A Review of The Garmin 1042xs – How Does It Stack Up?

by John Wren

Garmin 1042xs Review

If you’re anything like me, you love to go fishing and boating, but barely get any time to spend out on the lake. Between work, family, and social functions, it is rare to be able to spend a whole day out on the water.

That is why the Garmin 1042xs is such a fantastic device. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of fishing, getting you to the fish faster so that you can spend your limited time on the water catching fish, not just sitting there. It also helps you to chart your course so you can get back to that sweet spot with ease the next time you are free.

Key Features

  • 10 Hz High Sensitivity GPS Receiver – The first and most important aspect of the 1042xs is as a GPS. The built-in receiver works great and updates your position every 10 seconds, making sure that you stay right on course. This will give you great peace of mind while you are boating, allowing you to make sure you know exactly where you are heading. It will also help you to rediscover preferred locations with ease.
  • Built-In Maps – The 1042xs, like all Garmin products, comes preloaded with maps. Since this is for marine use, it has maps of the significant areas, in this case, the Great Lakes and Coastal USA. However, it also has detailed maps for 17,000 lakes! Then, for even more detail, 5,700 of the most popular lakes can be displayed in incredible detail, with 1′ contours shore to shore. While this may not get you every body of water you want to go boating on, it is a great start.
  • DownVu Transducer – This transducer will allow you to seek out fish to incredible depths. You can even dial it in to search for certain frequencies to focus on and lock in on a certain species of fish. This is a fantastic feature for sports fisherman, as it will allow them to focus their time and energy on the fish they are there to catch, rather than just hoping the breed of fish they want to catch is out there.

Features and Specifications

Garmin GPSMAP 1042xsv Boating GPS, 10", (Without transducer)
  • 10-Inch color display with keypad interface and multifunction control knob
  • Preloaded U.S. Lakevü HD maps and blue Chart g2 charts. Power consumption: Max power usage at 10 VDC: 32.4 Watt. Typical current draw at 12 VDC: 1.9 A. Max Current draw at 12 VDC: 2.7 A
  • High-sensitivity internal 10 Hz GPS and GLONASS receiver
  • Built-in single channel CHIRP sonar, CHIRP clearer and CHIRP SideVü scanning sonar and Panoptix support (transducers sold separately)
  • GPS Receiver – The high sensitivity GPS receiver updates your boat’s position every ten seconds, giving you a clear idea of where you are and peace of mind while on the water. It will also allow you to return to areas you have previously visited accurately.  
  • Built-In Maps – The preloaded maps give you a good starting point of the more popular areas in the US to go boating.
  • Transducer – With this feature, you can look for certain breeds of fish to incredible depths. This will allow you to use your precious time on the water better more wisely.  
  • 10 Inch Color Display – The display is large and easy to read. Since it is in color, different routes and markings are shown with superior clarity.  
  • Autopilot Compatibility – Utilizing this feature, you can chart a course and allow the boat to follow it accordingly, giving you a chance to enjoy the sights or go fishing at your leisure.
  • Wireless Connectivity – If you add on the Wi-Fi adapter kit you can create maps with the Bluechart Mobile app on your mobile device and transfer them right to the 1042xs. With Garmin’s Helm app you can view and control the 1042xs from your mobile device.

What Customers Are Saying

The first thing that you’ll find when you ask other customers what they think of the 1042xs is that it is ridiculously easy to use, and the added availability of intuitive apps only makes it even easier.

While almost every review for this GPS is positive, some users found that some features were overwhelming. They had a difficult time navigating through the various menus and features to utilize it effectively.

However, while it may seem confusing at first if you take the time to read the manual and try each feature one at a time till you are comfortable with it, the GPS will become easier to use.

Since it has so many great and easy to use features, I would highly recommend the Garmin 1042xs to anyone looking for a maritime GPS.

Who Should Buy This Product?

The Garmin 1042xs is tailor made for someone who wants to get the most out of their time on the water. Whether they are a sailor or a fisherman, the 1042xs has great features that enable them to get to where they want to go with ease, all while giving an in-depth report of what types of fish are swimming below them. They should also be tech savvy, as some of the menus and features take some getting used to.

Who Shouldn’t Buy This Product?

If you only have a smaller craft, then this GPS will probably not be for you. The Garmin 1042xs is made to be mounted on a larger craft with a motor, not a row boat or a canoe. Also, it may be a bit much for someone who is not technologically savvy. The menus and features might confuse you if you have trouble using a computer or a smartphone.


If you are looking for a great navigation system that also doubles as a fish finder, then the Garmin 1042xs is for you. It features excellent maps of lots of different lakes and the US Coast.

These maps allow you to mark your course and save locations so that you can more easily navigate to them in the future. The fish finding transducer allows you to search for one type of fish at a time, saving you time and energy, making your time on the water count.

If you are looking for another Garmin product but a little less expensive, we suggest checking out our Garmin 741xs review.

Happy sailing!

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