This Garmin fish finder is basically the same as the ECHOMAP Plus 63cv that we’ve previously reviewed. However, this is the new part number 010-01889-05 released in 2019, which comes with the LakeVü G3 charts which offer better detail than the older LakeVü. An even newer version is also available, this being the ECHOMAP UHD 63cv.
Key Features and Specifications
- Display: 6″ diagonal, 800H x 400V pixel resolution, WVGA color, backlit, keypad & touchscreen
- Sonar: CHIRP Sonar, ClearVü
- Transducer: GT20-TM
- Frequency and Coverage (with the included transducer):
2D Sonar: 200 kHz / 15° and 77 kHz / 45°
ClearVü: 455 kHz / 2.5° (fore to aft) x 53°, 800 kHz / 1.6° (fore to aft) x 29°
- Max. Depth Capability (with the included transducer):
2D Sonar: 1,900 ft (579 m)
ClearVü: 750 ft (228 m)
- Power Output: 500 W (RMS)
- GPS: 5Hz, Internal
- Maps: LakeVü G3
- Routes, Waypoints, Tracklog: 100; 5,000; 50,000 points (50 saved tracks).
Sonar and transducer
The Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 63cv G3 010-01889-05 supports multiple sonar frequencies, including 50/77/200 kHz for its 2D CHIRP sonar, and 260/455/800 kHz for ClearVü. However, the unit includes the GT20-TM transducer which supports 77/200 kHz for 2D and 455/800 kHz for CV. This being said, with the included transducer, this Garmin fish finder gives you the possibility to use Mid-Band CHIRP and High-Band CHIRP, while for the ClearVü sonar, the CHIRP intervals are 435-475 kHz and 800-840 kHz.
The transducer uses conical beams for the 2D CHIRP sonar. Their coverage is 15° @ 200 kHz and 45° @ 77 kHz. Its maximum depth capability for the 2D sonar is 1,900 ft (579 m) when using the 77 kHz beam.
For ClearVü, the transducer uses thin beams. Their fore to aft coverage is approx. 2°, but their side-to-side coverage is 53° @ 455 kHz, and 29° @ 800 kHz. The maximum depth capability provided by the ClearVü sonar (with the included transducer) is 750 ft (228 m) when using the 455 kHz mode.
The included transducer features a transom mount, but a trolling motor mount is also available (not included) for it. It integrates a temperature sensor while the unit has temperature log and graph functions. It also has 20′ (6 m) of cable and a 4-pin connector. The recommended sailing speed for the best sonar imaging quality is 10 MPH.
Even though it’s one of the new 2019 Garmin ECHOMAP units, it doesn’t have Panoptix sonar capabilities. However, it does support 50 kHz transducers so it can scan greater depths if paired with on.
The unit makes available the full range of standard sonar features. The list includes Bottom Lock, Split-Zoom, A-Scope, Flasher, Fish Symbols, Fish Alarm, Depth Alarm etc. It also has Sonar Recording and Sonar History Rewind functions. It also provides traditional sonar support for Minn Kota® and MotorGuide® trolling motors with integrated transducers.
Although we’ve added “G3” next to the name of the unit, this is not a new series of units, like the Humminbird G3. However, the newly released ECHOMAP Plus 63cv units for 2019 come preloaded with the LakeVü G3 charts. Therefore, we’ve added the “G3” to the name of the unit, to distinguish it from the last years ECHOMAP Plus 63cv 010-01889-01.
The unit’s LakeVü G3 chart platform offers highly detailed freshwater maps with integrated Navionics data. These charts cover more than 17,000 U.S. lakes, reservoirs, and rivers with up to 1′ depth contours. They show general roads, interstates, bridges, boat ramps, docks, camping grounds, fishing areas, and more. They also offer the Shallow Water Shading feature which gives you the possibility to designate a minimum depth and color code it in order to see the safest areas for navigation at a glance.
