Garmin GPSMAP 8000 Glass Helm series, oh yeah


Garmin isn’t messing around. The 8000 Series announced this morning includes three MFD sizes — 8-, 12-, and 15-inch — as well as the 8500 Black Box that can drive new Garmin monitors available in 15-, 17, and 19-inch sizes. Do click on that family photo above to not only see the whole range but also something called the GRID for Garmin Remote Input Device. I’ve wondered if Garmin would ever add a rotary knob or joystick to its touch screen interface and the answer is that now you can have both…

Today I’m only going to put up high res product photos, but yesterday I did get some time on a boat equipped with a pair of GPSMap 8500 Black Boxes each cabled to a GMM 19 multitouch monitor. Yes, that’s about $34,000 worth of hardware, before you add the radar, sonar, autopilot, and watches! The 8500 system is definitely premium gear — as the lads at HullTruth are noticing — but I saw a lot that might justify the cost…


Even the prototype displays I saw were wonderfully bright, crisp, and handsome. Apparently they’re backlit with two sets of LEDs so they can go all the way from a half NIT to 1200, and they can be flush or inset mounted. The Garmin engineers even figured out how to combine the on/off button with the alarm speaker to maximize the clean glass bridge styling…


The developers have also been busy with the touch (and now GRID) interface. As suggested by that bottom bar, you no longer have to cycle through the Home page to get many tasks done. Regular Garmin users will adapt to the changes easily and like them, I think. What Garmin is trying to do now is to organize the interface more in terms of user activities, and that quickly made good sense to me. Especially SmartMode, which lets you set up one or many displays — including every detail like instrument boxes, radar settings, etc. — just the way you like them for a particular boating mode. Smart indeed.
   I’ve got to get over to the Big Show but want to note a very interesting detail of Garmin’s black box. I’m talking about the three N2K/CANbus labeled NMEA 2000, Engine, and House. I’ve never seen that before and it certainly suggests that these boxes could eventually be integrated into a boat in new ways.
   There’s lots more detail about the 8000 Glass Helm here, or least what Garmin is willing to reveal now. But I’ll be spending time in Garmin’s booth and will be checking Panbo comments to see what questions you all come up with.


PS 2/21: Garmin wouldn’t say anything about 8000 style instrument and autopilot displays but Panbot “jfm” spotted what sure looks like prototypes in Garmin’s 8000 video. They look nice and note that they each seem to have three softkeys:


Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

33 Responses

  1. Brian says:

    Great integration. Any pricing on GRID?

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    More notes from the demo ride:
    * The 8500 black box will support third party monitors but not with touch screen, because Garmin does touch their own way (over Ethernet). However, I think you can control everything with the GRID, including using the knob to move from screen to screen.
    * The Quatix watch is amazing, easy to use but immensely powerful. Plus if you have a Garmin autopilot, surprise, it already has ANT wireless built in and is ready to talk with the watch, including N2K data streaming.

  3. Bill Bishop says:

    Ben, just a small clarification. I don’t think the autopilots have ANT wireless built in. Adding a GNT-10 to the network makes it compatible with the Quatrix. I’ll be at the BWI meeting in the AM.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I know your swamped getting the detailed scoop on products but am curious if there is there a good place to see all of the press releases at were embargoed. Excited to see all of the news coming out of the show.

  5. Bill Bishop says:

    Ben, oops a correction to my correction, you were right. After Garmin advised me that the GNT 10 was needed, they called back and said they made an error, and the GNT 10 is not needed to have the Quatix communicate with Garmin’s GHP 10 and newer autopilots. The ANT wireless capability has been imbedded in the pilots since the GHP 10 was released in early 2008. Sneaky little buggers, what else do they have stashed away? A software upgrade is required to enable, and the GNT 10 is needed if you want to access the chartplotters N2K network data stream.

