Garmin GPSMap 943xsv hands-on, X3 delivers

Ben Stein

Ben Stein

Publisher of, passionate marine electronics enthusiast, completed the Great Loop in 2017.

9 Responses

  1. Christopher says:

    USB socket does not allow you to use Garmin USB Card Reader for maps ?

  2. Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

    It does work with these MFDs. But, it requires another hole and another $100 outlay. TO be clear, this is not a problem unique to Garmin, all MFDs installed on Panbo(at) have their card readers on the back of the MFD.

    -Ben S.

  3. Peter Geise says:

    If you combined new Garmin unit with the new Garmin GPS antenna and Garmin’s black box AIS… could the Vesper Cortex M-1 add much of anything more?

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:


      I think you will still get quite a bit from Cortex compared to an MFD and AIS transceiver. First and foremost is the redesign of the basic way you interact with a VHF radio. Brain-dead simple calling of AIS targets by MMSI, powerful collision avoidance, integrated boat monitoring, and more are all major differences from the combination of existing hardware. Additionally, pairing one of these MFDs with a Cortex would give you the best of both worlds in that respect.

      -Ben S.

  4. Craig Warner says:

    I just found your website and am enjoying it. Our sailboat is used mainly for racing. New race rules will require participants to wear a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) that has an AIS and in some models an AIS/DSC capability. Could you write an article showing how to use the SOS funcition of the chart plotter to navigate back to a person in the water. Also could you illustrate what the chart plotter will look like when it recieves a PLB AIS signal and how to navigate back to the person. My personal PLB is an Ocean Signal Rescueme MOB1 AIS/DSC. Thanks Craig

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      Hi Craig.

      To be clear, personal AIS MoB beacons are not PLBs. They are two different technologies and two different rescue strategies, so in some cases it makes sense to have both.

      At any rate, I tested the ACR sibling of the RescueMe MoB1 and think it’s great. The entry also shows how it and similar AIS MoB devices interact with various VHF radios and chartplotters, but note that the DSC part varies by region:

      By contrast, here are some entries about PLBs:

  5. Nick Nichols says:

    I currently use a Globalmap 5200 chartplotter on my boat with limited space for a wider chartplotter which is shared with a Furuno 585 and a Icom m506 radio. Can you make a recommendation for a replacement for my chartplotter?

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      Hi Nick,

      I’d be happy to take a look at what you have, but I’d suggest you post in the Panbo forum so others can chime in as well. Also, if you have a picture of your helm it would be great to upload that so we can understand the space available.

      -Ben S.

  6. robie says:

    but still no explorer charts, this makes the chartplotter worthless in the bahamas.

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