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Old 12-04-2009, 07:29   #1
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Fishfinder Questions

Greetings,

We own a Gemini sailing Catamaran. We have the basic Raymarine ST4000 with depth, speed, wind etc. We find that in addition to trolling while underway, we are finding ourselves anchoring over the occasional reef to do some real fishing. We also have a Garmin GPSMap 276C.

We typically fish in the gulf/bahamas, so we don't need super depth range. I'd just like to be able to better judge when we are over structure so we can position better when it's time to catch dinner.

Our current setup gives very basic depth information. We want to buy a fishfinder, and would like to avoid replacing everything to do this.

1. Is there a solution that will integrate with what we have?
2. Can the existing transducer provide more information than it is or will we need to install a new one?
3. We're looking for a cost-effective add-on, versus buying a full blown system. Is this possible?

I've done a lot of searches here, but haven't been able to get this info as of yet.

Thanks,

Greg
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:08   #2
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I'm not sure you need to integrate a fish finder to much of anything. While the depth data is redundant the view of the fish finder data is not anything you'll be able to integrate.

I would judge the fish finder by the features it has and just install it with no integration. If your goal is to find fish then I would just consider the display features. Your current depth sounder probably is better just left alone and have the fish finder as a backup should it ever fail (they don't usually fail). Some of the brand new daylight quality displays support multiple input sources but unless you already had such a display it's not going to save you any money.
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:59   #3
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So the bottom line is I should buy a standalone Fishfinder system with its own display and transducer and install? No way to have the Garmin display the results?

I like the idea of having it as a backup depth sounder.
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:14   #4
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The Garmin GPSMap 276C has no ability to connect video display input from any outside source what so ever. The NMEA communication connection built in can only send NMEA data out and is useful to receive routes and other data but not much else.

A backup depth sounder is not a bad idea.
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Old 12-04-2009, 14:44   #5
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Thanks, Paul. I'm going into Fishfinder research/selection mode.

If anyone has a favorite or recommendation they'd like to share, I'd appreciate it. I know you guys hate the "What's the best product x" threads, so I won't ask the question.

Cheers,

Greg
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Old 12-04-2009, 16:41   #6
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Greg, I may be able to add a little insight to this one.
I am buying a chartplotter c/w sounder this spring. In my research I have found that a "side imaging" sonar is good fishfinder feature. Some models have a step up feature model just for this alone. You will undoubtedly be doubling a lot of features, but you may as well get the fishfinder you want.
The advice I have received is Lowrance for Chartplotters, but I have been reading a lot online, and it looks to me that Humminbird models really cater to the fisherman with their features.
Good Luck.
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Old 12-04-2009, 17:54   #7
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Humminbird makes very good and inexpensive fishfinders. If you can fit a transom mount transducer on your boat it will be an easy installation.
Good luck
Steve
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Old 12-04-2009, 18:21   #8
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Hummingbird for less than $100.
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Old 13-04-2009, 11:10   #9
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Portable Transducer Performance

Thanks again for all of the input. I'm very close to a decision. I've settled on the Humminbird 565 series. The question is whether or not to go with the portable version.

So one last set of questions (right):

What are the drawbacks/limitations of the portable transducer?

Does it perform as well as the hull mounted version?

I really like the idea of not having to cut another hole in my hull, as well as the ability to take it with me to a different boat (or in my dinghy for that matter. I understand the portable will have more chance to get damaged, misplaced, etc. I'm mainly concerned with the performance hit, if any.

Thanks again!

Greg
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Old 13-04-2009, 13:03   #10
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I have 3 in hull transducers. Don't ask me why I have 3. I just aquired them. Oh and one handheld, which I love. One of the units was free to me. I hate not only the idea of a hole on my boat, but also having anything that involves a haulout in any way.

One of my units simply dispalys depth in feet, and 2 are fishfinders. I have found that sticking them to the hull in a test spot you want to try with just plumbers putty or even modeling clay seems to work just fine. In my bow I just built a ring out of clay that compensated for the angle of the hull, filled it with water and stuck the transduce in level to see what it would do. It worked. A dockmate didn't bother with the ring. He just stuck a hockey puck of plumbers putty to the hull and stuck the transducer in that. I could see the fish on it just fine. Another guy told me he violated the manufactures recommendation and stuck it to his hull with silicone (so he could pop it off later). It worked and is still there. I tried it, without the same result.

I also have to say that I am not fussy about the performance. But if it's an in hull transducer, I would hope it would do what it's designed to do.
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