Garmin GWS 10, hands on #2

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.

9 Responses

  1. norse says:

    Garmin sure is shy about showing screenshots of the GMI 10. I think all of the displays shown above are too much like a traditional analog wind display. I would like to see something like the heading display on the GHC 10, with a close-up of the appropriate section of a big dial instead of trying to fit the whole dial into a small window.
    For screenshots, see the Garmin website or the Panbo article Dec. 7, 2008 “Garmin AP, P47 worthy; how about you?”. BTW, I’m still waiting for a manual or something from Garmin to explain the bottom half of that screenshot. Or see the Panbo article Sep 12, 2008 “Garmin GWS 10, N2K weather whirly”. BTW, the fuel gauge screenshot shown there has a rather unique set of tick-marks — they divide the tank into 12ths.
    On the downwind screen for the GMI 10, why do they have a gap between 160 port and 160 starboard? See Panbo Nov 5, 2008 “Garmin at FLIBS, 640 & GWS 10”.
    The screenshot on the cover of the GMI 10 “quick start manual” shows my least-favorite display. They put the digital readout right on top of the most important point on the analog readout.
    The GMI 10 is a very nice looking display. Since the screens are really just software, it should be easy for Garmin to provide an upgrade to make them even better.

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Excellent detective work, Norse! I checked out the GMI 10 downwind screen further and agree that it’s flawed. You can set the maximum wind angle from 110 to 170 and the minimum from 100 to 160, and the needle does move through whatever blank area you’ve left around 180, but the max ought to be 180. Sailboats can go dead downwind, say wing and wing in light air, always a challenge.
    But, as you note, this is easily fixed in software, and it’s obvious from this latest release that the GMI team at Garmin is working hard and smart. But Garmin has a huge product portfolio and it seems like the folks who put screen shots on the web and write the manuals are way behind the software coders.
    One very important guy who’s used the latest GMI 10, and gotten the N2K religion, is West Marine’s Chuck Hawley. Check out the videos:

  3. robert says:

    I must say, after seeing this Garmin unit (and their other products) at the boat show, they definitely have the corner on nice looking intuitive GUIs. Very pleasing to the eye.

  4. MattB says:

    Ben, Did the air temp and barometer data from the GWS 10 show up on the Furuno FI-50 series?
    I have FI-50 series instruments and would like to use a GWS 10 on the network because it offers air temp and baro plus wind data. Any hesitations to using the GWS 10 as my masthead device with the FI series and a HDS-7M chart plotter?
    The only foreseeable problem is not being able to update the GWS software because I don’t have a Garmin chart plotter.

  5. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Neato; that Garmin link above is to a new $80 SD-card-to-NMEA-2000 update gadget I did not know about. That means guys like Matt can keep GMI 10 displays, GWS 10 wind sensors, etc. up to date without having a Garmin MFD in the system. Which is especially good as Garmin is in the nice habit of continuously improving (and debugging) their equipment.
    Matt, I can’t recall if I saw Garmin generated barometric pressure and air temp on the FI-50 instruments, but I think so. I’ve returned the GWS 10 so I can’t check, but I’d guess that if there was a problem (involving the two Environment PGNs that can deliver the info), it’s fixed.

  6. MattB says:

    Thanks Ben and Anonymous. Ben keep up the good work. This is a fantastic blog you have.

  7. Chris says:

    Hi, I’m the Anonymous. Something go wrong and there wasn’t my name in post. I’m writing from Poland and I’m happy that I could help you.
    Talking about devices, I personally using GMI 10, PB200,GpsMap720S.
    The latest update of GMI (3.4) improve the work of device.

  8. Jim McGee says:

    I was a little concerned when I mounted the GWS-10 as the cups and vane are snap on parts.
    Sure enough the wind vane went missing on mine this season. A quick search shows the vane is available from multiple sources for $20-$30. But that doesn’t include the cost of either dropping the mast or having someone go aloft to replace it.
    And it’s a common problem. A quick Google will show a lot of people who’s vane either disappeared or became part of a bird nest. Some folks are on their fourth and fifth replacement.
    I’m wondering if the sender lends itself to being drilled for a set screw. All in all the design leaves a lot to be desired for a unit intended to be mounted on top of a mast.

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