SIMPLE | COMPACT | UHD SONAR
Should I upgrade to a – Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 63cv?
We take a detailed look at the specs, show some UHD sonar examples along with some videos and compare the UHD to the Plus and Ultra.
The Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 63cv – Is an easy-to-use, easy-to-setup 6″ color chartplotter/sonar combo with keypad control targeted towards the inshore and inland fisherman.
It has incredibly clear CHIRP traditional sonar, CHIRP ClearVü scanning sonar, and includes built-in support for Garmin’s super-clear Ultra High-Definition scanning sonar.
Creating custom fishing maps on-screen with 1’ contours is quick and easy with built-in Garmin Quickdraw™ Contours mapping.
The ECHOMAP UHD 63cv comes already preloaded with LakeVü g3 inland maps featuring integrated Navionics® data and covers more than 17,000 lakes with up to 1’ contours plus built-in Wi-Fi® to pair with the free ActiveCaptain app for updates and chart upgrades.
ECHOMAP UHD Series – Comes in 3 screen sizes, features Ultra High-Definition scanning sonar capabilities, is preloaded with Garmin BlueChart g3 or LakeVü charts, and has built-in Wi-Fi® for access to the Garmin Active Captain marine app for updates and chart upgrades.
The 7″ & 9″ units support UHD SideVü, Panoptix LiveScope, and Garmin’s new Force trolling motor.
Note: CV units don’t have SideVü Sonar
Clear Screen and Sunlight Friendly – This is one of the first things you will pick up on with the ECHOMAP UHD 63cv. The screen is bright and has a nice viewing angle even in direct sun.
Keypad Control – The 6″ screen uses keypad control to access all custom settings, navigation, charting, and fishfinder functions.
Built-in GPS – The 5hz GPS receiver acquires satellites quickly on startup and shows exact location pretty quick.
Share Info – Easily share user data like waypoints and routes via NMEA 0183 to compatible Garmin devices.
NMEA 2000 | 0183 – Connect the UHD to an autopilot, digital switching, weather, FUSION-Link audio system, media, VHF, AIS from one screen.
Navigation menu – Setting up the ECHOMAP UHD 63cv for how you fish or cruise is simple and adding custom screens and settings is pretty straightforward without having to do a deep dive into the manual.
You can add items, rearrange items on the home screen, and even change to a background image.
Custom Pages – Creating custom combinations is easy. Setup a custom screen for fishing with a sonar split screen with traditional on one side and ClearVü on the other.
Set one up with chart and sonar for cruising or one for finding structure using ClearVü sonar only.
Creating a New Combination Pages – You have the choice between 7 different screen combinations and can customize each pane individually.
Built-in sonar capabilities – Includes a 500W CHIRP traditional sonar, ClearVü scanning sonar, Ultra High-Definition scanning sonar.
TRADITIONAL CHIRP SONAR – Instead of sending just 1 single frequency at a time, CHIRP sonar sends a continuous sweep of frequencies ranging from low to high.
The 500W CHIRP sonar sweeps a continuous range of frequencies, from low to high, in a single transmission. The returns from each frequency in that transmission are then interpreted and showed on the screen.
Since this continuous sweep of frequencies provides a much wider range of information, CHIRP sonar can create a very clear, high-resolution image.
As you can see above, you get far greater target separation and more defined arches than you would with standard 50/200 kHz sonar. The maximum working depth is about 2,300 ft @ 77kHz, freshwater, and 1,100 ft @ 77kHz, saltwater depending on the bottom type and water conditions.
Recording the Sonar Display – 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 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 it to the GPS to take a look at the next time I’m on the water. See the 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 playback 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 ECHOMAP UHD 63cv 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 the view is about from 2-3 screens wide.
The scroll speed will affect how you will have recorded. For example, if the GPS is set to a slower scroll speed in the sonar menu, the window of time the unit can rewind will be greater. If the device is set to its fastest scroll speed, you will see a smaller window of time within the sonar rewind.
If you see something 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.
ClearVü SONAR – ClearVü sonar is mainly used to identify the structure and gives you a nearly photographic image structure below the boat.
With ClearVü, you see structure, submerged objects, and fish separation more clearly.
Instead of a cone-shaped beam like the traditional CHIRP sonar, ClearVü scanning sonar sweeps a narrow beam of very high-frequency (455 or 800kHz) from side to side, producing “slices” that are combined to create very detailed images.
Fish are easily identifiable on Traditional View with CHIRP whereas Structures are well defined using ClearVü.
For fishermen and divers looking for structures like wrecks, reefs, log piles and other underwater natural and man-made features, ClearVü is a great tool.
Ultra High-Definition ClearVü – Transmits brilliant image clarity of structure and fish below the boat at greater depths than other high-frequency scanning sonars by utilizing a downward-facing element to put more power on targets.
