News Releases 



December 26, 2003

The GPSMAP 172C and 178C: Garminís Next-Generation Chartplotter and Combo Units

GPSMAP 172C GPSMAP 178C Sounder

OLATHE, Kan./December 26, 2003 — Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN), today announced the debut of its next-generation chartplotter, the GPSMAP® 172C, and its combination chartplotter/sounder, the GPSMAP 178C Sounder.

"Garmin has long been a leader in large-screen color GPS chartplotting products. The GPSMAP 172C and 178C demonstrate Garmin’s commitment to offering the same brilliant color, robust features, and user-friendly interface — in a compact, value-priced product," said Gary Kelley, Garmin’s director of marketing. "Combined with our MapSource® BlueChart® or Recreational Lakes with Fishing Hot Spots® cartography, these new units are destined to be a must-have for navigation on virtually any boat."

Both units feature a 4.5-inch diagonal screen and a vivid 256-color, 320 x 320-pixel CSTN screen for easy-to-read marine cartography and quick identification of fish – even in bright sunlight. The unit comes with a CCFL backlight that incorporates Garmin’s patented dimming system for comfortable viewing at any time.

The GPSMAP 172C/178C family offers a number of improvements over earlier generation units, including a state-of-the-art processor that makes map drawing, panning, and zooming virtually instantaneous. Additionally, user waypoints are automatically tagged with the date and time of creation, as well as water temperature and depth on the 178C — vital information for serious anglers.

Data is stored on front-loading, removable Garmin data cards and can be transferred to a PC or another unit. Each model stores up to 3,000 user waypoints, 50 reversible routes, and 10,000 active track points. Boaters can also color-code their tracklines for trolling or cruising applications.

All units come standard with a built-in worldwide marine basemap and accept pre-programmed or user programmed MapSource BlueChart offshore marine cartography — featuring detailed depth contours, inter-tidal zones, wrecks, navaids, and many other points of interest. For small water anglers, the GPSMAP 172C/178C family is compatible with pre-programmed or user programmed MapSource Recreational Lakes with Fishing Hot Spots — featuring fishing areas, boat ramps, marinas, and hazards for thousands of popular U.S. and Canadian lakes.

For added flexibility, mariners can upgrade the GPSMAP 172C to a full-fledged combination chartplotter/sounder at any time — with the addition of a Garmin GSD 20 "black box" sonar and an additional transducer.

While the GPSMAP 172C is a standalone chartplotter, the GPSMAP 178C Sounder is a fully integrated chartplotter and sonar. In addition to all the features of the GPSMAP 172C, it features either a dual-frequency 50/200 kHz transducer for offshore boating or a single-frequency 200 kHz transducer for inland lakes and bays. Boaters can choose dedicated full-screen map, sonar, compass, and navigational screens — or customize a split-screen page showing a combination of readouts.

The GPSMAP 178C utilizes Garmin’s See-Thru® technology — which separates fish from thermoclines and structure — and Depth Control Gain (DCG®), for clear and accurate readouts at different depths and speeds. The 178C also logs and graphs temperature data over time.

The GPSMAP 178C also lets anglers see more of their sonar information through a new digital display technology. The resulting image is an easy-to-read yet semi-transparent digital readout — which allows users to see sonar images "behind" the data.

Other specifications for the GPSMAP 172C and 178C include:

  • 4.5-inch diagonal, 320 x 320 pixel, 256-color CSTN screen with adjustable CCFL backlight
  • Unit dimensions: 6.3"W x 4.9"H x 3.7"D
  • Features unique one-knob, adjustable tilt and swivel mount
  • Alarms: anchor drag, arrival, off-course, proximity waypoint, clock, and low battery voltage
  • Alarms on GPSMAP 178C also include shallow water, deep water, fish by size, water temperature and fish ID with depth
  • Water resistant to IPX-7 standards (submersible to one meter for up to 30 minutes)
  • Two NMEA serial ports

Sonar specifications for the GPSMAP 178C also include:

  • Dual frequency (50 kHz/200 kHz) transducer: 500 watts (RMS), 4000 watts (PTP)
  • Single-frequency (200 kHz) transducer: 400 watts (RMS), 3200 watts (PTP)
  • Adjustable range, gain, zoom, and bottom lock
  • Water temperature log to maintain a graphical record of temperature data

The GPSMAP 172C and 178C are expected to be available in March 2004. The GPSMAP 172C with an internal antenna has an MSRP of $728.56. An external antenna configuration of the GPSMAP 172C is available for $749.99 (MSRP). The GPSMAP 178C with an internal antenna and a single frequency transducer has an MSRP of $921.41, and an internal antenna dual frequency model is available for $942.84. The 178C in with an external antenna and a single frequency transducer is $942.84 (MSRP), and a external antenna dual frequency model is $964.27 (MSRP).


Garmin International Inc. is a member of the Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN) group of companies, which designs and manufactures navigation, communication and information devices — most of which are enabled by GPS technology. Garmin is a leader in the general aviation and consumer GPS markets and its products serve aviation, marine, outdoor recreation, automotive, wireless and OEM applications. Garmin Ltd. is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, and its principal subsidiaries are located in the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit Garmin's virtual pressroom at or contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200. Garmin, GPSMAP, MapSource, BlueChart, DCG, and See-Thru are registered trademarks of Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries. Fishing Hot Spots is a registered trademark of Fishing Hot Spots Inc.

Notice on forward-looking statements:
This release includes forward-looking statements regarding Garmin Ltd. and its business. Any statements regarding the company’s future product introductions are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this release may not occur and actual results could differ materially as a result of risk factors affecting Garmin. Information concerning risk factors that could affect Garmin’s actual results is contained in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 28, 2002 filed by Garmin with the Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission file number 0-31983). A copy of Garmin’s Form 10-K can be downloaded from