  6. Pete says:

    The 8008 is a bit of a ridiculous price at $4100 for the kit or $3850 for the screen only.
    To fill the gap in their product range/pricing Garmin really needs an 8 inch “851XS” with built in chirp at the right price. Say around $2500.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Now on Garmin site at $400. Brian

  8. Adam says:

    This is cool and everything but who is going to pay that kind of money for an 8″ or 12″ screen. If you are rich then you have a big yacht and big displays. If you aren’t (me) and want a new 12″ plotter you are hoping to come in under $2500 like Pete says. It seems the leader in this price/performance space right now is Raymarine with the new C series – or perhaps Lowrance.
    I really want a Garmin autopilot at some point so for me the above news (which I got wind of at the Vancouver Boat Show last week) is really disappointing. I don’t want to sink money into Garmin’s old 4000 series. Any news on updates for this Garmin series Ben?

  9. EarlM says:

    Raymarine has been busy too as I am sure Ben will post about soon. Take a look at their new gS series to replace the old G-series.
    Multi-touch flush mounted displays. 9″,12″,15″
    And you may want to wait a little bit before deciding on the Garmin autopilot, Raymarine… (cone of silence)

  10. Brian says:

    Any suggestions on a black frame 15 or 17 inch flush mount monitor to go next to an 8215 for Coastal Explorer? I have a 50 inch wide x 16 inch high rectangle in which I will likely use black lucite. Any ideas on laying out other Garmin instruments in this space are also appreciated. There is height for a row of instruments below in addtion to verticaly in between the 8215 and monitor. Thanks, Brian

  11. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I think this is for your protected but bright pilot house, Brian, and would suggest checking out monitors from Green Marine, Big Bay, and Argonaut.
    I’m surprised that no one has asked about a Garmin instrument display or pilot head that matches the glass bridge style. I sure asked, and just got grins back. So I think they’re coming but don’t know when. The good old GMI10 looks pretty retro alongside the 8000 stuff. You can run the pilot from the 8000 series but need a head somewhere in the system. The 8000 series also has much more flexibility regarding numeric display.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I checked out the Argonaut G7 17″ display and it is an easy choice from Defender at $1899. I am surprised at the wide pricing differential between suppliers
    of marine displays with essentially identical specs.
    Thanks for the suggestion.
    Further on the Garmin “missing pieces” I for one will certainly
    Just install the 8215 for now and wait for matching instruments
    to complete the helm setup. Brian

  13. jfm says:

    Reference the new smaller Garmin instruments and autopilot head, to replace the GMI 10 and match the black glass look of 8000, you can see them at 0.58 in the 8000 series video at

  14. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Nice work, jfm! I got a pretty good screen grab and posted above as a PS. Thanks!

  15. jfm says:

    Tim, the volvo display looks spookily like a new Garmin with Volvo logo added. Garmin must be making it for Volvo. In Ben’s Garmin screengrab image above it is flush mounted, whereas in the Volvo image there is a plastic frame to convert it to traditional panel mounting. That’s 100% consistent with Garmin’s new mounting options philosophy

  16. Labozza says:

    This is correct. Volvo Penta has worked with Garmin for months to develop a VP branded pilot solution, and have also modified the system to have both NMEA2K and MultiLink ports via the CCU in order to provide a complete OEM solution to the EVC-E equipped propulsion packages. There have however been delays as there are still some performance issues to be worked out. Personally, I think the EVO package from Raymarine, if it does what is is purported to do, would provide a much superior solution to IPS equipped vessels, based on the propulsion dynamics that are inherent in the IPS system. Try a severe course change with the standard 10Hz CCU or any rate gyro on an IPS boat, you need to hold on tight. With the 9 Axis gyro on that EV-2 sensor, it was developed to sense those external G-Forces and compensate immediately to adjust the gain to the change in pitch and roll and prevent people from flying off the boat as the IPS is spinning at 3500 RPM. This is obviously just conjecture as we haven’t seen it in action, but I’m certainly looking forward to what it can do. Either way, I am just very excited with everything we saw in Miami, and as Ben said already, my head is still spinning. Once we get to see these new products in action, I hope to provide a bit more insight. Just a few thoughts, I’m still recovering from MIBS, but very excited to see what’s in store for this season.

