Garmin GPSMAP 1242xsv Review: Navigating the Waters with Confidence

Georgia Offshore is supported by readers. If you buy a product through our links, we may earn a commission without any extra cost to you.

GPS technology has become an integral part of navigation in today’s world. It has revolutionized the way we move from one place to another, making it easier, faster, and more efficient. One of the most popular GPS devices for marine navigation and fishing is the Garmin GPSMAP 1242xsv.

This article aims to give you an in-depth overview of the features, benefits, and installation of the GPSMAP 1242xsv. By the end of this article, you will have a comprehensive understanding of what makes this device the ultimate navigation and fishing companion for both recreational and professional use.

Garmin GPSMAP 1242xsv

Read more: Garmin STRIKER Plus 4

Features of Garmin GPSMAP 1242xsv


The GPSMAP 1242xsv features a 12-inch, full-color display that provides crystal-clear visibility, even in bright sunlight. The display is also multi-touch, which means you can operate it using gestures, just like a smartphone or tablet.

Sonar Capabilities

The 1242xsv is equipped with advanced sonar capabilities that enable you to view what is happening beneath the water’s surface. It features built-in CHIRP sonar, SideVu, and ClearVu sonar technologies, providing you with the most accurate and detailed images of underwater structures, fish, and other objects.


The 1242xsv comes preloaded with BlueChart g3 coastal charts and LakeVu g3 inland maps, giving you detailed and accurate information about coastal and inland waterways. It also supports additional mapping options, including Navionics and C-MAP, which can be added through the device’s SD card slot.


The GPSMAP 1242xsv is compatible with the Garmin Marine Network, enabling you to connect to other Garmin devices, such as radar, autopilot, and instruments. It also supports wireless connectivity, allowing you to connect to your smartphone or tablet and access the Garmin ActiveCaptain app.

Benefits of Garmin GPSMAP 1242

Accurate Navigation

The GPSMAP 1242xsv’s advanced GPS technology ensures accurate and reliable navigation, even in challenging environments. Its built-in 10 Hz GPS and GLONASS receiver updates your position and heading ten times per second, providing you with real-time information and precise navigation.

User-friendly Interface

The GPSMAP 1242xsv features a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate, even for beginners. It also supports a variety of customizable settings, allowing you to configure the device according to your personal preferences and needs.

Multi-purpose Functionality

The GPSMAP 1242xsv is not just a marine navigation device. It also features multi-purpose functionality, including wireless connectivity and compatibility with the ActiveCaptain app. You can use it for fishing, sailing, cruising, and even as a chartplotter for land-based activities.

Installation and Setup

Installing and setting up the GPSMAP 1242xsv is relatively easy, especially if you have some basic knowledge of marine electronics. Here are some of the essential steps:

Mounting Options

The GPSMAP 1242xsv comes with a variety of mounting options, including flush mount and bail mount. You can choose the mounting option that works best for your boat’s design and layout.

Power Source

The GPSMAP 1242xsv requires a 12V DC power source, which you can connect directly to your boat’s battery or through a fuse panel.

Connecting Transducer

The GPSMAP 1242xsv comes with a transducer that you need to connect to the device to enable its sonar capabilities. You can connect the transducer directly to the device or through a network.

Connecting to a Network

The GPSMAP 1242xsv supports connectivity to the Garmin Marine Network, which enables you to connect to other compatible Garmin devices. You can also connect it to a wireless network and access the ActiveCaptain app.

The Drawbacks of Garmin GPSMAP 1242xsv

While the Garmin GPSMAP 1242xsv is an excellent marine navigation and fishing device, there are a few drawbacks to consider:


The GPSMAP 1242xsv is a high-end device, and its price may be a significant investment for some users.


The GPSMAP 1242xsv features advanced technology and customizable settings, which may be overwhelming for users who are not familiar with marine electronics.

Power Consumption

The GPSMAP 1242xsv requires a 12V DC power source, which may drain your boat’s battery quickly if not properly managed.

Overall, while the Garmin GPSMAP 1242 may have some drawbacks, its advanced technology, accuracy, and reliability make it an excellent investment for those who rely on marine navigation and fishing.

Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Proper maintenance and care of your GPSMAP 1242xsv will ensure that it operates efficiently and accurately. Here are some essential maintenance tips:

Cleaning and Care

The GPSMAP 1242xsv requires regular cleaning and care to keep it in good condition. Use a soft cloth and mild detergent to clean the device’s screen, and avoid using abrasive materials that can damage the display.

Updating Software

Updating the device’s software is crucial to ensure that it operates correctly and efficiently. Garmin regularly releases software updates that fix bugs, improve performance, and add new features.

Common Issues and Solutions

The GPSMAP 1242xsv may encounter some common issues, such as connectivity problems, freezing, and inaccurate readings. Most of these issues can be resolved by resetting the device, updating the software, or checking the connections.

Comparison with Other Garmin Models

Garmin offers a range of GPSMAP models, and it can be challenging to choose the one that suits your needs. Here is a comparison of the GPSMAP 1242xsv with other Garmin models:

Garmin GPSMAP 742 Plus

The GPSMAP 742 Plus is an upgraded version of the GPSMAP 1242, featuring built-in CHIRP sonar, SideVu, and ClearVu sonar technologies.

Garmin GPSMAP 1022

The GPSMAP 1022 is similar to the GPSMAP 1242xsv but features a larger 12-inch display and a built-in CHIRP sonar.

Questions About Garmin GPSMAP 1242

Can Garmin GPSMAP 1242xsv be used for freshwater fishing?

Yes, the Garmin GPSMAP 1242xsv can be used for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

How often should I update the software on my Garmin GPSMAP 1242xsv?

Garmin recommends updating the software on your GPSMAP 1242xsv regularly to ensure that it operates efficiently and accurately. You can check for software updates on the Garmin website or through the Garmin ActiveCaptain app.

Does Garmin GPSMAP 1242xsv come with a warranty?

Yes, the Garmin GPSMAP 1242xsv comes with a one-year limited warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship.

Can I add additional mapping to my Garmin GPSMAP 1242xsv?

Yes, you can add additional mapping to your GPSMAP 1242xsv through the device’s SD card slot. The device supports a variety of mapping options, including Navionics and C-MAP.


The Garmin GPSMAP 1242xsv is an excellent device for marine navigation and fishing. Its advanced sonar capabilities, user-friendly interface, and multi-purpose functionality make it an ideal choice for both recreational and professional use. With its accurate navigation, customizable settings, and wireless connectivity, the GPSMAP 1242xsv is a reliable and efficient tool for navigating and exploring the waterways.

To know more for the best fishing gear in-depth reviews includes:

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!