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Old 14-12-2020, 16:38   #16
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Re: Depth Finders

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Leadline. Simple, portable, cheap.
My first thought as well. But I've gotten serious pushback for suggesting this in other threads on this forum, so I abstained. Glad you brought it up.
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Old 14-12-2020, 19:28   #17
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Re: Depth Finders

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My first thought as well. But I've gotten serious pushback for suggesting this in other threads on this forum, so I abstained. Glad you brought it up.

That's unfortunate Benz. It's such a simple tool to use. Unless you're fishing, and need a fishfinder, or are doing some deep-water soundings for chart making, a leadline is more than adequate.
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Old 15-12-2020, 04:23   #18
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Re: Depth Finders

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
That's unfortunate Benz. It's such a simple tool to use. Unless you're fishing, and need a fishfinder, or are doing some deep-water soundings for chart making, a leadline is more than adequate.
It's the only depthfinding tool I have
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Old 15-12-2020, 05:55   #19
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Re: Depth Finders

Well, since the OP has her answer I guess I'll ask some unrelated questions of Mr. Benz and Mr. OReilly on leadlines.


In Mark Twain's "Life on the Mississippi," lead lines feature prominently and the traditional calls are the origin of his nom de plume. Trad leadlines had a fairly large lead weight (several pounds) at the end and were made with lightweight rope (rather than cord) with markings woven into the lay every fathom or two made of varying materials that could be identified either by sight or feel. You can buy one for $200 at Landfall Navigation.


19th century riverboats employed two leadmen, one on each side, who would repeatedly throw and retrieve the lead, and call out the depth. I've thought it would be a fun and useful thing to write software that would make the same verbal calls from sonar data for those of us who don't have the budget or accommodations for such specialists.


And that's the trouble. I've experimented with ersatz leadlines and I find that I can't row, paddle, or steer while using them. It's a full time job that takes two hands.
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Old 15-12-2020, 06:18   #20
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Re: Depth Finders

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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
Well, since the OP has her answer I guess I'll ask some unrelated questions of Mr. Benz and Mr. OReilly on leadlines.

And that's the trouble. I've experimented with ersatz leadlines and I find that I can't row, paddle, or steer while using them. It's a full time job that takes two hands.

I think using a lead line is appropriate for some situations, but agree w/Jammer it's difficult to row and use a lead line at the same time. It is also much easier to tell contours as you row by yourself over them w/a df vs. a lead line. Not that we go aground often, but when we do we like to quickly find the way out (or we sit there for awhile). In this case, I find the df is much easier to see what is around the boat to formulate a plan.
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Old 15-12-2020, 06:26   #21
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Re: Depth Finders

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Well, since the OP has her answer I guess I'll ask some unrelated questions of Mr. Benz and Mr. OReilly on leadlines....

And that's the trouble. I've experimented with ersatz leadlines and I find that I can't row, paddle, or steer while using them. It's a full time job that takes two hands.
Not sure what the question is Jammer, but obviously one can't be rowing and handling the leadline at the same time. I don't find it much of a challenge to let go of the oars to use the line, then resume rowing.

As for that $200 Landfall Navigation design ... don't waste your money. Anyone can make a leadline with a decent weight and some line. Should cost you a few bucks at the most. Mine is a proper leadline with a wax plug used for sampling the bottom, but all you really need is a decent piece of thin line marked off to whatever depth marks make sense to you. Tie it to a heavy bolt and whalla! You have a functional leadline.

BTW, I'm not making some Luddite claim that we should abandon electronic sounders in favour of the old tech. Not at all. I have an electric sounder on my mothership, and think it is the most important navigation tool I own, outside of the compass. But I have my leadline ready to deploy all the time, and I use it quite regularly in the anchorage to check differential depths. My sounder is located mid-ships, and I like to anchor in shallow waters, so the difference between bow and stern can be significant.

I also use the leadline on occasion from my dinghy to check small anchorages before bringing in the mothership. In that case I use it exactly as mentioned. And one season we lost our electric sounder completely (dead transducer). The leadline was our only sounder for the full season that year. Worked fine.

The OP's request was for a portable depth sounder to be used from the dinghy. Can't get much more portable than a line .
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Old 15-12-2020, 07:53   #22
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Re: Depth Finders

Mike ORilley, Bill O, Jammer, and Benz,



1st, I do not mind my post leading to other discussions, like you mentioned, the initial question had been answered.



He has the lead line too, but he wants a portable for the dinghy when cutting across and around certain bays, channels, and such. We have a cat with a 4'2' draft / 25 beam and got in a jam while in Laguna Madre. We had planned the trip, the charts and the Waterway Guide are never left behind, especially when traveling the Western Gulf Coast
BUT
the charts were incorrect because apparently the GIWW is not maintained passed Marker 37. It could have been a quick check and less stress with a storm rolling in fast to have a depth finder on the dinghy to find refuge in a cove.
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Old 15-12-2020, 08:04   #23
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Re: Depth Finders

Still waiting to learn what RoHS means.
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Old 15-12-2020, 08:05   #24
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Re: Depth Finders

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Originally Posted by PTeinert02 View Post
He has the lead line too, but he wants a portable for the dinghy when cutting across and around certain bays, channels, and such. We have a cat with a 4'2' draft / 25 beam and got in a jam while in Laguna Madre. We had planned the trip, the charts and the Waterway Guide are never left behind, especially when traveling the Western Gulf Coast
BUT
the charts were incorrect because apparently the GIWW is not maintained passed Marker 37. It could have been a quick check and less stress with a storm rolling in fast to have a depth finder on the dinghy to find refuge in a cove.
There's no doubt about the utility of getting out in the dinghy to check the waters before bringing the mothership into tight quarters. I use my leadline to do this, but electronic portables look good as well. I'm glad you found your answer.

