Articles: Navigation,Communications

Garmin Helm and Marine Wi-Fi Adapter Kit

In an earlier post, we looked at two very cool apps from Pocket Mariner, Boat Beacon and Boat Watch Pro. This time we would like to look at a new app from Garmin called Garmin Helm.  This free app allows you to control a Garmin GPSMAP 8000 series with your iPhone or iPad when paired with the Garmin Marine Wi-Fi Adapter.

Garmin Helm supports up to five mobile devices at one time and allows you to set permissions such as “view only” so you don’t have five people piloting the boat.  The App also supports multiple SmartMode chartplotters so you can easily choose which screen you would like to view, additional displays include sonar, radar, and engine. Chart simulation on the iOS device is nearly identical to the synced Garmin chartplotter. The user interface is quite simple and user-friendly, similar to other Garmin applications and devices.

One security drawback is that there is no on-screen authentication and users only requires your WiFi password to access the helm. We hope this concern will be addressed in future versions of Garmin Helm. To ensure full functionality and support, you should ensure your chartplotter has the most updated software.

Helm requires the pairing of the Garmin Marine Wi-Fi Adapter to transmit your boat details and this is sold separately. However, installation of this adapter provides functionality with other applications such as BlueChart and, presumably, future mobile applications by Garmin.

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