Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. the global leader in satellite navigation, today announced its new GHP 20 Steer-by-Wire Autopilot — a marine autopilot certified for VIPER (Viking Independent Programmable Electro-hydraulic Rudder) steering systems on Viking Yachts. Viking’s proprietary VIPER steering system is used aboard all Viking Yachts 66 feet and larger. The GHP 20 for Viking is being announced in conjunction with the Miami International Boat Show, February 16-20, 2012.

“Garmin’s autopilot solutions are known for their industry-leading performance, reliability and ease-of-use, and we’re excited to bring this technology on board Viking Yachts,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “Viking customers expect the highest performance, and we’re confident that combining these systems will meet and exceed those expectations, and will ultimately deliver a better boating experience.”

The Viking VIPER system was created to deliver intuitive responsiveness on board large vessels. Standard on Viking’s 82’C, 76’C, 70’C and 66’C models, the system eliminates the typical tie bar that controls both rudders in a simultaneously fixed fashion, and instead allows the stainless-steel rudders to operate independently via an electronic controller. This optimizes response and reduces parasite drag at low-, mid- and high-speeds.

When coupled with Viking’s VIPER system, Garmin’s GHP 20 steer-by-wire autopilot provides superior control algorithms for unmatched autopilot performance. Thanks to dynamic gain adjustments based on tachometer information provided by the Viking system, the GHP 20 steer-by-wire offers optimal performance at all speeds.

By specifying the GHP 20 steer-by-wire system, Viking customers will enjoy features found throughout Garmin’s existing line of autopilots, including Shadow Drive technology — a patented capability that automatically disengages the autopilot if the helm is turned, allowing for quick and safe manual maneuvers without manually disengaging the autopilot. The autopilot will automatically re-engage once a steady course is re-established. Additionally, this new steer-by-wire autopilot works as a system-wide heading sensor, which enables MARPA and chart overlay when connected to a Garmin chartplotter. For easy installation and integration with other Garmin products, the GHP 20 steer-by-wire autopilot has full NMEA 2000 connectivity.

The GHP 20 steer-by-wire system for Viking will utilize Garmin’s GHC 10 autopilot control unit, which was designed to help boaters configure and control the autopilot. With an easy-to-read 3.5″ color display, three soft keys, and a dedicated “standby” button, Viking owners will benefit from the simple, interactive interface, and will be able to control the heading of the boat with the press of a key.

The GHP 20 for Viking is scheduled to be available in the second quarter of 2012. For more information on the GHP 20 for Viking, visit www.garmin.com/marine and www.vikingyachts.com .

Garmin’s marine business segment is a leading provider of navigation and communication equipment to retail and OEM customers. Garmin’s portfolio includes the industry’s most sophisticated array of chartplotters and touchscreen multifunction displays, sonar, high-definition radar, autopilot offerings and other products and services that are known for innovation, reliability and ease-of-use.

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