Garmin unveils the all-new GPSMAP 86 marine handheld series with global communication, BlueChart g3 and chartplotter connectivity

Premium series redefines marine handheld navigation

OLATHE, Kan./Sept. 10, 2019/Business Wire – Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ:GRMN), today announced the all-new GPSMAP 86 handheld series, a feature-packed addition to its popular marine handheld collection. Combining Garmin’s premium GPS
navigation with inReach satellite communication technology1, the flagship GPSMAP 86sci is the first handheld to come preloaded with Garmin BlueChart g3 coastal cartography with integrated Navionics data. For added awareness and convenience, the GPSMAP 86 series can connect to
onboard Garmin chartplotters and instruments to stream real-time boat data, including depth, heading, sea temperature and more, directly to the handheld. With a sunlight-readable 3-inch color display and water-resistant2, floating design, they even double as a remote control for
convenient operation of an onboard Garmin autopilot or select FUSION marine stereos and speakers.

“Loaded with premium features in an all-new design, the GPSMAP 86 marine handhelds are fully capable of being both a primary navigation device or as an extension and backup to your onboard system,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. “With the
addition of our industry-leading inReach satellite communication technology and best-in-class marine mapping, no one should leave the dock without one.”

The GPSMAP 86 series offers Garmin inReach two-way messaging and location tracking technology, so no matter how far off shore the trip may be, users can stay in touch. Using the worldwide coverage of the Iridium® satellite network, the GPSMAP 86sci and GPSMAP 86i allow users to communicate with any cell phone number, email address or other inReach device while using GPS to track and share progress of the journey. If the user enables LiveTrack, friends and family on shore wanting to follow along can view the user’s location. The GPSMAP 86sci and 86i also include a mount for hardwiring on the boat, and wireless unit-to-unit connectivity lets users remotely connect to the GPSMAP to send and receive messages on the chartplotter with the handheld securely mounted in a convenient location.

Mariners can use the GPSMAP 86sci and 86i to trigger an interactive SOS for emergency help from a 24/7 GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center. The world leader in emergency response solutions and monitoring, GEOS will alert emergency responders and provide updates to the user’s key contacts, while also continuing to message back and forth with the user, until the situation is resolved.

To access the Iridium network and communicate with a GPSMAP 86sci or 86i device, an active satellite subscription is required. A variety of subscription plans are available for both individuals and groups/fleets, and mariners will appreciate the flexible month-to-month options that can be suspended in the offseason if desired.

Both the GPSMAP 86sci and GPSMAP 86sc come preloaded with BlueChart g3 coastal charts for industry-leading coverage, clarity and detail with integrated Garmin and Navionics data. Detailed contours allow users to see 1-foot contours that provide a more accurate depiction of bottom structure for improved fishing charts and enhanced detail in canals and port plans. Users can also add LakeVü g3 inland maps with coverage for more than 17,000 lakes to select models. The international versions, the GPSMAP 86s and 86i, come preloaded with a worldwide basemap.

It’s easier than ever to stay in touch with a GPSMAP 86 handheld onboard. Each device offers Wi-Fi connectivity, ANT+ technology and Bluetooth wireless technology for easy wireless updates and connections, including smart notifications when paired with a compatible smartphone. When paired with the free Garmin Explore app, users can upload their favorite waypoints, tracks and routes and have access to additional tools and features for trip planning, mapping and data sharing. Additionally, the GPSMAP 86 series features support for the Connect IQ app , a no-cost all-in-one store where users can access free apps, widgets and data fields to customize their handheld. Each new GPSMAP handheld comes with an internal, rechargeable lithium battery. Get up to 40 hours of battery life in standard mode and up to 200 hours of battery life in expedition mode with the GPSMAP 86sc and 86s. The GPSMAP 86sci and 86i provides up to 35 hours of battery life in 10-minute tracking mode and up to 200 hours of
battery life in expedition mode.

The new GPSMAP 86 marine handheld series is available now with suggested retail prices ranging from $399.99 to $649.99. To learn more, visit

Panbo publishes select press releases as a service to readers and the marine electronics industry. The release contents do not reflect the opinion of the editors and are not fact checked by the editors

5 Responses

  1. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Jeezum crow! Contemplate the connectivity in this handheld: GPS receiver, probably multiple GNNS constellations; Iridium two-way satellite messaging, SOS and weather; ANT+ to Garmin and Fusion boat gear for boat data plus autopilot and entertainment control; and WiFi/Bluetooth for updates, inReach Earthmate app, chart and map downloading, and Garmin Connect activity logging.

    Is there any handheld as powerful? Heck, is there any other Garmin product that combines so many members of its vast electronics ecology?

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    The Garmin 86SCI won Best New Electronics Product at the Newport Show — deservedly, I think — and check out other winners like the UGO Tablet Case:

  3. AM says:

    I wonder if it will play nice with other makes of APs. Furuno 711c or perhaps the 300.
    It looks like the perfect backup/safety gear in any case.

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      Sorry, that’s not likely. I can’t think of any NMEA 2000 autopilot control heads that work across brands, let alone wireless ones. But backup nav with two-way satellite messaging built-in — wow.

      • AM says:

        That’s a shame, but I agree it is quite impressive. However, I was kind of expecting this marine version after they came out with their GPSMAP 66i a little while ago.

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