  17. Greg says:

    Any chance someone with their high-level Garmin contacts can find the required cut-out dimensions for installing the GPSMAP 8008 and 8012? I need to know if they will fit.

  18. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I’ll give it a try, Greg, but the unit dimensions are posted at Garmin and I was told that the 8000 MFDs will easily fit where a similar size 7000 series was.

  19. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    The Garmin GMI 20 and GHC 20 are official:
    I’ve got some high resolution images I’ll put up later. Hopefully Garmin will get the new product pages up in the meantime and we’ll more specifics about dimensions, prices, etc.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone received a shipping notice on an 8215 yet? I want to launch but not without an MFD.

  21. jfm says:

    I have 6 touchscreens (3x 8015 and 3x 8008) plus 8x GMI20 and 2x GHC 20 all now installed on my new boat (in UK) and have done a few hundred mles at sea. They look and work beautifully. I had a dashboard panel CNC cut and mounted 5x GMI20 in a line flush mounted and they look awesome. There is a new software upgrade already, which I’ll install this weekend
    I can give pictures if anyone wants them. I don’t know how to post them on here but I can email them to you Ben if you want them

  22. Greg says:

    I ordered one (8208) today and it is due to ship June 5th. GMI 20 will ship June 16th.

  23. Brian says:

    Greg, Thanks. Are you located USA?

  24. Greg says:

    Yes I am.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Greg, Great to hear that the 8000 gear is now rolling out. What else do you have on your N2k and where are you located? I appreciate any advice you can offer. Thanks, Brian

  26. says:

    A couple of fuel flow sensors, trim tab info, heading, radar, sirius WX radar, Fusion IP700 radio. The basics. 🙂
    I’m waiting for Ben to post about getting engine data into N2K so I can add that.

  27. jfm says:

    Here are pics of my installation. There is still a GHC10 a/pilot controller in the first picture, but the new GMC20 has arrived and I’ll install it soon. I’ve done a couple of hundred miles with this new hardware and I’m really pleased with it.
    The 5x GMI20s flush mounted were installed by getting .dxf files from Garmin and having a new aluminium panel CNC cut. I haven’t had time to install the GRIDs yet (in the chair armrests) but will get around to it. This is a new boat build and I have some other priorities (!)
    The photos are not great – in real life these new screens are really bright even in strong sun

  28. madscientist says:

    How do you reach the button on the GMI displays , must be a long reach from the helm, a remote option would be good

  29. jfm says:

    Yes it is a long reach, but there are so many of them I can display all I need and not have to flip between pages very often. Other dashboard designs put the MFD screens out of reach, whereas with this design I can touch the MFDs from the nav seat while sitting and leaning back in the seat, and I don’t then mind that the little GMI20s are out of reach while sitting (they’re easily reached while standing of course). I guess there are hundreds of ways to skin the dashboard design cat and everyone has their own opinions 🙂

  30. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    The Volvo Penta version of Garmin 8000 was just announced ( ) and the Raymarine Evolution is now shipping ( ). But, Chris, when I reread your post today I wondered if you realize that Garmin’s own autopilot has been making turns adjusted for boat speed since day one? In fact, I think it’s still the only AP with tachometer input. I bet you’re right that Evolution will steer an IPS boat well, but I suspect Garmin will too.

  31. Lance says:

    I have just purchased a new 8012 and am having trouble with two functions
    I have an NMEA 2,000 temp sender installed and listed on the NMEA device list that does not show up any readings for water temp.
    I run a GSD 24 sounder with an Airmar 2kwatt in hull wet box transducer
    Any suggestions appreciated
    The second issue is I can’t find where to turn on the depth surrounding the contours on the G2 fishing chart
    The g2chart shows the depth on the contours when installed om my older model 5008
    Thanks Lance

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