The Garmin EchoMap 74DV is both a sonar and chart plotter push button combination. The biggest advantage here is how you have the built-in Garmin HD-ID that is a traditional sonar. You have exceptionally clear scanning sonar images(including traditional SONAR and 3D DownVu SONAR). With the 74DV, the GPS also comes with a BlueChart h2 US coastal cartography.
This includes cables that will plug into the mount and let you install and remove your device as needed. With the sonar history, you can rewind and look back on it while on the water. This ensures that you do not miss out on where the fish are. With this system, you have three different charts:
- Navigation Chart
- Fishing Chart
- Perspective 3D
The buoys and markers will mark all of your possible paths, which will lead to better navigation. If you dislike the layout, you can change it to a full screen and chart change. There are different options available for the sonar. On the one hand, you have the traditional view, and on the other hand, you have the less traditional. Go with the interface based on what you prefer.
Great SONAR quality
The most important feature here is the fish finder. The EchoMap fish finder has been pre-programmed with US LakeVu HD maps. As a fish finder, Garmin products are some of the easiest to use, and the down view sonar gives you the most accurate view of the lake bottom. With the Garmin Auto Guidance feature, you can calculate unfamiliar courses and safely navigate the waters. This fishing feature also helps you avoid hazardous objects and shallow waters.
Sonar Recording coordinates are another essential feature of the 74DV. You can return with information on your boat’s position, and it saves your digital information for playback on your computer. That means that you can map out your favorite fishing spots.
How does the Garmin Echo 74DV distinguish itself?
What separates this product from the others on the market is how Garmin EchoMap 74DV sonar gives you a near-perfect sonar image almost every single time. This allows you to clearly see submerged objects and fish without a problem. In addition, the sonar will time the coordination of your boat’s position with its return, and this will save you time for digital playback on the computer. Another interesting feature of the 74DV is how you have access to the Quickdraw Contours. This free software comes automatically installed to your Garmin device, and it creates customized maps in HD for fishing. You can keep this data to yourself, or you can choose to share it with friends. You do not have a special surveying expertise required to use it, and you do not have to wait around to send your files away like you might with some of the other mapping software.
The results will appear almost instantly. Do you have more than one sonar installed on your boat? With Quickdraw Contours, the software automatically chooses the most capable sonar device that will give you the best results.
Using the Preloaded BlueChart g2 Maps
The advantage of the EchoMap 74DV is how it comes preloaded with the BlueChart g2 maps. These maps will cover the coastal US and the Bahamas. You will also see all the charts for the US coastline, and the Bahamas. Everything here can be found on the NOAA charts, and you have other things like:
- IALA Symbols
- Depth Contours
- Tidal Stations
- Basic Charts
What BlueChart g2 gives you is a form of smooth transitioning from the zoom levels, and you have a more flawless continuity over the chart boundaries. You can use the Safety Shading, and that will let you contour shade the shallower areas for safe depth. The advantage here is how you have less visual clutter on the interface, and that makes it easier to navigate. You have the option for 3D over-the-bow map, or you can choose 2D Direct overhead, which is the standard. 3D might be a little easier for viewing maps or reading the charts.
Fast and Responsive GPS Refreshing
On average, the Garmin EchoMap 74DV has a fast and responsive refresh time on your position. You will refresh around five times per second, which makes the movement on the screen more fluid. In addition, that refresh rate also drops up to 5,000 accurate waypoints, and you will be able to find your way back to your best fishing spots in a fast and easy fashion. Even once you leave the water, it becomes easy to take EchoMap with you, and you no longer have to mess with unplugging wires or plugging them back in. The cables will plug right into the mount, and that means that you can remove or install EchoMap fast, and you can also remove it from the mount and power.
Conclusion and final thoughts
With this product, you have two key drawbacks to be aware of before purchasing it. First, you do not have support for NMEA 2000 networking, and second, you only have a single microSD slot. If you want to record sonar, you will not have that option with other charts on your SD card. Beyond that, the Garmin EchoMap has a fairly flawless system. One of the reasons a lot of people choose this GPS over the others is because you have an easy system to use. The navigation is very simple compared to some of the other brands on the market.