Over the past few years Garmin has been leaning more and more to the preloaded cards for their mapping. This makes sense for convenience, however many users like to interface the maps on their computers as well. Until the release of HomePort, marine users were forced to use older mapping, available on CD/DVD, if they wished to view the data on their computers and on their GPS's.
HomePort provides the executable file needed to view the maps from the preloaded cards. This new item is available by download or on SD/MicroSD data card for all users.
HomePort requires the user to have a compatible Garmin marine software, such as; BlueChart, BlueChart G2 and BlueChart G2 Vision. You can transfer the maps directly from the preloaded BlueChart card or save the preloaded mapping on your chartplotter to an SD card. Plug in either of these cards into a card reader attached to your computer to begin preplanning your next excursion.
The benefits of HomePort are numerous, allowing users to preplan routes based on details such as underwater hazards, and avoidance of hidden obstacles. One can also store their previous route data from past voyages, which can be helpful in planning future trips.
* Homeport is only Windows compatible at this time. Homeport does not work with the preprogrammed inland lake cards.