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Old 10-07-2020, 09:42   #61
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Re: Bottom Imaging for Sailboats

I have experience with rotary LED depth sounders, cheap Hummingbird fish finders, and simple digital readout depth guages. I would love to try out an underwater drone that could give direct visualization of the bottom but have no experience with them. Somehow I doubt they are durable and of much use in murky water, kelp stands, or areas of sea grass. But they would be great for surveys of diving sites. My rotary LED display sounder was large (12" x 12" display) but would tell me a great deal about the bottom once I learned to read the echo display. It was for a commercial fishing boat, by the way. I could "see" rocks, slopes, mud, etc. Sea grass I could not see but I seldom used the machine in very shallow water. A digital sounder is useless to characterize the bottom. A cheap Hummingbird fish finder I bought outperformed any other sounder I have seen. It graphed the bottom, showed boulders, gave the nature of the bottom (sand, mud, shells, rocks, boulders, sea grass) and gave a great picture of sunken logs, boats, and obstructions like dumped cars. You don't have to go high tech or expensive to get what you want. One thing I really liked about the fish finder was that I could mount it inside the hull by putting the transducer in an epoxy bonded directly to the hull. All you have to do is follow the instructions and keep bubbles out of the epoxy because they ruin the echo. For a few more bucks you can get a fish finder with a depth alarm and a zone alarm that will tell you if your anchor is dragging. I love those features because I can sleep instead of doing anchor watch. In boating, the only perfect solution is to stay ashore.
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Old 10-07-2020, 16:37   #62
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Re: Bottom Imaging for Sailboats

You need a decent quality fishfinder of 300watt RMS (1000+ watts P-P ) or more.
Read my posts here:

Cheers/ Len


https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ng-203622.html
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Old 10-07-2020, 20:22   #63
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Re: Bottom Imaging for Sailboats

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I donít know why it wonít last on your transom, they do fine on 60+ MPH bass boats and they way they are designed if you hit something they pop up. But really hit something going real fast and they do pop out, works fine on my dingy at 25 kts, which is wide open.
On a planing boat they need to stick down 1/4Ē or so below the bottom of the hull so they are in the water flow no matter how fast you go, but on most sailboats I assume flush or even up a little is fine, but if you have a really fast sailboat that can plane or whatever, who cares if you lose your down vision when your hauling butt? I assume you really only want it when you going slow moving around looking at the bottom.

Iíve never seen one on a sailboat either. I bought my first Dragonfly with the GPS plotter and map built in when my Garmin 740S quit and we had no chance of finding dive sights without it, so I ran down to WM to see what they had and at that time it was new. Childís play to install, only downside is the transom mount, never tried to see if it would shoot thru the hull.
Hi, Iíve just got a compass h28 ( solid glass ) it came with a new Garmin , but he ( last owner ) had never fitted the transom Mount transducer , I just got some cheap silicon and puddled the trans into that in the bilge. Because of the angle, it was about half inch thick one side and 2 inches thick on the the other, it works really good, and no need to clean it, you just have make sure there is no air bubbles between the face and the hull.
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Old 11-07-2020, 01:06   #64
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Re: Bottom Imaging for Sailboats

An idea that I never tried but I thought of reading this thread: how about using a GoPro camera on a selfie stick? They are water proof and if the water is clear enough should work. Anyone ever tried it?
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Old 11-07-2020, 02:19   #65
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Re: Bottom Imaging for Sailboats

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Originally Posted by Udira View Post
An idea that I never tried but I thought of reading this thread: how about using a GoPro camera on a selfie stick? They are water proof and if the water is clear enough should work. Anyone ever tried it?
Yep, works well. Gopro strapped to a boat hook.


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Old 11-07-2020, 06:14   #66
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Re: Bottom Imaging for Sailboats

Hi, Dockhead


Seems that you have reached the end of inputs of theis thread, if you don't want to dive in for a real view.


In 2019 I used my small Nikon Coolpix AW130 with video capability to examine my entire hull of my Maxi 87 for fouling, putting it on my, yes, boat hook !

Udira and conachair showed the way in the posts just before me.
However, I had to see the videos I made to see if it captured what I want to see...



Here comes the genious solution !
Please see


So, you put a wifi capable cam on a stick with the wifi cable attached) to transmit the signal to the surface, to see real time bottom surfaces on your smartphone. It may work with any wifi capable device.


You can attach it to your hull with proper brackets or clips of your choice before anchoring, if you sail single-handed.



If you are crewed more that just you, you can let another one guide the cam underwater on a wire (cable attached), preferably with some weight put onto the wire, together with the cam (maybe on a base plate).



Seems like wifi and wifi cams connected with a cable can do this job good.



Anyone doing this, please post good descriptions of your solutions :-)



Unfortunately I'm not at home due to CV19, so I can't try the solution myself.



Dockhead, seems that you are a Dane like me, right ?
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Old 12-07-2020, 01:08   #67
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Re: Bottom Imaging for Sailboats

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstendenmark View Post
Hi, Dockhead

Seems that you have reached the end of inputs of theis thread, if you don't want to dive in for a real view.

