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Old 15-12-2011, 19:27   #1
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Sounders

Can any one with experience using a Interphase probe forward shooting sonar give me your opinions. The old Lowrance 3200 R on the flybridge quit working and I'am looking for a replacement. I think I would rather know what's in front of the boat than what's under it. Thank you
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Old 15-12-2011, 21:28   #2
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Re: Sounders

I had a first generation Interphase forward looking sonar while I was cruising in the South Pacific, and I did not find that it helped me that much when I really needed the help.

I was looking for something to use in restricted quarters near reef strewn waters, and I had the hope that it would keep me from making serious mistakes striking reefs and underwater obstruction.

In practice, I did not find it to be that helpful unless I was going really slowly forward. Otherwise I would be "overdriving my headlights" so to speak. By the time it showed up on the forward looking sonar, it was too late to help me.

I wanted to use it in relatively shallow water, and I found it was least effective in shallow water where it would help me the most. That was my experience.

I also did not want to spend my time looking at a sonar screen. I would rather look at the water, wind, and other navigational tools that did a good job of keeping me off reefs. The way I navigated, I kept the boat in safe water at safe speeds, and the sonar was not that much of a help. Other people probably have a different experience, and they may use the sonar in a different manner.

I also would not rely on it to find floating containers in front of the yacht.

I hope it works better for other people than it did for me.
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Old 16-12-2011, 03:38   #3
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Re: Sounders

For another option, check out EchoPilot: EchoPilot - 3d Forward Looking Sonar

It's a family run business out of UK and they do very nice quality pleasure boat sonars. In our opinion, at the moment they do better units than Interphase (better sampling rate, more sensitive sensors).
We visited them and ended up ordering...

You could always email them to ask.

Regarding having a forward looking sonar at all: where we sail now, it's not needed - during the day the water is clear enough to see, at night we just go slow and watch the sounder if we need to get into an anchorage. When we were cruising Canadian East coast, or when we had to enter unclear waters, we wished we had one.

On the first run south we were sailing with our friends, who had Interphase on their boat (they got it for sailing the Superior). They would do a sweep of the anchorage for any submerged rocks and logs that weren't on the chart, so we had a peace of mind when anchoring.
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Old 17-12-2011, 12:43   #4
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That is what i'am looking for, something that would give some help when getting out of the channel into sloughs & chutes to anchor. The echopilot looks like a nice unit & probably be my 1st choice if buying new. I found a good used interphase probe for $150.00 & i'am going to try it. I'll have the boat hauled in the spring & install the ducer. Thanks all for the replies.
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