Garmin 942xs Plus Review

The 942xs Plus was unveiled in October 2019 and incorporated new features, such as Garmin OneHelm, enabling the user to operate onboard systems directly from the device’s screen.

In addition to screen control and customization, OneHelm combines control and modification of essential systems, including illumination, stability, and digital switching to one master source.

A J1939 connector has been added to the rear of the GPSMAP Plus series for engine integration. The internal processing capability has been increased to give a quicker network-wide user experience using Garmin Marine Network.

This gadget is easy to read in various displays position. It also has faster chart redraw rates and improved system performance for various sensors like radar, sonar technology, and multimedia.

The Garmin 943xsv is also worth checking as an alternative.

Garmin 942xs Plus Unboxing

Inside the box, you will find:

  • Chartplotter GPSMAP 942xs Plus
  • Cable for the power supply
  • Toggle knobs on a bail mount
  • Gasket and flush mounting kit
  • A protective cover
  • Documentation

Features of the Garmin 942xs Plus

Scanning Sonars and Traditional Sonar Included

Traditional CHIRP and ClearVü scanning sonar are available, allowing you to view up to 1,000 feet below your boat at 260 kHz (transducer sold separately).

Support for PanoptixTM Sonar

Live sonar (transducer available separately) may be paired with Panoptix or Panoptix LiveScope for real-time scanning of your boat’s surroundings.

Preloaded Charts

Navionics, Garmin content and Auto Guidance technology deliver unsurpassed range and detail in the preloaded BlueChart® g3 coastal charts and LakeVü g3 inland maps.

Vision® Charts and BlueChart G3®

The high-resolution included on its premium charts is a great way to help you on your travels.

Garmin Marine Network

Garmin devices outside the boat may exchange maps, user data, radar, and IP cameras if you have more than one on board.

NMEA 2000® and NMEA 0183 networks,

With this, autopilots, digital switching, weather, the FUSION-LinkTM audio system, media, VHF, AIS, and more may be accessed from a single interface.

Apk for Android by ActiveCaptain®

When used in conjunction with the free all-in-one mobile app and the device’s built-in Wi-Fi®, OneChartTM, smart notifications, software upgrades, and other boating community data are all readily available.

ANT® Technology

With gWind Wireless Connectivity transducers (Dual-Beam transducer), GNXTM Wind advanced navigation solution, and wireless remote control, you can connect to some of your favorite gadgets.

J1939 Interconnectivity

Your Chartplotter may now be used with many various engines, including Yamaha’s.

OneHelm Facility

EmpirBus digital switching and other third-party devices may all be seen on the same screen thanks to this unique feature.

Sonar Recording

Insert a memory card into the card slot to begin recording. Then, select MENU > Record Sonar from a sonar view.

According to Garmin, Sonar recording takes up around 200 MB of the attached memory card, yet I recorded for many hours and only had a 980mb file to show for it.

After a recording surpasses 4 GB in size, it is immediately terminated. Until the card is full, you may save sonar data.

You must first download and install the Garmin HomePortTM program and record sonar data onto a memory card before you can listen back to the recordings.

As the GPSMAP 942xs receives wireless connectivity sonar data, you can follow the fish. Then, you can simply touch the screen and go back to view what you previously traveled over. Around 2-3 screens worth of sonar history can be scrolled back and forth on.

The pace at which you scroll will have an impact on the recordings you make. For example, if the GPS is set to a slower scroll speed in the sonar menu, the rewind window will be larger. The sonar rewind window will be narrower if the device is set to its quickest scroll speed.

Mark the Best Location

Rewind the past and press the screen to save a waypoint if you notice anything excellent. When going from one place to another, you can mark your favorite location.


It is primarily used to detect structure and provides a near-photographic view of what is below the boat. ClearVü SONAR is a Submerged object, and fish separation becomes clearer while using ClearVü.

Traditional versus ClearVü Sonar

To provide more detailed pictures, ClearVü scanning sonar uses a narrow beam of high-frequency (455 or 800kHz) that sweeps from side-to-side instead of using a cone-shaped beam like CHIRP sonar.

Structures can be clearly seen in ClearVü, whereas fish can be roughly seen in Traditional View with CHIRP.

ClearVü is an excellent tool for fishers and divers seeking underwater natural and artificial structures such as wrecks, reefs, log piles, and more.

Panoptix Sonar

Panoptix Sonar is very impressive. It allows us to view the whole boat in real-time and in 3D.

Graphs and Maps

Navionics data and Auto Guidance technology data are included in the BlueChart® g3 coastal charts and the LakeVü g3 inland water maps that come preloaded on the GPSMAP 942xs Touch.

