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Old 10-02-2010, 19:17   #31
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Witchcraft,

Just wondering what type of transducer you have . . . thru-hull or transom-mount? Seems that the transom-mount version is standard in most packages and that the thru-hull require some extra bucks.

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Roscoe
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:29   #32
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We have a 441s with the transom mount transducer mounted inside the hull with silicone. The display is flush mounted inside a fiberglass enclosure.

Seeing as how the antenna is not an obvious external protrusion, I was quite surprised that I had no difficulty getting a solid signal. I was prepared to have to purchase an external antenna.

The screen is a bit small, other than that, no problems.

I really like the built in coastal charts. Using the bluecharts on CD is a royal pain and the install software has glitches. If you have to return your unit and reinstall the software on another unit, Garmin gives you a lot of crap.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:49   #33
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I also have a 546, which is a great unit. One thing I did notice is the door covering the SD slot is held closed with a magnet. I guess the designer never thought of compasses.
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Old 18-02-2010, 18:39   #34
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opinions on thru-hull transducer

I'm still contemplating a purchase of the Garmin 540s and am wondering if some people have had good luck with the thru-hull transducer. The thru-hull is more expensive than the transom-mount version. On gpsonsale.com, the thru-hull costs about $70 more. I already have a hole in the hull where the old transducer is located, so it seems it would be worth the $70 just to replace it with another thru-hull transducer rather than opting for the transom-mount version and having to glass the old hole in the hull. Opinions?

Many thanks,
Roscoe
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Old 18-02-2010, 20:21   #35
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I have the 545S. Good unit. Chips are a lil' pricey but if you shop around they can be had for <$200. The base maps included are virtually useless. I had a helluva time getting it networked. Their proprietary network (can't remember what it's called) with other Garmin devices, Smart Transducer & Fuel Flow thingy. Followed the instructions to the letter and spent many hours on the phone with tech support. Eventually gave up on that.

The larger screen of the 545 is nice. Added an external antenna which improved things a lot.

Would I buy another one? No.
Knottybuoyz,
The 545 does NOT network and comes fully loaded with ALL US detail coastal charts. You may have the base model that comes with base maps only.I've never had any issue with reception on my unit unless I rest my hand on top of the unit while reading a chart. I used the in hull transducer mounted in the bow of my Columbia 8.7. I've never had a false reading, compared to paper charts. I also had the 440S, using the same transducer with no issues. I'd buy the updated unit in a heartbeat if I needed an additional unit.
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Old 19-02-2010, 05:01   #36
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Larry,

You say you have the in-hull transducer. I noticed on the gpsforsale.com website that this type of transducer is yet another option as opposed to the thru-hull and transom-mount transducers. In the pictures on the website, the in-hull is a good bit smaller than the thru-hull. Does the in-hull in fact mount to the bottom of the hull making it really an "on-hull" transducer? It seems that if it were "in-hull" it would penetrate the fiberglass.

Would appreciate any suggestions,
Roscoe
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Old 19-02-2010, 07:31   #37
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Roscoe,
A retaining collar attaches to the interior hull of the boat with adhesive (I used 5200) and is filled with mineral oil or water.The transducer is locked into that collar. The working part of the transducer isn't much different in size from the working part of the thru hull version. You do lose the water temp readout, but in a sailboat not sure how much of a loss that is, unless you're crossing the Gulf Stream. A water temp unit can be had from Minn Kota or several other sources for a few dollars.
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Old 23-02-2010, 13:02   #38
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Larry,

You say you have the in-hull transducer. I noticed on the gpsforsale.com website that this type of transducer is yet another option as opposed to the thru-hull and transom-mount transducers. In the pictures on the website, the in-hull is a good bit smaller than the thru-hull. Does the in-hull in fact mount to the bottom of the hull making it really an "on-hull" transducer? It seems that if it were "in-hull" it would penetrate the fiberglass.

Would appreciate any suggestions,
Roscoe

I just discovered this in hull version of a transducer as well. To me it seems this is the easiest way to go. No holes! At West Marine the In-hull transducer is about $20 more than the transom mount.

I took the gpsonsale.com price to West Marine and they agreed to add $100 to it. Apparently $530 for a 441s with transom mount transducer was $5 over their cost. I think i am going to stick with WM because of their customer service and product gaurentee.
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Old 23-02-2010, 18:36   #39
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Congrats on the purchase Bright Eyes. I'm thinking I'll go for the thru-hull so that I don't have to glass in the existing hole. Still trying to decide whether to go with the 441s on account of the better antenna or the 540s on account of the bigger screen.
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Old 24-02-2010, 07:09   #40
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Congrats on the purchase Bright Eyes. I'm thinking I'll go for the thru-hull so that I don't have to glass in the existing hole. Still trying to decide whether to go with the 441s on account of the better antenna or the 540s on account of the bigger screen.
thanks! yeah thats exactly what my decision came down to. i think havin a better antenae is worth more than an extra inch of screen. MHO.

yeah if you already have a thru hole for your transducer then that makes sense to use it. its drilling new holes that gives me the chills...
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Old 24-02-2010, 09:00   #41
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Thanks for your input on this Bright Eyes. Where do you plan to mount your 441s, on the pedestal? I ask, because I will need to mount mine on the cabin bulkhead, so it will be a few feet from where I will be sitting at the tiller.

Thanks,
Roscoe
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Old 24-02-2010, 09:24   #42
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We are looking into that right now. We want it right at the helm so its easy to see (4 inch screen). But then it says its not supposed to be next to the boats compass. But alot of ppl say its fine there.

We also just bought a raymarine spx-5 autopilot that has a display which needs to go somewhere. We havent looked too hard but hopefully we can buy some kind of mounting device that will hold our garmin on one side of the compass and the autopilot display on the other side. (maybe these will cancel any negative affects on the compass!)

I'll let you know what I find.

Why do you have to mount the garmin in your bulkhead?
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Old 24-02-2010, 09:38   #43
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We have a 441s with the transom mount transducer mounted inside the hull with silicone. .
The club dive rib has the transducer mounted like this with a blob of silicon. It was a rush job, over lunchtime, so we could go diving in the afternoon with the sounder. Six big blokes sat in the bow and one small girl scrubbing the inside of the transom before drying it and gluing it down. It worked perfectly and 13 years later its still there having been to all the water of an open decked dive boat, weights, kit and clumsy feet etc.

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Old 24-02-2010, 17:48   #44
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Bright Eyes,

Given the size of my boat, there is really only one place for me to mount it: on the starboard side of cabin bulkhead, next to the companionway. The compass is on the port side. When sitting at the tiller the GPS will be several feet from my face. That's why I am tempted to go for the 540s with the five inch screen. Without seeing it in place, however, it's hard for me to judge whether I will be more in need of the bigger screen of the 540s or the better antenna of the 441s. Have you read anything about how much more performance you can get with the bettter antenna?

Thanks,
Roscoe
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Old 25-02-2010, 06:18   #45
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No I havent heard anything about the actual difference in antenae. Just the descriptions, the 441 says it has a high sensitivity antenae and the 440 says it does not.
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