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Old 07-10-2004, 09:45   #1
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Transducer problems

My depthsounder doesn't work and I suspect it is my transducer.
Is there any other way than a haul-out to replace the transducer. I just completed a bottom job and I balk at the idea of paying for another haul-out. My boat is a Beneteau 35s5 with a 6-foot keel and is sailed in the SF Bay Area.

On the other hand: I don't know if I want to wait till the next bottom paint job (probably in 3 years) even though the areas I sail in are pretty safe.

Jan
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Old 07-10-2004, 11:03   #2
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When I bought my depth/speedo setup they came with blank plugs. This is so you could pull the real ones and slip in the blanks to stop the holes. Alowing you to pull the a transducer whenever and work on it at your leasure. I bet you have some plugs hiding somewhere on there that the previous owner stashed.

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Old 07-10-2004, 11:48   #3
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Get an Ohm reading between the two wires while they are disconnected and contact the manufacture. They should be able to tell you if the transducer is bad, then worry about a change out......_/)
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Old 07-10-2004, 12:01   #4
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Thanks Jim, I have two plugs but when I talked to the SF yard they told me that it had to be hauled prior to working on it.

I'll check tonight. You'd think there would be a simpler way to replace the transducer than hauling out.

Jan
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Old 07-10-2004, 13:26   #5
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Prepare for transducer removal & plug installation by pre-coating the plug with a little vaseline (for faster insertion).
Don't worry about a little water intrusion during the switch-out.
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Old 07-10-2004, 14:26   #6
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Gord:

I'll let you know by the end of the week if I am still a (floating) boat owner. Thanks for the tip.

Jan
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Old 07-10-2004, 14:52   #7
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The main thing about a plug change is not to panic. There will be a stream of water coming into the boat , but it will pump out again easy enough. grease up the blank and hold in your best hand (i.e. right hand if right handed) pull out the old plug with the other hand and quickly place blank plug over hole. This will reduce the water intake while you bring other hand over to assist in carefully placing blank into the hole. Dont try and ram it in, the last thing you want to do is be brutal at this stage cause if you break something you are really starting to be in a spot of bother. In any case you really should have a softwood wedge secured near to this fitting that is suitable for jamming in the hole if all else fails! I do this every couple of weeks to keep the weed down on the transducer so it is no big deal.

BTW, my echosounder transducer is inside the boat in a purpose made socket full of water rather than through the hull - reduces the number of holes through the hull, and doesnt seem to affect the quality of the readout.
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Old 07-10-2004, 15:15   #8
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Hang about everyone, let me take this a little further. Firstly, if it is a trandsducer with an external Tube trough-hull fitting, then a Plug or cap is easy. If it is a transducer through the hull itself,(most likely) then it is a completely different story. Firstly, you more than likely will never remove it whilst still in the water. It will be sealed into the hull and driving it out may damage the hull. So you should lift the boat, sorry. Plus, depending on the Hull construction, if you lift it out, it means water can not get in to the core material and plus, when refitting, you are best to reseal with a dry core material.
As Delmarrey stated, get an Ohm measurement. Most likely, if you get a reading, the Transducer will be OK. The internal winding is fairly reliable. Not saying it can't fail of course. But most usualy, Open Circuit is the normal fault, so a reading of some sort will usually lead you towards an OK transducer (90% of the time).
There are two other methods that could help. Can you borrow someone elses sounder and connect to your tansducer. OR can you borrow a Transducer and connect to your sounder. That will help eliminate either or.
And lastly, I presume the Sounder is operating, with a display?, but just no actual reading?. Sorry don't mean to teach you to suck eggs, but for the VCR operating challenged sometimes things like that aren't so obviouse Even if the sounder seems to be operating, it may still be the fault, and being electonic, is the most likely suspect.
What make and model Sounder do you have???
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Old 07-10-2004, 15:58   #9
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I don't live aboard so I will do the test this weekend. I'll also know the brand etc by that time (new/old boat for me)

Jan
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Old 07-10-2004, 19:25   #10
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Lightbulb One more thing

Since it is the plug type and if you do have to pull it, you might want to get a small flexable bucket with a large lip. Put some heavy grease on the lip, then dive down and put the bucket over the transducer. the grease should hold it in place. Then when you pull the transducer, very little water will come into the boat. Then dive down and take it off for the test.

No sweat............................_/)
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Old 07-10-2004, 20:54   #11
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Tansducer

You can always try another transducer by hanging it over the side in the water. My transducer is stuck to the inside of the hull and shoots right through it. If you have a solid part to the bottom of the hull you can do the same. By solid I mean no core or air bubbles, solid fibreglass aluminum or steel works fine.
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Old 08-10-2004, 16:15   #12
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A thought. I just re-read your original post. So you had the bottom anti-fouled?? No chance you got paint over the tansducer face is there. I have never worked out why, when a transducer will fire happily through a hull, and the hull may have Anti-foul on as well, but for some reason, I have had the odd issue with anti-foul on the face of the transducer. They just simply don't work. I thought of all sorts of theories, but for each one, I come up with another situation where it does work. Burt anyhow, it could b e worth a dive over the side and scrape any anti-foul off and try it, before removal.

Now this "blocking a hole below water line" is an interesting subject. The bucket idea is good if you can get down to the hole, but Here is another tip to add to the list. Drop a sheet of plastic over the side. You will need a bit of weight on the bottem of it so as sinks. Then allow it to come against the hull. Once it is close, yell to another to remove the fitting. The water ingress, sucks the plastic to the side of the boat. This method can be utilized in emergency situations. Like you have hit something, and water is entering the vessel and the idea of going over the side could be imposible because of sea state, temperature, can't swim, Jaws. At sea, a spare sail, especially a small heavey weight one, will work really well.
I have even heard of an emergency repair being made to a Ferro boat with this method. They poured cement into the water in between the fabric and hull. The cement was sucked into the crack and sealed it. It got them home, where they could then make the proper repairs.
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Old 09-10-2004, 03:15   #13
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correct term for putting a sail over the hole is "fothering". They used to have a piece of old sail prepared with lots of teased out rope stiched (and waxed) through the canvas. The teased out rope took up the irregularities of the hull, while the canvas itself was stretched fairly tight against the hull to hold it in place, and also to stop it being sucked through the hole.
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Old 09-10-2004, 14:24   #14
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Well whada ya know. As the proverb goes, there is nothing new under the sun. Or the one I like, The ancients keep stealing our inventions.
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Old 09-10-2004, 14:58   #15
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Buckets? Canvas? Plastic? Come on guys. If there is a plug, this is a simple process. You pull the transducer with one hand and insert the plug with the other. If you take your time it takes 3 seconds. So what if a few drops of water get aboard. Take a rag and mop it up. EVERYTHING doesn't have to be a major engineering feet. I think that is the a problem with most of us neuvo sailors today. We over think too much.
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