  • All of the coastline United States is covered by BlueChart g3 Charts, including East and West Coasts, Gulf of Mexico, and Great Lakes. More than 17,000 lakes are covered by LakeVü g3 inland maps, which have 1′ contours.
  • The two microSD card ports on the front of the smartphone or the Active Captain App make it simple to update charts.
  • Garmin Auto Guidance uses the information you input into your device to provide you with a possible route to get you to your destination.
  • You can observe up to ten maximum depth ranges at a glance, thanks to the high display resolution of Depth Range Shading.
  • Definable depth shading provides a clear image of shallow seas to avoid depending on your own draft.
  • It gives a more accurate view of the bottom structure for better fishing charts and greater realism in wetlands, canal, and port layouts with 1 ft contours.

Quickdraw Contours by Garmin

It’s easy to use and quickly builds enhanced map drawing of any body of water with 1′ contours and depth labels as you fish.

Colored circles appear around the vessel icon when Quickdraw Contours captures data. There will be a circle showing you an estimated location where you’ve been.

Maps are built-in real-time on the screen. To keep track of your favorite fishing areas and wood and brush piles for future trips, just add labels and mark your map.

Use this information to improve your coastal waters maps and discover previously unexplored places. Numerous locations lack detailed maps. You can clearly see the depth contours on the screen thanks to Quickdraw’s ability to build maps. Additionally, you may enhance your current maps that display underwater mountains, drop-offs, fissures, or wrecks.

You have complete control over the maps, so make them precisely what you want. You may either keep the data private or share it with others using Garmin Connect’s Quickdraw Community.

Garmin Quickdraw Contours may be seen on a combination sonar screen or as a single view on the map, depending on your preference. How much information you can store depends on the size of your memory card; the kind of sonar; and the speed of your boat when you are recording it.

Using a single-beam built-in sonar capabilities, it allows you to record for longer periods. A 2 GB memory card is expected to be able to store 1,500 hours of data.

 A Garmin Quickdraw Contours map is automatically updated as new data is recorded to a memory card in your Chartplotter. Existing data is not transferred to a new memory card when you insert a fresh one.


  • GPS built-in and Import GPS waypoints.
  • Capabilities to network.
  • Digital Switching.
  • Beginner-friendly UI.
  • Customizable homescreen and Custom Pages.
  • Sonar Recording.


  • High price tag, But worth it.

My Experience Using This Product

When you first see it, it’s crystal clear and brilliant. The bright, wide-angle 9-inch WSVGA Color Touchscreen display type with 1024 x 600-pixel resolution is easy to see with indirect sunlight. But that’s not all.

Here are the facilities that help me the most:

  • GPS built-in: It takes just a few seconds to find satellites when using the 10hz GPS receiver.
  • Capabilities to network: Share sonar data and Panoptix sonar easily across several units; share user data; route data; radar; IP cameras; and supplementary charts.
  • Digital Switching: Incorporate the Ultra with a digital switching system, weather station, FUSION-Link audio system, other media sources, and a VHF/AIS transducer using the NMEA 2000 | 0183 protocol.
  • Import GPS waypoints: It’s simple to import your GPS’s waypoints, position updates, tracks, or commonly used routes into the 942xs Touch using the popular GPX format. GPX is an industry-standard software format for sending GPS data (waypoints, routes, and tracks) to other devices.
  • Beginner-friendly UI: Safe navigation operations with a touchscreen is easy. You can effortlessly customize the device for fishing or cruising without going into the handbook.
  • Customizable homescreen: The home screen may be customized by adding and removing things, rearranging them, and changing the background picture.
  • Custom Pages: Putting up your own unique set of pages is easy. Set up a bespoke sonar split-screen for fishing with ClearVu on one side and classic on the other.
  • Flexible option: You may use a chartplotter, easy-to-interpret live sonar, a ClearVü, or Chirp sonar-only set up to cruise.
  • Combination Pages: Creating New Combinations You may choose from seven different screen layouts, and each window can be customized.
  • Sonar Recording: It allows you to record the internal sonar activity for replay on Garmin HomePortTM and review it at a later time. In my opinion, it is pretty helpful to review a day’s worth of recordings and highlight any areas that I want to investigate more. I may pause and record a GPS mark on anything of interest during the playback and save it for future reference. Take a look at the example in the picture below.

Final Thoughts

Garmin 942xs Plus Chartplotter with improved map sketching is simple to use in any situation. It is a worth-investing device with big display size.

One thing that I appreciate the most is that you can effortlessly interact with others nearby using Garmin maritime system.