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Old 15-12-2020, 18:50   #31
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Re: Depth Finders

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benz View Post
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.
I've done the same with a 6 foot paddle from the dingy and the swim step. (4'5" draft)
The basic concept is hold the end and push down until you hit bottom. If my hand gets wet before that happens, all is good
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Old 16-12-2020, 01:33   #32
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Re: Depth Finders

[QUOTE=Mike OReilly;3297866]

“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.”

Having never used a leadline, I would like to learn to do so. There’s no way in hell I would pay a couple hundred bucks for a weight with a line on it, but I would be interested in making one up.
Where might I find “a wax plug”?
It seams the sampling of the bottom is an advantage of the leadline over a depth finder.
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Old 16-12-2020, 04:13   #33
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Re: Depth Finders

[QUOTE=japawil;3298444]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post

“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.”

Having never used a leadline, I would like to learn to do so. There’s no way in hell I would pay a couple hundred bucks for a weight with a line on it, but I would be interested in making one up.
Where might I find “a wax plug”?
It seams the sampling of the bottom is an advantage of the leadline over a depth finder.
Commonly, sounding leads had a hollow in the bottom, and you'd "arm" them by filling the hollow with tallow or soft wax. You'd scrape it out and arm it afresh next time you needed a bottom sample. I've made several sounding leads by carving a pillar candle to the shape I wanted (it should fit nicely in the hand), pouring plaster of paris around them in a box, then melting the wax out of the dried PoP. Then you simply melt a buch of lead tire weights or whatever lead you have, skim off the grunge, and pour it in to your one-use-mold. Break the mold apart several days later when cool.
Although mine has the hollow, I've never put wax or tallow in it--it'd make a mess on deck, and the sounder still brings up plenty of sticky mud. If it comes up clean, I'm pretty sure there's not sticky mud.
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Old 16-12-2020, 04:53   #34
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Re: Depth Finders

japawil, Benz has it right. My lead weight has a divot which can be loaded with a wax plug. Pretty much any soft wax will do, like beeswax. I wonder if one could even use cheap glue (that can be dug out again).

I've not done this, but I'm sure you could make a useful divot in any weight one chooses to use. All you need to do is drill out a small hole.

BTW, I did a quick search and found this, and it only cost $35:



It's a nice tool when you slide into a completely unknown new anchorage, and you want to get some idea what's down there. Other clues feed into this, of course, but being able to directly sample the bottom is a great advantage.
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Old 16-12-2020, 05:43   #35
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Re: Depth Finders

A piece of wax toilet ring will work ( also good for temporary leak stopping) I use my lead line occasionally, also my boat hook has a depth line marked on it, sometimes I take it in the dingy for exploring a channel. Also it’s handy,if you are aground,to see which side of the boat has better depth.
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Old 16-12-2020, 07:16   #36
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Re: Depth Finders

Quote:
Originally Posted by japawil View Post
“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.”

Having never used a leadline, I would like to learn to do so. There’s no way in hell I would pay a couple hundred bucks for a weight with a line on it, but I would be interested in making one up.
Where might I find “a wax plug”?
It seams the sampling of the bottom is an advantage of the leadline over a depth finder.

As discussed, you could easily make one or just look around at marine consignment stores for a lead line. Have seen them in stores a few times and typically are inexpensive.
The wax toilet ring or a tub of lanolin works well for the "sticky stuff" when you need to know the bottom type.
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Old 16-12-2020, 10:31   #37
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Re: Depth Finders

Thanks guys, now I can add another project to my list!
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