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Old 03-05-2011, 21:40   #1
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Dinghy with Depth Gauges

Has anyone fitted a depth sounder to their dingy? Where I am at the entrance to Lake Macquarie (Australia) the channel depth is constantly changing and the actual depth seems to have nothing to do with what the chart says or even what it was last month. A few boats that I knew could clear a month ago are dragging their keels this month. A logical solution would be to stand off and let the admiral do a run across the shallow bit with the tender fitted with a depth sounder. Why not?

Greg
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Old 03-05-2011, 21:51   #2
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Re: Dingy with depth guages ?

you can buy a handheld battery powered depth sounder that works pretty well for under $100 (in the u.s.a.). runs on a 9 volt battery and is about the size of a standard flashlight.
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Old 04-05-2011, 17:23   #3
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Re: Dinghy with Depth Gauges ?

G'Day Greg,

We've had one of the "flashlight" style hand helds for years, and have used it a lot from the dink. Much better than a lead line...

But, it isn't continuous read out. You slow the dingy down, stick it in the water, push the button for a few seconds and look at the read out. So, it's easy to miss the pesky high spot that the keel then finds!

Our pals on Yaraandoo II have a battery-powered mini- fishfinder type thing on their dink. It has a continuous readout, works much better IMO, and doesn't cost all that much more. That's what we will do next time.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 04-05-2011, 18:56   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleebana
Has anyone fitted a depth sounder to their dingy? Where I am at the entrance to Lake Macquarie (Australia) the channel depth is constantly changing and the actual depth seems to have nothing to do with what the chart says or even what it was last month. A few boats that I knew could clear a month ago are dragging their keels this month. A logical solution would be to stand off and let the admiral do a run across the shallow bit with the tender fitted with a depth sounder. Why not?

Greg
Greg,

After years of frustration we equipped our new boat with a 12 ft Nautica RIB that has a depth sounder, stereo and VHF.

Shannon
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Old 04-05-2011, 19:02   #5
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Re: Dinghy with Depth Gauges ?

With a rigid transom board it's easy to mount one. There are also hand helds.
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Old 04-05-2011, 19:33   #6
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Re: Dinghy with Depth Gauges ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleebana View Post
Has anyone fitted a depth sounder to their dingy? Where I am at the entrance to Lake Macquarie (Australia) the channel depth is constantly changing and the actual depth seems to have nothing to do with what the chart says or even what it was last month. A few boats that I knew could clear a month ago are dragging their keels this month. A logical solution would be to stand off and let the admiral do a run across the shallow bit with the tender fitted with a depth sounder. Why not?

Greg
I mounted an inexpensive fish-finder/depth sounder in my dinghy. I expoxied the transducer to the bottom of fiberglass hull (could also transom mount). For power, I bought a 12v motorcycle battery. I sewed a little pouch for the fishfinder and battery and they both mount together in front of dinghy on twist-lock fasteners. Depth works well and can actually survey lots of bottom quickly and find the fish. When battery needs a charge, I plug it into cigarette plug on mother ship and charge via ship's solar panels. I also use 12 volt battery to power running lights at night.
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Old 04-05-2011, 19:50   #7
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Re: Dinghy with Depth Gauges ?

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Originally Posted by Sabreman View Post
Greg,

After years of frustration we equipped our new boat with a 12 ft Nautica RIB that has a depth sounder, stereo and VHF.

Shannon
What no air conditioning?

Thanks for the input everyone! I knew Jim that there would be some better solution than the old lead line.

Greg
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Old 04-05-2011, 20:06   #8
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Re: Dinghy with Depth Gauges ?

Greg,

Several years ago I fitted a small digital depthsounder to my Caribe 9' RIB. It has a thru-hull transducer and is powered by a small AGM battery located in the little bow locker, and kept charged with a small solar panel.

The depthsounder works well, but two cautions:

1. the Caribe has a double fiberglass hull; I didn't know that at the time, so you can imagine the leak problem into the lower space between the hulls; and

2. the little depth sounders do not hold up well to sunlight. I had to replace one a couple of years ago.

Also, be sure not to let your dingy fill with water and submerge the depthfinder unit itself. Ask me how I know :-)

Bill
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