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Eagle Eye

by Kate Calamusa

It’s a statement emblazoned across myriad mugs, shirts, and stickers, and a mea culpa we’ve had to make a time… or nine: “I’m sorry for what I said while I was docking the boat.” 

Good news is, it has been a banner year in the effort to cure this long-running boating headache. Case in point: Following in the wake of the Volvo Penta assisted docking joystick tech that debuted at Consumer Electronic Show last January, comes the new Garmin Surround View, an intelligent camera system that gives a 360-degree view of the vessel while docking. Utilizing six through-hull mounted cameras that act like multiple sets of eyes, the Surround View provides a real-time, bird’s-eye view around the vessel to help captains quickly view their vessels’ perimeter during low-speed maneuvers.

In addition to the full view—when the system is engaged it displays an overhead stitched image that can be viewed directly on compatible Garmin chartplotters or multi-function (MFD) helm displays—the system also comes equipped with a “bumper” indicator that shows when any non-water objects breach the perimeter surrounding the vessel. Then, similar to automotive backup camera systems, the Surround View also offers distance markers and visual cues to aid in distance determinations while navigating in closer quarters such as marina slips or here locally, perhaps the crowded confines of the Ballard Locks. 

The sure-to-be swear word reducing system, which just made its domestic debut at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show at the end of October, is now available installed on new builds of Garmin’s boat building partners. For more information, visit: garmin.com/SurroundView.



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