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Garmin GPSMAP 1242xsv

ProductDisplaySonarMax. Depth
GPSMAP 1242xsv

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5,000 ft
on transducer)
10 Hz,
US LakeVü HD,
BlueChart g2,

The GPSMAP 1242xsv is one of the Garmin’s multi-function fish finders and chartplotters which offer a 12-inch display, and a wide array of sonar and navigation features and capabilities. The unit that we’re going to cover here is the part number 010-01741-03, the one that does not include a transducer. The bundle that includes the transducer is the 010-01741-11.

Technical Details & Specifications

  • Display: 12″ diagonal WXGA color display, 1280H x 800V pixel resolution, with LED backlight
  • Sonar: CHIRP 2D, CHIRP ClearVü, CHIRP SideVü
  • Frequencies:
    2D: 50/77/200 kHz
    ClearVü/SideVü: 260/455/800 kHz
  • Max. Depth Capability: 5,000 ft
  • Transducer: Not included
  • Power Draw: 12 VDC, 2.2 Amp
  • Power Output: 1 kW
  • GPS: 10 Hz, internal
  • Charts: LakeVü HD and BlueChart g2 HD
  • Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: 100; 5,000; 50,000 points (50 saved tracks).

Sonar features

The Garmin GPSMAP 1242xsv offers several types of sonar, including traditional 2D CHIRP sonar, ClearVü, SideVü, and also has built-in support for Panoptix all-seeing sonar. But as we’ve mentioned above, this is the 010-01741-03 unit, the one that does not include a transducer. It is compatible with a wide range of transducers from Garmin and Airmar. A few recommendations would be the GT51M-TM, GT52HW-TM, GT51M-TH, GT41-TM, Airmar B60, Panoptix PS60, or PS21-TR.

The unit supports multiple base frequencies, including 50/70/200 kHz for its 2D sonar, and 260/455/800 kHz for its CV/SV sonar. Evidently, it supports all CHIRP ranges, in other words, Low CHIRP, Mid-Range CHIRP, and High CHIRP. It’s also dual-frequency capable. This being said, if you pair it with a 50/200 kHz or 77/200 kHz transducer, it can run both frequencies simultaneously.

The depth capability of this Garmin fish finder can reach 5,000 ft (1,524 m), depending on the transducer used, weather and water conditions.

The unit also offers the full range of standard sonar features. It has Fish Symbols ID, various sonar alarms, A-Scope, Bottom Lock, Temperature Log and Graph, etc. It also Sonar Recording and Sonar Rewind.

Navigation features

The first aspect to mention here is that the GPSMAP 1242xsv has built-in GPS. It’s internal GPS and GLONASS receiver operates at 10 Hz, which means that the unit can provide position updates 10 times per second. This results in a continuous and steady movement of the boat icon on your map. Needless to say, the unit’s GPS system gives you the possibility to see your current coordinates or the coordinates of any point of interest. It can also calculate and display the speed of your boat.

The unit can save up to 5,000 waypoints in its memory, offering various icons to make your marked waypoints more suggestive. It allows you to create and save up to 100 routes. It also gives you the possibility to plot your track and save up to 50 tracks with up to 50,000 points per track. Each track can be converted into a route, to which you can add waypoints.

In terms of charts, this Garmin GPSMAP unit has two internal sources. One is the BlueChart g2 bundle, the other is the LakeVü HD.

The BlueChart g2 charts cover the U.S. coastal waters including the East Coast, West Coast, Gulf of Mexico, U.S. and the Canadian side of the Great Lakes. They offer plenty of information, including nav-aids, spot soundings, depth contours up to 1-foot, tides, currents, harbors, and marinas. They also offer the Depth Range Shading feature which allows you to color code up to 10 depth ranges in order to view them at a glance.

The LakeVü HD charts cover the U.S. inland lakes. They actually cover more than 17,000 U.S. lakes, reservoirs, and rivers, with over 13,000 lakes that have 1-foot depth contour detailing shoreline-to-shoreline.

The unit’s charts can be upgraded to LakeVü HD Ultra or BlueChart g2 Vision. These charts offer superior detail and many extra features, such as navigation tools, aerial photography, high-res satellite imagery, Mariners Eye view, Fish-Eye view, and more. However, like many other Garmin units, this one does not support off-shelf charts such as Navionics, or C-MAP.

In terms of dynamic mapping, this GPSMAP unit offers the Quickdraw Contours feature. This gives you the possibility to reveal and draw the contours of your lake on the map. Therefore, you can create personalized maps with the most up to date depth contours. You can also upload your created maps on the Quickdraw Contours Community to share them with others, or download already drawn charts from this database.