UHD provides some extended range and depth performance. It shows very detailed images of fish and structures up to 200’ below the boat with 800kHz. Seeing fish laying just off branches of submerged trees and rocks is much easier. You can better distinguish size differences between bigger and smaller fish and even see individual fish swimming in bait pods.
Note: A UHD Transducer is required for Ultra High-Definition Sonar. Some bundles include the GT24UHD-TM transducer.
Preloaded Charts & Maps – The UHD 63cv comes with the latest LakeVü g3 inland maps cartography and integrated Navionics data for very detailed charts and mapping. LakeVü g3 inland maps cover more than 17,000 lakes with up to 1’ contours.
Upgrading charts to LakeVü g3 Ultra is easy with the microSD card slot located on the front of the device and the Active Captain App.
Garmin Auto Guidance technology – shows a suggested route to a destination, based on specs that you enter in the device like draft, and vertical height restrictions.
Depth Range Shading – is shown in high-resolution for up to 10 depth ranges, so you can see your needed depth at a glance by color.
Shallow water shading – allows for shading at a user-defined depth to give a clear picture of shallow waters to avoid based on your own draft.
Detailed Contours – 1′ contours that provide a more accurate look of bottom structure for improved fishing charts and enhanced detail in swamps, canals, and port layouts.
Quickdraw Contours instantly creates personalized HD maps with 1’ contours and depth labels for any body of water as you fish.
When Quickdraw Contours records data, a colored circle surrounds the vessel icon. This circle represents the approximate area of the map that is scanned by each pass. Quickly see where you have been.
The screen shows maps being created instantly in real-time. Easily add labels, mark timber, brush piles, favorite fishing spots, and anything you want to remember on your map for the next trip.
Improve Your Saltwater Maps & Uncover unknown areas – Many areas have no map detail. With Quickdraw, you can create maps that show you depth contours clearly labeled on the screen. You also can improve your existing maps that show locations of underwater mountains, drop-offs, crevices, or wrecks.
The maps yours – customize them to fit your needs. Keep the maps for yourself, or share them with others in the QuickDraw Community on Garmin Connect.
You can view Garmin Quickdraw Contours on a combination screen or as a single view on the map. The amount of saved data depends on the size of your memory card, your sonar source, and the speed of your boat as you record data.
You can record longer when you use a single-beam sonar. It is estimated that you might be able to record about 1,500 hours of data onto a 2 GB memory card.
When you record data on a memory card in your chartplotter, the new data is added to your existing Garmin Quickdraw Contours map and is saved on the memory card. When you insert a new memory card, the existing data does not transfer onto the new card.
Connected Boating App – The free Active Captain app from Garmin gives the ECHOMAP UHD a connection for upgrading charts, maps and access the Garmin community.
Wherever you are, you can have unlimited access to your cartography, purchase new maps and charts, and access the Garmin Quickdraw™ Contours Community. Active Captain is available for both iPhone and Android.
Active Captain Features
Garmin SailAssist – Special preloaded sailing features such as lay lines, enhanced wind rose, heading and course-over-ground lines, true wind data fields, and tide/current/time slider.
For sail racing, there are pre-race guidance, synchronized race timer, virtual starting line, time to burn, and lay line data fields.
Rear Connections Include – 1-Power Connection, 1-NMEA 2000 Connection, 1-4 PIN Sonar Connection.
Quick-Release Mount – The mount features both tilt and swivel capabilities to provide a great viewing angle. Cables plug directly into the mount, for quick installation and removal at the end of the day.
Charting | Mapping
Fishfinder | Sounder Capabilities
|ECHOMAP UHD 63cv
8.6" x 5.1" x 2.6"
21.8 x 13.0 x 6.2cm
|WVGA | Keypad
5.4" x 3.1" | 6.2 diagonal
|400 x 800 pixels
|Display - Brightness
|1A | 12V
|Internal or external NMEA 2000
|5 Hz GPS
|Bail or flush
|ECHOMAP UHD 63cv
|Accepts data cards
|1 microSD card | 32GB Max
|50,000 points; 50 saved tracks
LakeVü g3 inland + Navionics
|ECHOMAP UHD 63cv
|Supports DSC - GPS Data / VHF
|Black Box sonar support
|Planning Software Compatible
|Remote Input Device - compatible
|ECHOMAP UHD 63cv
|500W Traditional | 500W ClearVü
|Dual-frequency (50/200 kHz) sonar capable
|Dual-Beam Sonar (77/200 kHz) capable
|Yes - 50/200 | 77/200 | 83/200
|CHIRP sonar technology
|ClearVü | Down
|UHD CHIRP ClearVü
|SideVü | Side
|ECHOMAP UHD 63cv
|NMEA 2000 compatible
|NMEA 0183 input ports
|NMEA 0183 output ports
|Marine Network Ports
|Video input ports
|Video output ports
|In The Box
ECHOMAP UHD 63cv with BlueChart g3 for U.S.
Tilt mount with quick release cradle
Some Bundles include