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Old 15-08-2017, 10:33   #1
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Garmin FrontVu transducer/forward-looking sonar

Does anyone have the Garmin FrontVu transducer or forward looking sonar that can supposedly display the bottom in front of the boat up to 300 feet? How well does it work for avoiding grounding or collision with submerged objects? More specifically, does it work well in silty bottoms and churned up muddy waters like parts of the ICW? It's called the Garmin Panoptix PS51-TH Front Vu transducer.
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Old 19-10-2018, 20:14   #2
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Re: Garmin FrontVu transducer/forward-looking sonar

Meg, Did you buy one? Can you give the rest of us a review?

Has anyone else purchased one of these? What review would you give?
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Old 19-10-2018, 22:23   #3
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Re: Garmin FrontVu transducer/forward-looking sonar

I've been on a boat that has it. It works but there's a gotcha. It only can see forward 8-10 times the water depth. And Garmin even says that in the description right after the 300ft claim.

So if you are in shallow water using it to keep from going aground, you probably get less than two boat lengths of warning.
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Old 20-10-2018, 09:58   #4
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Re: Garmin FrontVu transducer/forward-looking sonar

Thanks for your insight, Carl. Such performance makes this product much less compelling. I suspect the problem isn't inherent in the technology per se but is a by-product of the way returned sonar signals are picked up and amplified for signal processing. As the floor rises, there's nothing blocking the far reaching sonar signal from either going out or being reflected back. I suspect as the floor rises, the near signal just slightly forward of the boat overwhelms the faint far signal. This could be improved with hardware re-design and possibly with better software. It would be good if Garmin's development was active on this since it has the promise to be invaluable in Florida and the Bahamas.
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