Garmin 741xs Review
I like the super bright screen with great visibility day or night.
Powerful built-in sonar, WiFi, and plenty of rear connections make the 741xs a great compact all around unit.
• Garmin 741xs Review •
18 REASONS why the Garmin 741xs 7″ Color Touchscreen » Chartplotter » Fishfinder packs a punch in the world of solid all around multi-function units.
Lots of great features packed into a small unit. The proud successor to the 740s which was one of Garmin’s most popular items ever, the 741xs is even better. Let’s get right in and take a look at what it can do.
- 7” WVGA | Color Touchscreen
- BlueChart g2 US Coastal | LakeVü HD
- Built-in HD-ID sonar | DownVü & CHIRP
- Supports Minn Kota® & MotorGuide
- 1kW of Sonar Power
- Support for GCV10 black box for SideVü
- Internal 10Hz GPS/GLONASS
- Support for LakeVü HD Ultra
- Suppart for BlueChart g2 Vision
- Radar Capable
- Supports for external GPS
- Laylines & wind data Sailing features
- Fully Networkable
- NMEA 2000 Support
- Video input
- Sonar recording
- WiFi Connectivity & Control
- 2 microSD data card slots
Touch Screen – The first thing you see is a nice touch screen with a 7″ wvga display and a very high resolution. New on the 741xs is that it now has touch to zoom or pinch to zoom which means I can change the scale of the chart just by splitting my fingers apart or pinching the back together, just like using my smart phone.
That makes it extremely easy to change the scale of the chart, enter a waypoint, choose a navigation waypoint or whatever I’m doing and the redraw rate is very quick.
Daylight Readable – The screen is very daylight readable, this is one of those displays you can have intense sun on it or behind you or could have shadows, whatever situation you have, this display is very readable including being readable at night when you want to turn down the brightness to a dim level so you don’t have night blindness.
Includes Charts – The 741xs comes with U.S. Bluechart Cartography so that means that anyplace you travel in the coastal United States and Bahamas you have cartography.
In addition U.S. Bluechart Cartography it also comes with a Garmin Lakevu HD which gives you information for over something like 14000 lakes around the U.S. with very accurate contour information.
So, if you’re an angler and you want to fish Inland Waters this gives you just exactly what you need. Both the Bluechart Cartography and the Garmin Lakevu HD are loaded right in.
Custom Screens – Ok, some other features are, excellent navigational abilities, changing the screen views, like changing the current the view that you’re looking to adding things like bringing up a fishing chart with very detailed bathymetry contour lines for fishing banks.
You can see incredibly accurate contours or if you prefer, it also has 3D navigation so that you like your kind of flying above the boats position and you can flatten out the horizon or you can look up from above spin the map around the boat looking different directions. Very nice graphics that allow you to see a different perspective of where your are.
Integrated 1KW Sonar – One of the best features that the Garmin GPSMAP 741xs has, which is great, is its sonar. This is a very powerful sonar, 1000 Watts RMS at 50 kHz and at 200 kHz. 50 kHz for that deep water where you don’t need the resolution and 200 kHz for shallower water where you do want the resolution.
You can split the screen, you can use bottom lock and zoom any of those features. With up to 2,000 feet in salt water this is a really a powerful sounder by itself.
Chirp Sonar – In addition, it has the new breakthrough technology which is the ability to use a chirp transducer. Chirp means that it can broadcast on a variety of frequencies simultaneously which gives you the best definition of structure, fish, arches, thermoclines and anything like it. That is some pretty good information about the bottom.
You will need to buy the optional chirp transducer, plug it into the chirp socket and now you got a pretty good priced chartplotter sonar with chirp technology.
Sonar Recording – A very cool feature that allows you to record the sonar screen for playback on Garmin HomePort™ and review it later. I find it pretty valuable to be able to look over the the recording from the day and mark any spots that i what to check out in more detail.
As I play it back, I can stop and drop a GPS mark on something interesting and upload to the GPS to take a look at next time I’m on the water. See image above.