In 2019 I used my small Nikon Coolpix AW130 with video capability to examine my entire hull of my Maxi 87 for fouling, putting it on my, yes, boat hook !

Udira and conachair showed the way in the posts just before me.
However, I had to see the videos I made to see if it captured what I want to see...

Here comes the genious solution !
Please see

So, you put a wifi capable cam on a stick with the wifi cable attached) to transmit the signal to the surface, to see real time bottom surfaces on your smartphone. It may work with any wifi capable device.

You can attach it to your hull with proper brackets or clips of your choice before anchoring, if you sail single-handed.

If you are crewed more that just you, you can let another one guide the cam underwater on a wire (cable attached), preferably with some weight put onto the wire, together with the cam (maybe on a base plate).

Seems like wifi and wifi cams connected with a cable can do this job good.

Anyone doing this, please post good descriptions of your solutions :-)

Unfortunately I'm not at home due to CV19, so I can't try the solution myself.

Dockhead, seems that you are a Dane like me, right ?



OK, lots of things to think about.


Might be worth trying to use a GoPro with the antenna solution mentioned. A GoPro without this wouldn't really be useful -- you have to retrieve the GoPro, and watch the recorded video, but without reference hard to know what you're looking at -- meh. But if you can see it in real time maybe useful.


I would still rather have sonar doing proper imaging of the bottom. Looks like a "downscan" solution is possible.


I'll consider these two things; thanks to everyone for the input.


And no, I'm not a Dane, although I have a bit of Danish/Scottish blood -- I'm a Yank, on a UK flag boat.
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Old 12-07-2020, 19:39   #68
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Re: Bottom Imaging for Sailboats

Several years ago, I updated my boat electronics. The Raymarine MFD supported CHIRP sonar natively. The MFD was in their lower price range. I purchased the CHIRP transducer, it wasn’t too expensive. Despite what A64Pilot said earlier in the thread, boat up and down motion isn’t too hard to visually filter out - it’s sinusoidal. A rocky bottom is usually pretty jagged and very distinct. I use this all the time for my anchoring and it works great. From memory, the new MFD and transducer were probably just under $2k US. Since I needed the new MFD, that portion was a wash. That’s not including mounting the thruhull transducer in a new hole.
I couldn’t imagine anchoring without that setup.
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Old 13-07-2020, 02:26   #69
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Re: Bottom Imaging for Sailboats

Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateGuy View Post
Several years ago, I updated my boat electronics. The Raymarine MFD supported CHIRP sonar natively. The MFD was in their lower price range. I purchased the CHIRP transducer, it wasnít too expensive. Despite what A64Pilot said earlier in the thread, boat up and down motion isnít too hard to visually filter out - itís sinusoidal. A rocky bottom is usually pretty jagged and very distinct. I use this all the time for my anchoring and it works great. From memory, the new MFD and transducer were probably just under $2k US. Since I needed the new MFD, that portion was a wash. Thatís not including mounting the thruhull transducer in a new hole.
I couldnít imagine anchoring without that setup.

That's exactly what I have in mind. Can you share more details about what you can see, and how this works?


Also, I will have a satellite compass which gives very precise heave data which can be used to filter out the up and down motion.
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Old 13-07-2020, 05:44   #70
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Re: Bottom Imaging for Sailboats

Hi Dockhead,

I'm about to break rule number one... donít post in cruisers forum... I see you have broken that rule a few times, so I'm sure you donít mind.

What you are after is side scan (NOT forward scan). I believe side scan itís the most under utilised anchoring safety feature on a modern cruising yacht, and makes anchoring/scoping out new areas so much easier and safer. Build your own structure map function is available on most modern units. If you have a Zeus 2 it has this feature. This post clearly highlights the lack of knowledge sharing between the fishing and cruising worlds.

It comes from several manufactures, under some confusing names, but they all will show you that picture of the bottom that you are chasing.

Do yourself a huge favour and have a look at the following videos Ė just change every time he mentions ďfishĒ to ďanchorageĒ or ďbommieĒ.

go to 4:36 for the map it can produce, not a great example you will get the idea
I tried to find one showing rock and mud delineations, with a good explanation for how side scan works. And the other has StructureMap function that the Zeus units have built in. Donít get hung up on the brand, they are all good, and if you have a modern Zeus2/Zeus 3 it will be up there with the best.

Your Zeus will most likely be compatible, but depending on model you have depends on the evolution of transducer that you can get. The newer the transducer and screen you have, the higher resolution you get BUT that doesn't mean that the old stuff is rubbish, just not quite as clear. There are compatibility charts, and yes lots of the sailing specific shops donít have a clue about this but in the end of the day your B&G Zeus is a Simrad with sailing specific functions/software Ė they ar the same hardware including inputs and outputs. It retains the sounder functions, however they are glossed over to the extent that many think they simply donít have that feature. What they generally lack is colour gamets/contrast settings for distinguishing fish etc.