I've looked at those flashlight-style sounders. They look great. I might get one someday.


I didn't mean to suggest electronic sounders are somehow not a good idea. And I certainly didn't mean to challenge or insult anyone. It's just that I do use a leadline, and it works just fine for the application you're talking about. I'm sure the electronic portable will do as well.
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Old 15-12-2020, 08:15   #25
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Re: Depth Finders

Me too so.....Google to the rescue:

RoHS is a product level compliance based on the European Union's Directive 2002/95/EC, the Restriction of the Use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS).
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Old 15-12-2020, 08:21   #26
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Re: Depth Finders

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Originally Posted by PTeinert02 View Post
Me too so.....Google to the rescue:

RoHS is a product level compliance based on the European Union's Directive 2002/95/EC, the Restriction of the Use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS).

Jammer was just making a joke about lead being non-compliant. It's funny ... once you know what RoHS is .
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Old 15-12-2020, 11:14   #27
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Re: Depth Finders

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Originally Posted by Bill O View Post
In this case, I find the df is much easier to see what is around the boat to formulate a plan.

That better articulates my thoughts.


The way I use the Vexilar, is I put it whatever shallow-draft vessel is at hand (often a canoe in my situation), use the suction cups to attach the transducer, and fire up Navionics on my phone.


Then I paddle around and watch the depths. The phone makes up a contour bathymetric chart, and if I paddle in a grid over the area of interest it's a pretty accurate one, and sometimes I save screenshots of them for future reference. Often I learn just as much by watching the depth figure change as I do from the resulting charts.


That way I pick up hazards like wing dams that are easy to miss otherwise, and I find out where the edges of the channel are. All this is of particular importance when trying to anchor outside the marked channel on the Mississippi.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
[...] I have my leadline ready to deploy all the time, and I use it quite regularly in the anchorage to check differential depths. My sounder is located mid-ships, and I like to anchor in shallow waters, so the difference between bow and stern can be significant.

I made a 12' wood barge pole that is marked with stripes every foot that I use for that purpose. I've sort of decided that it is 2 feet too long to be convenient, and that it should have a hook on one end, so that I can get rid of my telescoping aluminum boat hook. The aluminum one collapses at inopportune times when pushing off. In any case, adding stripes to a boat hook or barge pole increases its utility.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PTeinert02 View Post
Me too so.....Google to the rescue:

RoHS is a product level compliance based on the European Union's Directive 2002/95/EC, the Restriction of the Use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS).

The principal effect of RoHS was a prohibition on the use of lead solder in electronics, though it also prohibited the use of some other common metals and has since been expanded to include nonmetallic substances. A side effect of the directive was that electronic items could no longer incorporate lead weights. Telephone handsets in the 60s and 70s, for example, almost always had a small lead weight to make them "feel right." It was a common technique for making electronics feel substantial and of higher quality, or to make items balance well.


Since then the industry has just switched to using other heavy, inexpensive materials for that sort of thing.



Those of us in the electronic industry between about 2000-2005 so commonly heard phrases like "but it's not RoHS compliant" that it's almost a reflexive response when contemplating a lead component.


And I am doubly amused that the very expensive Landfall "leadline" uses a purportedly nontoxic bronze weight. (Bronze alloys often contain small amounts of lead).
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Old 15-12-2020, 11:56   #28
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Re: Depth Finders

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I made a 12' wood barge pole that is marked with stripes every foot that I use for that purpose. I've sort of decided that it is 2 feet too long to be convenient, and that it should have a hook on one end, so that I can get rid of my telescoping aluminum boat hook. The aluminum one collapses at inopportune times when pushing off. In any case, adding stripes to a boat hook or barge pole increases its utility.


Sounds like a another type of leadline to me .
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Old 15-12-2020, 13:51   #29
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Re: Depth Finders

I giggled, once I knew what it was haha
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Old 15-12-2020, 18:27   #30
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Re: Depth Finders

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
Well, since the OP has her answer I guess I'll ask some unrelated questions of Mr. Benz and Mr. OReilly on leadlines.


In Mark Twain's "Life on the Mississippi," lead lines feature prominently and the traditional calls are the origin of his nom de plume. Trad leadlines had a fairly large lead weight (several pounds) at the end and were made with lightweight rope (rather than cord) with markings woven into the lay every fathom or two made of varying materials that could be identified either by sight or feel. You can buy one for $200 at Landfall Navigation.


19th century riverboats employed two leadmen, one on each side, who would repeatedly throw and retrieve the lead, and call out the depth. I've thought it would be a fun and useful thing to write software that would make the same verbal calls from sonar data for those of us who don't have the budget or accommodations for such specialists.


And that's the trouble. I've experimented with ersatz leadlines and I find that I can't row, paddle, or steer while using them. It's a full time job that takes two hands.
I don't usually sail single-handed, so when coming into shallow water, I can be on the bows casting the lead and simultaneously keeping an eye out for coral or whatever. I find that having the depth readings right there where I'm making piloting decisions is very valuable. Nothing worse than having a helmsman distracted from steering by having to holler depths at a foredeck-person who can't hear them.
In the dinghy, I usually sound with an 8-foot oar. If it's too deep to find bottom with that, I simply don't need to know the depth that bad.
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