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Everything You Should Know About Garmin EchoMap Plus Chartplotter/Sonar

· Marine Gadgets

The Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 74cv is generally similar to the ECHOMAP Plus 73cv. Yet, this model comes loaded with the U.S. coastal charts BlueChart g2. Other than this, the unit additionally includes a somewhat more powerful transducer with a greater depth capability. Similar to the Garmin “Plus” units, the Garmin EchoMap Plus 74cv 6" Chartplotter/Sonar w/Transom Mount and U.S. BlueChart g2 Charts is among the recent entries and comes with extra features over its predecessor - EchoMAP CHIRP 74cv.

To help you understand more about this amazing marine electronics, we have piled up this Garmin EchoMap Plus 74cv review. Let’s take a look:

Technical Specifications:

Below are some of the main specifications and technical details about the Garmin EchoMap Plus 74cv:

Display: 7″ diagonal, 800H x 400Vp resolution, WVGA color, backlit

Sonar: CHIRP Sonar, ClearVü

Frequency and Coverage:

2D Sonar - Mid-band CHIRP, 80-160 kHz / 24-13°
ClearVü - 260 kHz (245-275 kHz) / 2°x51°; 455 kHz (445-465 kHz) / 1.4°x29°

Max. Depth Capability:

2D Sonar: 2,300 ft
ClearVü: 1,000 ft

Transducer: CV23M-TM

Power Output: 500W (RMS)

GPS: 5Hz, (Internal)

Maps: BlueChart g2

Routes, Waypoints, Tracklog: 100; 5,000; 50,000 points along with 50 saved tracks

Sonar and Transducer:
The ECHOMAP 74cv plus is a Garmin fishfinder with a capability of multiple base frequencies. It can use 50/77/80/200 kHz for the 2D sonar, and 260/455/800 kHz for ClearVü mode. The CV23M-TM transducer that comes integrated with the chartplotter is capable of Mid-Band CHIRP only with a pulse modulation of 80-160 kHz for the unit’s 2D conventional sonar. However, for ClearVü, the transducer uses 260/455 kHz, meanwhile the CHIRP modulation intervals being 245-275 kHz, & 445-465 kHz.

The transducer included with the m0odel is more powerful than the CV22HW-TM included with the ECHOMAP Plus 73cv model. It makes this upgraded Garmin fishfinder system a superior off-shore fishing option. It can scan depths up to 2,300 ft in freshwater, while up to 1,100 ft in saltwater, with the Mid-Band CHIRP mode active. Yet, the ClearVü can only scan 1,000 ft in freshwater. The depth capability for saltwater is unspecified, still, it should be somewhat half, 5-600 ft.

The Garmin 74cv transducer has two mounts, one for transom and other for trolling motor. It has roughly 20′ cable and additionally integrates a quick response temperature sensor. The transducer utilizes a conical beam for the system’s traditional 2D CHIRP sonar and offers coverage of 24°. For ClearVü, there are fan-shaped beams, pretty thin fore/aft wise (around 2°), yet wider side-to-side (51° @ 260 kHz, and 29° @ 455 kHz).
This Garmin fish finder chartplotter is compatible with many other transducers. For instance, it can use between CV20-TM or the CV22HW-TM model. However, contrary to the ECHOMAP Plus 64cv, ECHOMAP Plus 74cv unit supports Panoptix “all-seeing” transducers too!

The fish finder provides all the standard sonar highlights present in the outdated/conventional units, such as Bottom Lock, A-Scope, Split-Zoom, Fish Alarm, Flasher, Fish Symbols, Depth Alarm, and more. Unlike Striker Plus units, this comes with Sonar Recording and Sonar History Rewind. It additionally offers traditional sonar support to Minn Kota® & MotorGuide® with trolling motor integration.

Navigation Features

As described above, the Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 74cv has the BlueChart g2 U.S. coastal charts. The charts cover the East and West Coast, Gulf of Mexico, U.S. and the Canadian sides of the Great Lakes. All are acquired from official charts and private sources, providing a lot of data including spot soundings, depth contours, tides/currents information, nav-aids and more. However, the unit is also compatible with the BlueChart g2 Vision & g2 HD, as well as LakeVü HD Ultra.

Apart from the charts, it has the Quickdraw Contours mode, which lets you draw the depth contours of your lake or water body where you are fishing. It utilizes the 2D sonar and GPS data to reveal the current depth contours, providing you with the capability to create your own personalized fishing maps.
This Garmin unit comes with an inbuilt 5 Hz GPS receiver, that offers position updates 5 times per second, it can explicitly show the coordinates of any point. You can also access the speed of your boat from it.
The unit has waypoints, routes, and trail recording features included. It additionally has storage capacity for up to 5,000 waypoints and 100 routes in its memory. The Garmin EchoMap Plus Chartplotter/Sonar can plot your track, and record around 50 tracks, 50,000 points for each track. You can save all the tracks and convert into a route, to which waypoints can be added.
The Garmin unit also has SailAssist and ActiveCaptain compatibility. The SailAssist features include lay lines, heading and course-over-ground line, an improved wind rose, etc. You can use them to gain a wind-maximizing edge, to see real and apparent wind angle plus speed. Moreover, a pre-race guidance page displays the virtual starting line with data fields conferring lay lines, time to burn before the start and the race timer.

The integrated Wi-Fi inside the unit lets it interface with any smart device/laptop’/smartphone with the ActiveCaptain Garmin app. Using the app, one can easily access OneChart to profit from software updates, access the Quickdraw Contours Community for customized charts, upgrade your charts immediately, receive smart notifications, and more.

Control Unit Features

The Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 74cv comes loaded with a color WVGA display, which is 7″ in size, diagonal, and has an 800H x 400V pixel resolution. Contrary to the previous model, this one additionally has touchscreen technology. So you can control it as a tablet, instead of keypad only.

Simple to use and intuitive interface - this is what you get when you invest on this hyped Garmin chartplotter. You can personalize the start page with the most-used apps. Furthermore, there are several split screen views, with up to three panels per view. Thanks to the touchscreen technology, you can drag any corner of an app in a split screen to enlarge the view without compromising quality.

It has LED backlight for superior readability even under in direct sunlight and from sharp angles, up to 70° on all sides. The ECHOMAP Plus 74cv is likewise IPX7 waterproof, implying it can resist incidental water exposure and rain without damaging the unit.

All in all, the Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 74cv fishfinder and chartplotter, comes equipped with 2D CHIRP, GPS functionality, ClearVü sonar, and BlueChart g2 coastal charts apart from several other essential features. It also has a CV23M-TM transducer (Mid-Band CHIRP and 260/455 kHz ClearVü capable). Basically, the unit brings you a gamut of exciting navigation features along with Wi-Fi connectivity and is fully compatible with the ActiveCaptain app. To sum up, it’s a unit perfect for off-shore fishing and navigation use. However, you can also use it for inland fishing! Make sure you refer to Garmin EchoMAP Plus 74cv manual for all info about installation and usage.