin 740S, which is a smaller head unit, but I believe it may fit as a second display screen, anyone know if the new 7600 series will talk to the older 740s? It would be nice to have the second display if it will tie into the radar etc. Hopefully everything will plug and play on NMEA 2000?

    Thanks for your thoughts on this combination, I haven't been in the market for electronics for a while, trying to get in my due diligence before I pull the trigger.
  11. CSR_Admin

    CSR_Admin Administrator Staff Member

    Mar 10, 2004
    Re: Winter Upgrade based on Garmin 7600 core

    The 740 will partially network. You may get all you need, but it may also leave you wanting for a network feature you can't get to work. And a software update could change it all. The gray units like the 740 are not designed to network with the new black units like the 7610. But they do anyway, partially. Hope that makes sense.

    Your setup sounds fine. You could save a few bucks by going with the GMR18 instead of the 24. You won't benefit much by having the 24 on your boat. However, it does have a better operating window for picking up small objects like crab traps. So that may be beneficial. The internal antenna will work fine for you. I would stick with it, and then leave the external antenna as a Plan B in case you notice you are dropping satellites. The fusion link on the new Fusion radio will also work great on the new garmin unit. If you need any help with all of this please call us.

    Oh, and the fuel flow.... I would suggest getting the Smartcraft setup and nmea2000 gateway vs cutting into your fuel system and mounting the garmin sensors. it will be more accurate data and less intrusive to your boat.
  12. be_prepared

    be_prepared Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Oct 12, 2015
    Mattapoisett, MA
    2002 Sea Ray Sundancer 340DA
    Twin Mercruiser Horizon 8.1 inboards
    Re: Winter Upgrade based on Garmin 7600 core

    Thanks for the feedback. I may have to call you to follow up on what's needed for Smartcraft. The 2002 Mercruiser 8.1 Horizon's I have are configured with the conventional gauges at the helm. Will the multi engine version of the Mercury NMEA 2000 Gateway be all I need to tie into the engines, or is there another adapter needed since I don't have Smartcraft gauges already? I wasn't sure if the 2002's were supported.

    Thanks again!
  13. dsm1212

    dsm1212 New Member

    May 1, 2016
    2008 Select EX (SLX)
    Axius with older VesselView & Northstar 550 Chartplotter
    Twin MAG 350's
    I just purchased a 2008 300 SLX with axius and only about 110 hours on it. Engines are Twin 350MAG. The console has the older vesselview that works fine and to my eye looks ok. To the left of the gauges there is a northstar 550 chartplotter that can feed the axius pilot. The boat is nmea 0183. The northstar doesn't seem to get engine info, it does send waypoint sequences to the axius.

    I'd like to update the Northstar and while I'll probably never use the autopilot on the lake I don't want to "lose" this feature on the boat. I'm somewhat limited in space where the northstar is flushmounted to the left of the gauges. Looking at sizes and capabilities I think the garmin 7607 will do the trick. I "might" fit a simrad nss7 but I need to take some very careful measurements. Also a newer lowrance elite 7 that just came out would fit, but the Lowrance support line says they do not support 3rd party pilots even though to me their setup looks like it would work. raymarine in an a7 doesn't have 0183 support. So I think I'll be getting a 7607xsv garmin (would like to add sonar to the boat).

    I think I can add the garmin with some minor cabling just replacing the northstar and get similar functionality with a much better display and support for sonar.

    If I want the engine info on the garmin I need to add a NMEA 2000 gateway model 84-8m0105243. I've seen comments about needing something different for DTS, but I can't find another part is this the correct one? Also, I only need one of these right? Not one per engine? Also, there is no nema 2000 network on the boat. If I get the gateway can I cable that directly to the garmin or do I need some power on the 2000 bus? Could someone point me to the parts I need to connect the gateway to the garmin?

    My lake has the LakeVU HD Ultra charts available. It looks like if I plan on buying those it's actually cheaper to get the 7407xsv and buy the LakeVU HD Ultra charts. Or am I missing something if I buy a 74?

  14. Zim

    Zim Active Member

    Jan 16, 2018
    2012 Sea ray sundancer 310
    Twin merc
    Currently, my 2012 sea ray 310, has the Garmin 741xs installed from the factory, it has the chirp, and maps and few other options that i'm still learning.
    I would like relocate the 741 unit to be directly in front of my line of vision, as it currently sits off to the side, and install bigger screen unit in the old location. Would like a plug ...and play set up. Any suggestion? What all wires will I need?
    Picture attached with current setup.

    Attached Files:

  15. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 741, 742, 8212, 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones
    Zim, you can network the 741 with the current units. If you connect it to say a 76xx with both NMEA2000 and Garmin network, they can share just about everything you want. The Garmin network cable is just a cross-over ethernet cable. They sell an official one with water-protected ends, but I made my own. I configured mine like you mentioned (741 directly ahead). It's awesome. My only regret is not buying two 741's to have in front of me. There's seemingly no end to the uses of networked MFD's. They both power-up & down with just one button, if you activate a route on one, the other shows it. They can share maps, even Vision data. I have my VHF and entertainment radios on the NM2K network, so sometimes one of the displays is just a big, touchscreen stereo.
  16. Zim

    Zim Active Member

    Jan 16, 2018
    2012 Sea ray sundancer 310
    Twin merc
    Awesome, thanks for the info.

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