To Start Recording – Insert a memory card into the card slot. From a sonar view, select MENU > Record Sonar. Garmin says 15 minutes of sonar recording uses approximately 200 MB of space of the inserted memory card but i recorded several hours and only had a 980mb file.
An individual recording automatically ends after it reaches 4 GB in size. You can record sonar data until the card reaches capacity.
Note: Before you can play back the sonar recordings, you must download and install the Garmin HomePort™ application and record sonar data onto a memory card.
Sonar History Rewind – As the GPSMAP 742xs gets sonar data, while you’re tracking bottom or fish, you can go back and see what you previously went over by just tapping the screen and scrolling back. The amount of sonar history available to scroll back and view is about from 2-3 screens wide.
The scroll speed will effect how you will have recorded. For example, if the GPS is set to a slower scroll speed in the sonar menu, window of time the unit can rewind will be greater. If the device is set to it’s fastest scroll speed, you will see a smaller window of time within the sonar rewind.
If you see some thing good that you just marked, rewind the history, tap the screen and drop a waypoint on it to save it. The best honey holes are often found when moving from one location to another.
The back of the display has quite a few different connections available. Connections for NEMA 2000, NEMA 0183, a video camera connection, input for standard 50/200 transducer, input for the chirp transducer and the input for the radar.
Very Expandable – Lastly, you can hook this up on a Garmin Network that has a Garmin radar or you can hook a Garmin radar directly up to it and you can have radar with a chart overlay. In one simple display you can have radar, sonar, and a powerful chartplotter, a three function navigation system well suited for a small cruising boat with limited space.
Connect up some other gauges like wind information, trip log and even engine guages if you have engine gauges on a Nema 2000 Network.
Stand Alone Or Networked – The Garmin GPSMAP 741xs would definately be right at home as the center of a network navigation system in a console with limited space or part of a larger networked system.
Control the Garmin 741xs from your Smartphone or Tablet – View and controlling is a breeze from an iPhone® or iPad®, or a phone or tablet using Android™. Makes seeing whats going on around you from anywhere on the boat more convenient. Some Android reports say that they can view but not control the 741xs. Might be device specific.
I managed to connect a Galaxy Tab 2 10.1″ Tablet , HTC One M7 smartphone and a NVIDIA SHIELD tablet K1 without any trouble one at a time.
Using simple permission settings allow or block app access to multiple devices simultaneously. Easily switch between portrait and landscape mode to accommodate mounting preferences.
Using your iPad or iPhone, you can record a movie of your chartplotter screen to share with friends and family.
You can Download Garmin Helm from the App Store℠ or Google Play™.
Update… Jan 28 2018. Garmin Helm is not available on the App Store℠ or Google Play™ anymore since ActiveCaptain came out and ActiveCaptain is not compatible with the 741.
I did manage to get and use Garmin Helm Android version on APKPure which is a 3rd party app depository. You have to set you device to allow loading 3rd party apps which can be dangerous if your not careful, but it worked fine for me.
You are supposed to be able to use up to 5 digital mobile devices simultaneously, however when I tried to connect more than one device, I kept getting a network error. One device connected is working very well for controlling and viewing, and the lag time is very managable.
Garmin 741xs – Compatible Modules
Radar Scanners ›
- Open Array
- GMR™ 1224 xHD2
- GMR™ 1226 xHD2
- GMR™ 2524 xHD2
- GMR™ 2526 xHD2
- GMR™ 424 xHD2
- GMR™ 624 xHD2
GMR™ 626 xHD2
- GMR™ 606 xHD
- GMR™ 406 xHD
- GMR™ 18 HD Radome
- GMR™ 18 HD+ Radome
- GMR™ 18 xHD Radome
- GMR™ 24 xHD Radome
Depth Sounder Modules ›
- GCV 10 – SideVü/ClearVü Scanning Sonar
Weather Modules ›
- GXM 53
AIS Modules ›
- AIS 300 – “Receive-only,” Not a two-way transceiver. Lets you identify what ships are in the neighborhood while you remain off the AIS grid. Think of a receive-only unit more like radar than a radar unit with radar reflector.