SailAssist is also a feature base included with this Garmin unit. This is a pre-race guidance page that shows your virtual starting line along with data fields showing laylines, time to burn before the start and a race timer that can be synchronized across all your networked Garmin GPS products. Other features within this category include an enhanced wind rose, heading and course-over-ground lines, set and drift, true and apparent wind data and more.

Last but not least, this Garmin chartplotter offers Radar and AIS support. You can pair it with powerful xHD2 open array radars or xHD dome radars. It also supports DSC, Garmin Helm, and ActiveCaptain.

Control unit, networking & other features

First of all, the Garmin GPSMAP 1242xsv features a 12-inch, full-color display, with a pixel matrix of 1280H x 800V. Its display integrates adjustable LED backlight which offers superior readability and a super-bright view even in direct sunlight. The unit is also IPX7 waterproof which basically means that it can take any type of incidental water exposure.

The unit is keypad operated; it does not have touchscreen technology. However, there is also a version with touchscreen technology, this being the GPSMAP 1242xsv Touch. The unit’s interface is highly customizable, intuitive and user-friendly. You can pin the most used apps to the homepage for quick access. Also, the unit provides a split-view with up to four panels per view.

Needless to say, this Garmin unit offers superior networking capabilities. It has Ethernet and NMEA 2000 connectors, while the box includes an NMEA 2000 T-connector and NMEA 2000 drop cable (2 m). These being said, you can share features with other GPSMAP units, such as Radar, GSD 24 or GSD 26 sonar modules, charts, waypoints, etc. It’s compatible with FUSION-link audio systems which you can connect and control from your chart plotter. It can show data from a SiriusXM weather receiver. It also offers IP camera support and can be used for various types of surveillance and situational awareness.

Another important feature to mention here is the built-in ANT connectivity. This allows your unit to communicate wirelessly with various devices such as Garmin Nautix, quatix marine watch, GNX Wind marine instruments, or a GRID wireless remote control. Of course, the unit also has built-in Wi-Fi which gives you the possibility to sync it with your smartphone or tablets and improve your navigation experience via the ActiveCaptain app.

The unit is equipped with a dual SD card reader. Therefore, you can use charts card and a data card simultaneously, without the need to swap them all the time.

Last but not least, the unit includes two mounts, bail and flush, plus the Garmin protective cover.

The Pros

  • CHIRP technology offering superior clarity, target separation and target definition for the 2D Sonar, ClearVü, and SideVü
  • Supports Panoptix all-seeing sonar;
  • Supports gWind, gWind Wireless, and gWind Race transducers;
  • Supports dual-frequency sonar;
  • Compatible with a wide selection of transducers from Garmin and Airmar, including 1 kW models;
  • Sonar recording and rewind;
  • Many standard sonar features, including Fish Symbols, A-Scope, Bottom Lock, Sonar Zoom, Fish Alarm, Depth Alarm, etc.
  • Fast and accurate 10 Hz internal GPS;
  • Preloaded with the U.S. LakeVü HD and BlueChart g2 coastal charts;
  • Quickdraw Contours function, for the possibility to add contours and customize your maps;
  • Multiple Depth Range Shading;
  • Compatible with the Garmin premium charts, such as BlueChart g2 Vision or LakeVü HD Ultra;
  • Tide tables information;
  • SailAssist page;
  • Data graphs and information from other NMEA 2000 sensors;
  • Ethernet and NMEA ports;
  • ActiveCaptain compatible;
  • Supports AIS, RADAR and DSC-capable VHF radio;
  • Garmin Meteor™ Audio System compatible;
  • Supports FUSION-Link™ compatible radios;
  • IP camera support;
  • High resolution – 1280 x 800;
  • Dual SD card reader;
  • Wi-Fi connectivity;
  • Garmin Helm compatible;
  • Wireless remote control compatible;
  • Built-in ANT connectivity;
  • Bail and flush mounts included;
  • NMEA 2000 drop cable included;
  • Unit cover included;
  • Easy to install;
  • Straightforward, comprehensive operation.

The Cons

  • Not compatible with Navionics or C-MAP charts;
  • The GRID remote control is not included;
  • A transducer is not included.


The Garmin GPSMAP 1242xsv is a multi-function display offering 2D CHIRP sonar, ClearVü, SideVü, Panoptix support, GPS, LakeVü & BlueChart g2 charts, Quickdraw Contours, and superior networking capabilities. It doesn’t include a transducer, but it is compatible with a wide selection of transducers from Garmin and Airmar. It’s compatible with many navigation tools including Radar units, AIS units etc. It also has built-in Wi-Fi and is compatible with the ActiveCaptain app. It’s not exactly an affordable unit, but it’s quite a versatile one, offering an excellent value for the price.

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