Nonetheless, the unit’s chart base is upgradable. You can always opt for the LakeVü G3 Ultra or BlueChart G3 Vision coastal charts, all with Navionics data. These premium charts open new features such as Auto Guidance, aerial photographs that you can overlay on your maps, and more.
In terms of charting features, the unit has the Quickdraw Contours as well. This application uses the 2D sonar and GPS data in order to reveal and draw the depth contours of the lake you’re scanning. Therefore, in case the current charts of the unit do not offer satisfying detail for your favorite lake, you can always create your own personalized charts.
The unit’s internal GPS operates at 5 Hz. This means it can provide position updates five times per second. Evidently, it shows the coordinates (latitude, longitude) of any point of interest and of your location. It also has a GPS speed function.
The unit can save up to 100 routes and 5,000 waypoints in its memory, allowing you to choose from an extensive database of icons in order to personalize each waypoint. It can record up to 50 tracks, with up to 50,000 plot points per track. It also supports data from AIS units and VHF radio units.
The SailAssist feature base is included as well. The SailAssist page includes laylines, the enhanced wind rose, heading and course-over-ground lines. They can help you gain a wind-maximizing edge, give you the possibility to see true and apparent wind angle and speed. A pre-race guidance page shows you the virtual starting line along with data fields showing laylines, time to burn before the start and the race timer.
Control unit features
The Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 63cv G3 features 6.2″ WVGA color display, with a pixel matrix of 800H x 480V. It has integrated adjustable backlight and an IPX7 waterproof rating. It includes the quick-release tilt-swivel mount, but a flush mount is also included.
The unit is keypad operated; it does not have touchscreen technology. The navigation through its menus and selection of functions and values can only be done via the keypad on its right side. But nonetheless, it has a user-friendly, straightforward interface.
The unit has NMEA 0183 ports but does not have Ethernet. It is equipped with a microSD card reader with one card slot which can take cards up to 32 GB.
Wireless connectivity is also included with this unit. Therefore, via the ActiveCaptain app, you can sync your unit with your smartphone or tablet and stream or share data wirelessly, including smart notifications from your phone. You can connect online via Wi-Fi and download charts from OneChart or access the Quickdraw Contours Community to upload/download custom maps created via Quickdraw Contours.
- CHIRP 2D sonar;
- CHIRP ClearVü sonar;
- Supports 50/77/83/200 kHz standard sonar frequencies, and 260/455/800 kHz ClearVü frequencies;
- Supports dual-frequency (50/200 kHz or 77/200 kHz);
- ClearVü transducer (GT20-TM) included;
- Data graphs and other sonar functions;
- Sonar recording and rewind;
- Multiple standard sonar features such as Bottom Lock, Fish Symbols, Split-Zoom, A-Scope, Circular Flasher, Alarms, etc;
- Fast 5 Hz internal GPS;
- Preloaded with the LakeVü G3 charts for inland coverage;
- Quickdraw Contours;
- Shallow Water Shading;
- Compatible with various other chart types, such as BlueChart G3 Vision or LakeVü G3 Ultra;
- Enhanced Auto Guidance capable;
- Tide tables information;
- Supports AIS and DSC-capable VHF radio;
- Quick disconnection (tilt-swivel) and flush mount included;
- MicroSD card reader (1 slot);
- SailAssist features;
- ActiveCaptain compatible;
- Wireless connectivity;
- NMEA 0183 connectors;
- Unit cover included;
- Easy to install;
- Straightforward, comprehensive operation.
- Does not support Navionics charts;
- Trolling mount for the transducer is not included.
The Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 63cv G3 is a fish finder and chartplotter featuring 2D CHIRP & ClearVü sonar, 5 Hz GPS, and the LakeVü G3 charts. It includes the GT20-TM transducer and also has Wi-Fi connectivity being ActiveCaptain capable. It offers a wide array of navigation features and capabilities such as SailAssist, Quickdraw Contours, it supports AIS units and VHF radio etc. It’s an excellent system for both fishing and navigation, in freshwater and off-shore. In all, it’s a versatile and useful unit with a great price/value ratio.