Garmin 1

Mount the new Garmin gWind Wireless 2 transducer on your masthead, plug the GNX Wind display into your NMEA 2000 network and — badda bing, badda boom — your sailboat has quality networked wind data that hardly uses any power and retails for $900 bundled. And if you already have a Garmin GPSMAP 7400/7600 or 8400/8600 chartplotter series, you don’t even need the GNX Wind to display and network the data. Meanwhile Raymarine’s updated i70s all-in-one N2K instrument display looks great on several levels…

Garmin 2

To understand what’s going on here — and to avoid confusion about Garmin’s various current gWind offerings — note (above) all the hardware needed for the original gWind Wireless transducer that came out in 2013. In fact, the unusual sensor is actually a 2006 Nexus design and Garmin acquired Nexus in 2012. So the WSI connection box at top right bridged the wireless signal to the Nexus network and then the GND 10 box bridged Nexus data to NMEA 2000 for use on Garmin’s growing selection of instrument displays. What’s new? The gWind Wireless 2 uses the same ANT wireless protocol built into the already mentioned displays and thus neither box is needed anymore (unless your boat has a Nexus network or you want the GND 10 support for advanced integration with PC sailing programs discussed in these Panbo comments).

Garmin 3

While the included ANT wireless wasn’t mentioned when Garmin announced the GNX Wind in January — surprise! — its notably low 0.4W maximum power draw was obviously due to the unusual semi-monochrome LCD screen we first discussed regarding its sibling GNX 20/21 instrument displays. With the gWind Wireless 2, Garmin now offers a black-box-free GNX Wireless Sail Pack that adds a GNX 20 and a depth, water speed and temp Airmar DST800, and thus makes quite a powerful and easy-to-install instrument package for a small sailboat. And it wouldn’t take much of a battery and solar panel to power it