Navigating straight to direct points via your onboard Garmin navigation is easy, but doesn’t take into account any obstacles, hazards, or other deterrents. To remedy this, modern Garmin systems have an Auto Guidance system similar to your GPS keeping you on the road in your car. In addition to keeping you on the water, the system can take into account mean water depth, vertical clearance, and preference for how far out from shore you’d like to be.
1. To set these Auto Guidance parameters, tap the Home button at the bottom center to go to the home screens. Tap the Charts tab on the right side of screen if you are not on the charts tab.
2. Tap Settings on the bottom center of the screen (where the Home button was originally).
3. Tap Preferences, then Navigation, and finally Auto Guidance (all on the right side of the screen).
From here, you can set Preferred Depth to set a minimum depth in route creation. Additionally, you can set the minimum Vertical Clearance for the height of your boat. Note that the depths & vertical clearances marked on maps are for the mean tide; take in mind they’ll be shallower during low tide and deeper during high tide. Finally, you can set the Shoreline Distance. This parameter is set in general terms; Nearest, Normal, Farthest, etc.
Note that when using Auto Guidance, if the three parameters cannot be set, a route will not be created. If this happens, review the parameters above, or re-plan your route outside of Garmin navigation before attempting again.
To use Auto Guidance, tap a point on the map and tap Auto Guidance on the top bar. A route will be generated. From here you can customize the path by tapping Adjust Path or tap Start Navigation to begin (both buttons on the right side of the screen). In addition, one of the advantages of using Auto Guidance is the added ability to search for marinas by name.
1. Start by tapping on the Info button on the bottom of the screen. Tap Services, and then Search by Name, both on the right.
2. Type the name of the Marina and tap Done. The most relevant marina will pop up; to cycle through multiple results, tap the left and right arrows at the bottom of the marina listing.
3. When the right marina is displayed, in the top right of the screen tap Navigate To, and then Auto Guidance.
4. The route will be displayed to the marina. From here, you can adjust the route by tapping Adjust Path, or hit Start Navigation to begin.
Please keep in mind Auto Guidance does not 100% guarantee a safe route. Always be aware of your surroundings and make detours from the guided route if needed. This goes double for combining Auto Guidance with the Autopilot; do not ignore your duties as captain and be prepared to take manual control if hazards are detected on the route. We recommend only using Auto Guidance once in deeper open bodies of water with little to no boat traffic.
While on a route, recalculating your Auto Guidance is easy if you are taken off-course to pass another boat or avoid an obstacle.