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Old 23-11-2015, 20:06   #1
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Forward Looking Sonar

Hi,

I have a Catalina 42MK2 yacht which I keep in North Queensland near Cairns. I sail a lot around the reefs and am often single handed.

For some years I have been looking for a good quality cost effective forward looking sonar to help me navigate when motoring close to reefs and coral cays. The Echo Pilot FLS3D provides a useful 3D image but is expensive at over $15,000 fitted. The 2D version is much cheaper at about $2200, but much less useful since you can't see to port and starboard.

Can anyone recommend a good quality, reasonably priced 3D forward looking sonar, please?
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Old 23-11-2015, 20:22   #2
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Re: Forward Looking Sonar

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Originally Posted by meshugah View Post
Hi,

I have a Catalina 42MK2 yacht which I keep in North Queensland near Cairns. I sail a lot around the reefs and am often single handed.

For some years I have been looking for a good quality cost effective forward looking sonar to help me navigate when motoring close to reefs and coral cays. The Echo Pilot FLS3D provides a useful 3D image but is expensive at over $15,000 fitted. The 2D version is much cheaper at about $2200, but much less useful since you can't see to port and starboard.

Can anyone recommend a good quality, reasonably priced 3D forward looking sonar, please?
Welcome to the forum, Meshugah.

I haven't found a cheaper 3D forward scan sonar than Echo Pilot.

Because of that, and from discussions with others that have used 2D for several years, I am planning to add the Simrad [also B&G] forward scan sonar to my B&G MFD.

I don't have first hand info yet, but rely heavily on Ben at Panbo. Here are a couple of his posts on this product:

Simrad vs. Echopilot

Beta testing Simrad forward scan

I mention the 2D in case that is what you end up with. Cruisers I know that rely on it mention they just swing their bow a bit to get the wider picture, and pivot 360į when surveying their anchor drop zone.

Let us know what you end up with.

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 23-11-2015, 20:43   #3
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Re: Forward Looking Sonar

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Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post
Welcome to the forum, Meshugah.

I haven't found a cheaper 3D forward scan sonar than Echo Pilot.

Because of that, and from discussions with others that have used 2D for several years, I am planning to add the Simrad [also B&G] forward scan sonar to my B&G MFD.

I don't have first hand info yet, but rely heavily on Ben at Panbo. Here are a couple of his posts on this product:

Simrad vs. Echopilot

Beta testing Simrad forward scan

I mention the 2D in case that is what you end up with. Cruisers I know that rely on it mention they just swing their bow a bit to get the wider picture, and pivot 360į when surveying their anchor drop zone.

Let us know what you end up with.

Cheers!

Bill
Hi Bill,

Thanks for the very quick reply. This is very useful information. Much obliged.
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Old 23-11-2015, 23:53   #4
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Re: Forward Looking Sonar

I bet garmin will have one soon.
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Old 24-11-2015, 06:49   #5
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Re: Forward Looking Sonar

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I bet garmin will have one soon.
Already have apparently:

http://sites.garmin.com/en-US/panoptix/
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Old 24-11-2015, 06:58   #6
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Re: Forward Looking Sonar

Interesting, the Garmin has a AHARS and adapts for boat motion, I had a structure scan on my last boat and it was impressive, as long as the sea was dead flat, but any boat motion really screwed up the image as the Sonar didn't know if the boat was moving up and down, or if what it was imaging was that irregularly shaped, an AHARS should compensate for boat motion
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Old 24-11-2015, 08:18   #7
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Re: Forward Looking Sonar

From what I learned.

Btw. forward looking sonar tends to not look very far forward in shallow water.
This means you might need to go real slow to stop in time to avoid collision.

If this changed in the last 2years, that would be great.

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Old 24-11-2015, 08:36   #8
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Re: Forward Looking Sonar

BandG have had their forward scan sonar out for about 8 months.

We still dont anyone who has it installed. We're looking at a full instrumentation upgrade on our Liberty 458.

We're holding off until 2016. Hopefully we'll have some better feedback on BandG, specifically their forward scan sonar by then.

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Old 24-11-2015, 16:38   #9
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Re: Forward Looking Sonar

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Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
From what I learned.

Btw. forward looking sonar tends to not look very far forward in shallow water.
This means you might need to go real slow to stop in time to avoid collision.

If this changed in the last 2years, that would be great.

www.ladyrover.jimdo.com
I generally do go real slow in shallow/reef strewn water
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Old 24-11-2015, 16:55   #10
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Re: Forward Looking Sonar

I've used an older Echopilot 2D system for a few years in the tropics and the north. I think you need to limit your expections on what these systems will accomplish. They are good in the shallows while you are poking around looking for an anchor spot or perhaps threading your way slowly through some underwater rocky channel. They also make a nice back up depth sounder.
We use ours almost incidently. The helmsmen just naturally glances at the display each time we are heading into an anchor spot.
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Old 24-11-2015, 17:18   #11
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Re: Forward Looking Sonar

I bought a Garmin Panoptix several months ago and gave it a test run in the marina. Although mounting the transducer could prove to be a bit of a challenge on most sailboats, I found the sonar to be surprisingly good for the price. I wrote a brief review in my company's blog: Garmin Panoptix Sonar | marinesimulation.com
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Old 24-11-2015, 17:24   #12
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Re: Forward Looking Sonar

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I bought a Garmin Panoptix several months ago and gave it a test run in the marina. Although mounting the transducer could prove to be a bit of a challenge on most sailboats, I found the sonar to be surprisingly good for the price. I wrote a brief review in my company's blog: Garmin Panoptix Sonar | marinesimulation.com
Wow, thats a big step up from the old InterPhase I had.
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Old 24-11-2015, 20:49   #13
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Re: Forward Looking Sonar

The through hull transducer for the Garmin lists at $3,999.
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Old 24-11-2015, 23:08   #14
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Re: Forward Looking Sonar

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Wow, thats a big step up from the old InterPhase I had.
You know, Garmin bought Interphase a couple years ago. I was bummed because we really liked the guys at Interphase and the service we got from them. I hope they new Garmin will be great, too. We still use our Interphase FLS a lot -- from shallows of the CA Delta to silty murky AK glacier waters.

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Old 25-11-2015, 06:49   #15
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Re: Forward Looking Sonar

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The through hull transducer for the Garmin lists at $3,999.
From what I've read, the through hull transducer only supports "2D LiveVu". The PS31 which is used for the 3D view is pretty big and bulky.
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