You will almost certainly get downscan with the side imaging transducer, but itís the side scan stuff you should focus on to draw that picture for you.

Catch ya,
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Old 13-07-2020, 06:51   #71
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Re: Bottom Imaging for Sailboats

Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateGuy View Post
Several years ago, I updated my boat electronics. The Raymarine MFD supported CHIRP sonar natively. The MFD was in their lower price range. I purchased the CHIRP transducer, it wasnít too expensive. Despite what A64Pilot said earlier in the thread, boat up and down motion isnít too hard to visually filter out - itís sinusoidal. A rocky bottom is usually pretty jagged and very distinct. I use this all the time for my anchoring and it works great. From memory, the new MFD and transducer were probably just under $2k US. Since I needed the new MFD, that portion was a wash. Thatís not including mounting the thruhull transducer in a new hole.
I couldnít imagine anchoring without that setup.
By visually filtering it out, your saying you interpret the image, there is no filtering in the device?
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Old 21-07-2020, 20:30   #72
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Re: Bottom Imaging for Sailboats

Our yacht has
Raymarine AXIOM 9 - 9” Multifunction Display
"Color: RealVision 3D & 600W Sonar & RV-100 Transducer", "Size: ANZ Navionics Plus"
we also got a card reader helps to store image
the boat is a 40ft steel boro center cockpit ketch with small dodger
we mounted the RV-100 to a stainless steel pole approx 3m long which
goes down one of the center cockpit vertical steel drainpipes
this way we can raise for normal running and lower the sensor to avoid the keel when going slow and inspecting anchorage dive sites etc
since the RV-100 has a gyro inbuilt no up down lines from waves and we can rotate the sensor to scan up to 100m 360 deg around the boat
with RealVision 3D gives some epic views
a bit pricey but AUD2500 but includes GPS sounder etc
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Old 22-07-2020, 21:28   #73
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Re: Bottom Imaging for Sailboats

You really need to set your requirements first, before the answer will become clear.

What are you trying to achieve?
- see what's in front of the keel/boat? (forward looking sonar)
- see what's around the boat? (side imaging sonar)
- see what's under the boat? (down imaging sonar)

GoPro on a stick is a worse way to implement a sealed bullet cam linked to MFD. The issue with video is that it's usually narrow and anything fish-eye distorts the view too much. Also the quality of water can make the camera useless (dirt, algae, sand, kelp, etc)

Any of the mentioned sonars will require install in contact with water as they are high frequency and they don't travel through the hull well. So in-hull or shoot-through is not for you.

Transom mounted sonar is possible, but location is less than ideal as it will mostly show you what's already behind you, not what's in front.

A forward looking sonar will require a through-hull similar to those of seacocks.

Down or side imaging sonars can be installed with hole as small as needed to pass a wire with the connector to the mfd and then sealed/glassed.

imaging sonars are not very expensive (especially for shallow water use), but MFD can be. your best luck is a used (but recent) MFD and a new sonar from someone like Lowrence, Garmin, etc.
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Old 27-01-2023, 05:11   #74
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Re: Bottom Imaging for Sailboats

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Hi,
I'm in the middle of testing this very same thing. I currently have a B&G suit with the Zeus3 MFD, a sonar hub and fwd looking sonar but no 'fish finder type' transducer. Last time I talked to one of the B&G representatives about fish finder transducers they weren't very helpful, and the guy at West Marine, who was surprisingly knowledgable about fish finders was worried about the ability of the MFD (Software) to recognize the transducers.

I currently have a Garmin Fish finder on the dinghy and I explore the anchorage to 'see' what type of bottom I have around the sailboat. Since Lowrance and Simrad are part of the Navico family with B&G, I just bought (as in 3 days ago) a Lowrance fish finder with a 3-in-1 transducer (it has Chip sonar, down scan and side scan). I do a lot of fishing, hopefully this helps me do a lot of catching too...

My idea is to use it in the dinghy, but bring the transducer to the sailboat when cruising. Once I get it, I'll connect it to the MFD, and if it works I'll let you know.

Keep in mind, the transducers that give you side scan (or structure scan, or side view, all the same things but with names varying among manufacturers) are elongated (no through hull shape). If you want to 'fill' an existing through, you will most likely have to get Chirp sonar only.

I'll report back once I connect the Lowrance transducer to the B&G Zeus3.

I.
Hi Ivanvet,

We're looking to buy a Lowrance 3-1 transducer to plug into our zeus 3. I was just wondering if this ended up working for you. Would appreciate any feedback.

Cheers
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Old 27-01-2023, 10:15   #75
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Re: Bottom Imaging for Sailboats

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Hi Ivanvet,

We're looking to buy a Lowrance 3-1 transducer to plug into our zeus 3. I was just wondering if this ended up working for you. Would appreciate any feedback.

Cheers
Hi there,
I must admit I dropped that project in favor of other more necessary ones. I stopped actively fishing while sailing (just trolling sometimes), and I only have the fishfinder in the dinghy.

Good luck!
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