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Old 02-03-2013, 19:51   #1
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depth finder

I have a 24' sloop. What would be a good depth finder to purchase?
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:22   #2
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Re: depth finder

Nearly impossible to answer. What bells and whistle features are important to you? I went the cheapest I could find which turned out to be a fish finder for $90. I glued the transducer to the hull so I didn't have to drill another hole in the boat or have to haul it to install. Shows the depth down to somewhere between 200 to 400 feet depending on the bottom. Since I use mine to not run aground this is more than adequate and is miles better than the club boats I started on that only had lead lines.

There's dual beam, temperature, digital only readout, links to all your other equipment, forward scanning, etc, etc, etc. What do YOU need it to do beyond the basic depth measurement?

John
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:27   #3
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For a fiberglass boat of this size I always used silicon and just stuck the in the hull sensor to the hull. Get it straight with no air bubbles under it and it will work.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:28   #4
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Re: depth finder

cheap fishfinder comes to mined...i have an apelco unit on my boat--very old--kinda is giving up the ghost on me, but is antique..try these--in lesser expensive places to find fishing stuff.,,, goood luck
with a 24 ft boat, one is able to reach over side and use ahand held unit, also...
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:16   #5
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Re: depth finder

Are the transom mount transducers ok to use?
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:25   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevieb7 View Post
Are the transom mount transducers ok to use?
I went to the hull so the reading from the bow. I sailed in shallow water and watching the depth come up was important. That being said if your wiring path is ok and the little bit of drag is ok I see no issues. Make sure you like where the readout will go. I don't think you want to look back to see the depth. Let us know what you went with. Fyi...Our first boat had the old tube type depth finder, that once you got accustom to it you could detect how soft the bottom was...
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:43   #7
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Yes. Transom mount transducers work well.

Here is what you are facing:

1. If you have a cored hull, you cannot epoxy a transducer anywhere inside the hull. That was the case with my boat.

2. A thru-hull transducer is great. My only reservation is you will be making an extra hole in the hull. Despite the fact that it is safe if done properly, why risk it?

3. Transom mount units are great but somewhat tricky for sailboats. I have a powerboat and my transom mount unit works well. But the hull design of sailboats nakes such a unit challenging to find a good spot for.

I have had great experience with Humminbird units. I have been using them since I have owned boats. Lots of value and a very reliable. Customer support is great too. I currently have a depthfinder chartplotter combo and love it.
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:32   #8
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Re: depth finder

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Originally Posted by stevieb7 View Post
Are the transom mount transducers ok to use?
Do you mean you want to mount it on the transom? If so keeping it in the water is a problem. They don't work in air.

Do you mean to glue it to the inside of the hull? If so yes. I also have Humminbird and they told me that the transom mount transducer that it comes with is what you are supposed to use for shoot through the hull (glue in). I also used silicone as my glue, epoxy is recommended. You have to order a drill a hole in the boat transducer separately if that is what you want from Humminbird.

Agreed with above, any cored hull means no shoot through, unless they have provided a solid hull place for the depth sounder. I've read that some do.

You can buy an extender cable to mount the transducer farther forward in the boat and that is the ideal and can be useful. But, the transducer I have is a 20 degree cone angle. At a flat bottom depth of 6 feet that means it is looking ahead maybe one foot, probably more as it's not an on/off function. How slow do you have to be going to able to stop your boat if you detect a ledge or a rock in front of you when it is the distance of the transducer in front of your keel plus a couple of feet?
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:51   #9
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Re: depth finder

I have and like the Hummingbird HD650 with a through hull transducer. Like Astral Blue says, they are great value for the money and the company is reliable and has good product support.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:43   #10
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Re: depth finder

another vote for humminbird. i've got a 37 footer but still prefer 'fish finder' type depth sounders to the guage types. i mounted the transducer inside the hull up forwards. humminbird sells an extension cable so i could put the fish finder right up on my pedestal. works great. you can buy one for under $100 (although mine was nearly $200).

you can also get an indication of what kind of bottom you are sailing over by the return on the screen (mud, rock, etc).

the transom mount should work too, but remember that the transducer must be underwater to give you a reading, so it might not work if you're heeled over....
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:13   #11
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Re: depth finder

Didn't finish what I was saying earlier. I didn't bother to mount by transducer in the bow because I don't think you could stop the boat in time to do any good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal40john View Post

You can buy an extender cable to mount the transducer farther forward in the boat and that is the ideal and can be useful. But, the transducer I have is a 20 degree cone angle. At a flat bottom depth of 6 feet that means it is looking ahead maybe one foot, probably more as it's not an on/off function. How slow do you have to be going to able to stop your boat if you detect a ledge or a rock in front of you when it is the distance of the transducer in front of your keel plus a couple of feet?
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:31   #12
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Re: depth finder

Powerboat style fishfinders seem to work quite well and can be cheap. Hummingbird etc.
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