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Old 10-03-2017, 07:01 AM   #1
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Depth sounders and placement

Trawler folks have a tendency to venture into shallow waters.
Current depth sounders are generally located about 1/2 way back from the bow which depending upon the length of your hull can be a long way back.

I want to know the depth of the water in the forward part of the hull.
Without going to the expense of 'look ahead' depth sounders, what would you suggest?

Yes, I realize this sounder should not/could not be used at 'speed' but would be a fantastic tool during our adventure.

Perhaps we all know from experience the depth of the water when maneuvering at slow speed as we run aground.
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:17 AM   #2
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I have spent 15 years in shallow water as an assistance tower going aground trying to get those off who couldnt do it themselves.

I dont think a depth sounder transducer placement will change a thing.

If going very slow and poking your nose into shallows.......there are bobber like transducers that you can cast out ahead of your boat that wifi back to a pad or phone.

Reviews are mixed, but one of the few alternatives.

I gave up and bought a nice little sounder/plotter for the dink, plus an additional ducer for the big boat. I plan on anchoring up and using the dink to scope out creeks and anchorages for depths as if the big boat is moving, Even with a ducer right in the bow, it just means you have a a few second warning you will go aground or hit something the vast majority of the time.
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:33 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
I have spent 15 years in shallow water as an assistance tower going aground trying to get those off who couldnt do it themselves.

I dont think a depth sounder transducer placement will change a thing.

If going very slow and poking your nose into shallows.......there are bobber like transducers that you can cast out ahead of your boat that wifi back to a pad or phone.

Reviews are mixed, but one of the few alternatives.

I gave up and bought a nice little sounder/plotter for the dink, plus an additional ducer for the big boat. I plan on anchoring up and using the dink to scope out creeks and anchorages for depths as if the big boat is moving, Even with a ducer right in the bow, it just means you have a a few second warning you will go aground or hit something the vast majority of the time.
All excellent points. Plus, there just isn't a good place to mount a transducer in the pointy end of a boat for a whole variety of issues. Read the installation manual for any good sounder and they'll explain it.

I liked having two sounders with transducers on each side of the keel for redundancy more than any thing. One of the first things we did as well when we got our Hatteras (5 foot draft) to put a simple sounder on the Whaler tender, mostly for its own exploration purposes but occasionally to scope potential alternative routes and anchorage points for the big boat.

If you know you are in sketchy depths, go slow, very slow!
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:53 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
Trawler folks have a tendency to venture into shallow waters.
Current depth sounders are generally located about 1/2 way back from the bow which depending upon the length of your hull can be a long way back.

I want to know the depth of the water in the forward part of the hull.
Without going to the expense of 'look ahead' depth sounders, what would you suggest?

Yes, I realize this sounder should not/could not be used at 'speed' but would be a fantastic tool during our adventure.

Perhaps we all know from experience the depth of the water when maneuvering at slow speed as we run aground.
At first glance this sounds like a good idea but in reality, on a smaller boat, you're only gaining a few feet and when the boat is moving, that's not even a few seconds.

Installation would be a problem. You have no flat surface in the bow, you would have to account for a very steep angle. You would have to mount the transducer far enough that it is never out of the water.

For me, at least, it's not worth trying to relocate my transducer. For you, you decide.
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:13 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
Trawler folks have a tendency to venture into shallow waters.
Current depth sounders are generally located about 1/2 way back from the bow which depending upon the length of your hull can be a long way back.

I want to know the depth of the water in the forward part of the hull.
Without going to the expense of 'look ahead' depth sounders, what would you suggest?

Yes, I realize this sounder should not/could not be used at 'speed' but would be a fantastic tool during our adventure.

Perhaps we all know from experience the depth of the water when maneuvering at slow speed as we run aground.
You can see my fovard look sonar projekt last winter Forward scan sonar sensor for trawlers place where the keel

Now the experience accumulated about 2000nm, I can confirm the eco pilot is doing what promise. Here, the waters are very rocky and turbid so the device has been useful in difficult places that do not have exact depth information. The device can not give a very precise depth forwards, but warns of potential risk sufficiently precisely so that it can avoid earthing. If you want to know something more, ask me
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:32 AM   #6
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For obstacle/shallows avoidance....sonar yes, depth sounder not likely.

Again thats for most operations and typical setups.

Special cases or special depthsoundets may meet your needs.
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