- AIS 600 – True Class B transceiver that offer both “send/receive” functionality. You can also turn the transmit function off and operate in Silent Mode.
GPS Antennas ›
- GPS 19x HVS
- GA™ 38 GPS/GLONASS Antenna
Garmin 741xs Wrap Up…
Very easy to use, packed with features, very expandable and a super nice screen however, the screen does go black at extreme angles with polarized sunglasses but most of them do.
The Garmin GPSMAP 741xs would definitely be right at home as the center of a network navigation system in a console with limited space or part of a larger networked system.
NEW!! – Get the Best Deal – Price Trends / Garmin 741xs SOLD & Price – New/Used
Bob Mueller @ GPSTracklog » See his complete Garmin 741xs review
A major upgrade over previous generation is wireless capability (wifi and bluetooth) and the sounder module was upgraded to include CHIRP technology. The GPSMAP 741xs includes pre-loaded charts for the United States Coastal Region and also has dual MicroSD card slots for additional charts. The dual MicroSD card slots are also used for transferring waypoints, routes and tracks.
Some of the differences:
- Drop down to the 500 series for smaller screen that is not touch
- Drop down to the 721xs for wordwide basemap only
- Drop down to the 741 to remove the sounder module
- Drop down to the Echomap 70s and you lose: NMEA 2000, CHIRP Sounder (it has Echo HD-ID sounder), and 3d Chart views
- Move up to the 4000 or 6000 series for larger screens that are not touch, and a very different feature set
- Move up to the 5000, 7000, or 8000 series for larger touch screens and a very different feature set
More thoughts from around the web »»»
TheHullTruth – Garmin 741xs or wait for the new 840xs??
TheHullTruth – Garmin 741XS user info thread
Like the 540, the fonts and graphics are very easy to see. One thing that did surprise me is that the height of the 741xs screen is actually less than the 540 and Raymarine (3.6 inches vs. 4.0 inches). Although the 741xs has a 7 inch screen (diagonal), it appears that the designers were focused on screen width (perhaps to accommodate a split screen display) more than screen height. I think I would have preferred more height, since I’m more interested in what’s out front than what’s to the side. But the screen dimensions seem similar to other manufacturer’s 7 inch models, so I don’t think I could have avoided this, short of choosing a larger screen.
Were getting two of these to use as a backup sounder/plotter. Anybody have personal experience/ review on the 741xs, it’s probably late to ask this but whatever.
Re: Garmin 741xs…This is my choice for backup as well, Oliver. The price/capability is hard to beat. Plug and play with the rest of my Garmin stuff. I also use and I-Pad, but it’s hard to make out in sunlight.
Cruisers Forum – Garmin 740s or 741xs
I am currently outfitting a stell yacht with some electronics and other stuff. Now I have to make the decision between the older 740s radar combo or invest arround 700$ more for the new 741xs with the GMR18HD radom. Do you think if would be worth to spend the extra money?
The same question I have is for the extra small instruments. Is it worth to buy the GMI20 or is the GMI10 still ok? If so in the past I have seen bundles with 3 GMI10 and the windfane, but I have not found the in the internet anymore. If somebody know where to buy this package still an information where would be nice.
Re: Garmin 740s or 741xs – You know you can use the GMR 18HD or the 18xHD radomes with the 740s display? So it will come down to whether you see any additional features or benefits to the 741 display.
Re: Garmin 740s or 741xs – I went through the same decision process. I went with the 740s. The added features on the 741 were not of much use to me (I don’t use Apple products to connect to the wireless). Maine Sail makes valid points, but the price difference is so large, I feel it justifies the risk associated with the product no longer being supported.
The 740 is replacing a very old Simrad CP33 that sill worked well – but it can’t compete with much new generation chart plotters like the 740. I expect my740s to die of old age as well.
As for the instrument question – GMI10/20. I’m also trying to make a decision about this. I’m tempted to not get a GMI10/20 and instead install a Garmin 541 (or similar) GPS that would have all the functionality of the GMI’s and a lot more for about the same price.