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Old 17-10-2010, 20:20   #1
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Dinghy Depth Sounder

Betsy and I have stayed out of trouble several times now by taking our 9'6" Caribe RIB into locations with a lead line to measure depths ahead of our bring our S/V Dadidoc Morgan 416 into. Thinking it could be easier to idle along in the dinghy and read from a display and not have to get wet with the lead line and have to basically stop the dinghy each time to take a measurement.

So, anyone have an idea ( not one of the hand held ones) for a depth sounder that can be powered by a small battery that I would bring on board and have a transducer mount on the transom of the dinghy or even something more permanent in the hard bottom of the RIB ?

Anyone try this ? Hmmm ?
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Old 17-10-2010, 20:37   #2
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I use a fish finder - Hummingbird at the moment - with a small AGM battery. The transducer mounts on a little home made bracket on the transom and reads pretty well up to planing speeds. You get a profile and an intimation of what material is on the bottom. And little fish icons...
Last year's models are just fine, so I get mine at a West Marine surplus store for about $40 to $70.

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P.S. they are also good as backup for the big boat's depth transducer...
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Old 17-10-2010, 21:15   #3
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borrowed my Garmin

Dadidoc,
I did the same thing with mine. I had a spare cable for my Garmin and the originial transom mount sender - mounted it to the dingy and used a small computer backup battery. Just took the Garmin out of the big boat and held it in my lap -Worked great
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Old 18-10-2010, 06:27   #4
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We used a Speedtech “SM - 5 Depthmate” Handheld Portable Depth Sounder
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Old 18-10-2010, 06:53   #5
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why not a handheld version?

They can do double duty since you can use them underwater as rangefinders as well, and can be moved from boat to boat with easy.

We even use it on our "big" boat to figure out the depth under the floats rather than the center hull. Lots of great uses.
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Old 18-10-2010, 06:59   #6
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I like the handhelds too for the same reasons. I don't have one right now, but it is on the "list".
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Old 18-10-2010, 20:53   #7
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Old 19-10-2010, 06:13   #8
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sinker and string (leadline)
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Old 19-10-2010, 06:33   #9
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We have one of the wireless Eagle depth finders mounted on the RIB, when we want to know what is out ahead of us I send the RIB out ahead, the operator has a display on the RIB and can relay the info to us from a distance, however when it is operating just a few yards ahead us we get the RIB depth reading on a wireless receiver in the cockpit of which ever big boat we are on.

Comes in handy when trying to determine which direction to kedge the random boat that has drifted aground on a submerged sand bar

We also use a handheld device when needed, also from Eagle.
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Old 19-10-2010, 06:59   #10
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The most inventive arrangement I have seen is a wireless fish-finder installed in an RC model boat. The family that had conjured this up stationed the wife or one of the kids on the bow and had them weave the model back and forth in front of the yacht and with that, give directions to the helmsman. I was somewhat skeptical of this arrangement but watched them make an uneventful entry into Pelican Bay, just south of Boca Grand, after surveying the pass with their "robo-sounder" so there is something to it.

FWIW...
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Old 19-10-2010, 07:10   #11
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Way cool!!!

I used to fly R/C planes (another expensive hobby), never thought about the use of a R/C boat for that application.

I have been toying around with the concept of an R/C plane with a wireless feed camera for over the horizon applications, but that would be a different thread.
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Old 19-10-2010, 08:42   #12
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Yes indeed, SmallYachts... I'm planning to do exactly that, and there is a new platform that makes it practical. Here's the MikroKopter that has been getting a lot of geek buzz lately... for years, I've wanted a "forward reconnaissance unit," and this will be the basis of it.

Love the R/C boat with depth sounder idea, too - I had not thought of that.

Steve
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