Garmin echoMAP 74sv
With the Garmin echoMAP 74sv, you will basically get the same performance and features as with the echoMAP 94sv. However, it’s a smaller unit, with a smaller display. But evidently, it comes for a lower price.
Since Garmin offers this unit in different bundles, for example with or without transducer, before proceeding with all the information about it, it’s important to clarify that this review refers to the echoMAP 74sv, which includes a transducer, being the model number 010-01388-01. So, let’s see what this unit can do for you.
Details and Specs
- Screen: 7″ diagonal, 800H x 480V pixel resolution, color TFT, with autoadjusting backlight
- Sonar: Dual Frequency, SideVü and DownVü
- Frequency and Coverage:
- Standard sonar: 200 kHz / 10° and 50 kHz / 40°
- DownVü sonar: 260 kHz / 2°x51°, 455 kHz / 1.4°x29°
- SideVü sonar: 260 / 455 kHz, up to 750 feet on each side of the boat
- Depth Capability:
- 1,500 feet (457 m) for standard sonar
- 1,000 feet (304 m) for DownVü
- 750 feet (228.6 m) for SideVü
- Transducer: Transom GT41-TM (12-pin), standard sonar, DownVü and SideVü
- Power Output: 500 Watts (RMS)
- Power Consumption: 7.1W
- GPS: 5 Hz, Internal
- Maps: U.S. BlueChart g2
- Routes, Waypoints, Tracklog: 100; 5,000; 50,000 points (50 tracks)
The echoMAP 74sv is a fish finder / chartplotter combo with a “classic” layout, meaning that it doesn’t offer touchscreen (or multi-touch) technology. Navigation through the sonar and GPS functions, and through the menus is done exclusively via the keypad of the unit. However, this is one of the main reasons this unit is slightly cheaper than one of the HDS-7 Touch units from Lowrance, with all the belts and whistles.
Although the echoMAP 74sv is a smaller unit, since it has the same 800 x 480 pixel matrix as the 94sv, the images on screen appear sharper. The screen is IPX7 waterproof, meaning it resists incidental water exposure and can withstand immersions in 1 m of (fresh) water, and up to 30 min. However, even if this unit is IPX7 rated, it’s not exactly a good idea to allow water on it. It’s not a full-waterproof device.
The display unit has a quick-disconnect system. Most cables plug into the mount not the head unit, making it easier to remove if it’s the case. It has one microSD card slot, for extra maps or data backup. It supplies NMEA 0183 connectivity, supports AIS and can display position data from DSC capable VHF radio, interconnected with the unit via a NMEA 0183 network.
Garmin has always excelled in navigation devices, and nonetheless, the echoMAP 74sv is equipped with a very precise GPS system, internally built, operating at a 5 Hz frequency, with a refresh of 5 times per second. The GPS system of this unit also uses GLONASS for position correction.
Along with the super performant GPS, this unit also comes with the
BlueChart g2 Mapping
preloaded BlueChart g2 charts pack. This charts pack offers superior detail and a lot of information for the coastal U.S. waters, Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas, and the U.S. part of the Great Lakes. BlueChart g2 provide navigation lines and marked obstruction data, great for determining safe routes, detailed harbor information including lights and lines, and fishing contours for a good view of the ocean’s or lake’s floor. Fishing maps are designed to emphasize bathymetric contours with less visual clutter. You can also choose between a 2D view, or a 3D, over-the-bow view, for maximum awareness.
Via BlueChart g2 you’ll also get tidal, celestial and current information, as the charts include various tidal and current stations.
Among other functions, BlueChart g2 offers the possibility to customize screens with Safety Shading. In other words, you get to contour shade all depth contours shallower than what you determine is a depth safe for navigation. On top of that, you’ll also get the Garmin Enhanced Auto Guidance technology, which instantly searches through relevant charts, to create the safest virtual pathway avoiding all the problematic navigation points. This function can communicate with Garmin autopilot, which is able to follow any Auto Guidance created route.
Speaking of routes, this unit can store up to 100 routes into its memory. It can also save up to 5,000 waypoints, so you’ll be able to cover all your fishing spots. Needless to say, it’s capable of recording trails, for up to 50,000 points per trail, being able to store up to 50 trails.
Last but not least, in terms of navigation and situational awareness, this unit is compatible with different other charts, such as BlueChart g2 Vision, LakeVü™ HD, or LakeVü HD Ultra.
Although this unit doesn’t support CHIRP sonar, it does offer some of the finest sonar technologies:
SideVü on echoMAP 74sv
SideVü and DownVü. Both types of sonar use 260 / 455 kHz dual-frequency. DownVü offers a coverage of 51° (2° fore to aft.) at 260 kHz, and 29° (1.4° fore to aft) at 455 kHz, with much greater detail than standard 2D sonar. SideVü works with two lateral beams, being able to cover 750 ft. (228 m) on each side of the boat. Both types of sonar offer crystal-clear imaging, far superior to standard view, offering the possibility to distinguish much better between structure, bottom, and fish.
In 2D standard sonar, this unit also offers dual-frequency, at 200 / 50 kHz, with a coverage of 10° and 40°.
Depth-wise, this unit is capable of scanning waters up to 1,500 ft. in 2D. However, even though the unit is listed to be capable of 750 ft. depths in Sv, and 1,000 ft. in Dv, this is only for perfect conditions. In general, both these sonar technologies excel at depths up to 300 ft. This should be more than enough for a wide array of fishing styles though.
As mentioned above, the echoMAP 74sv 010-01388-01 comes with the Transom GT41-TM (12-pin) transducer, which supports 2D sonar, DownVü and SideVü. This transducer includes a temperature sensor, enabling the unit to provide data regarding water temperature, along with a temperature graph function, allowing you to monitor the temperature fluctuations from a fishing spot to another. The transducer comes with 30 ft. (9 m) of cable.
Other sonar functions provided by this unit are the A-Scope, Bottom Lock and sonar recording. A-Scope. The A-Scope offers a vertical flasher with the expanded most-recent viewed sonar data. Bottom Lock focuses on sonar returns close to the bottom, great to use if you’re looking for bottom feeders. And finally, the sonar recording function gives you the possibility to record your sonar log, perform quick scrolls back through the sonar history in order to review spots you’ve recently passed over. Recorded sonar can also be played on a computer, using the free planning software HomePort™.
There are two main minuses with regards to this unit, that you must be aware of before purchasing it. One, it does not offer support for NMEA 2000 networking. And second, it only has one microSD slot, so if you want to record sonar, you won’t be able to use any other charts SD card you might have. Other than these, the unit is pretty much flawless.
The echoMAP 74sv from Garmin is an excellent unit to have on your boat. In terms of sonar and navigation functions, it provides just about everything an angler would want to have on water. You get Sv, Dv and 2D sonar, BlueCharts g2 which is an excellent charts pack with a complete array of features, and a quick-lock, precise GPS, all in a medium sized-units. It’s not exactly an inexpensive device, but its price/quality/capability ratio is quite excellent.