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Old 09-16-2019, 02:23 PM   #21
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A lot of good points here. I don't have much experience with sonar. I have mounted many transducers of various styles. One transducer kept giving an owner fits. He installed it himself, shoot through hull type. I didn't bother to pay attention to the brand or model. I pulled the TD, cleaned and painted the hull with Bilge Kote, and re-bedded the TD in Dolphinte. I made an arch across the TD leaving the center higher than the rest. I made sure there was no air bubble trapped between the TD and flat spot on the centerline of the hull. It was solid fiberglass cruiser. The owner made a little stand that held the TD tight to the hull. After the re-bed, it worked perfectly. I got the idea from that Ship Shape TV show that used to be on the air many years ago. Heck, it's probably been that long since I did that TD re-bed.
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:34 PM   #22
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Have installed dozens and dozens of old style and new purposely made shoot thru the hull ducers.


Everyone has worked except for one on an old sailboat and the unit aas only 300W. Even that worked much of the time in some of the modes


I am sorry for those with failures but done well and roperly working equipment, shooting thru a hull is not a big deal.
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:42 PM   #23
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One of the possible causes of depth finder erratic behavior and random loss of correct depth is electronic noise interference with the return signal. In my case it was the battery charger system. Only caused interference at certain charge amps. Manifested as radio frequency spikes at the finder frequencies. Shut off the charger when you are experiencing the problem with your depth finder and see if it all of a sudden it works again. Also those 12 volt florescent light fixtures are known to cause depth finder interference.
Thanks when at idle, there is no issue. My mechanic said frequently if it has bottom paint on it or weeds or barnacles or it somehow got scratched up it can cause erratic behavior and we are hauling out later this month to do new bottom paint so we will see.
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Old 09-16-2019, 03:54 PM   #24
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I get it about not wanting to spend a bunch of money to shift away from the brand of all the rest of your electronics just because the sounder is wonky. I felt the same why when a hurricane blew water right through the face of my elderly Furuno AP controller; so I found an expensive replacement on eBay, but not as expensive as redoing the entire boat's electronics!

I actually had three sounders heads and three external 'ducers on my trawler, and it's too long to go into, but the sounders never died while the displays went south all the time. It was nothing to wire up a new display to the 'ducers; I just monkeyed around with the wires until I got a reading representing the depth the boat sat in.

The final sounder I installed with a very expensive bronze boat-shaped 'ducer was a color Humminbird unit. I had considered them bass boat units, but the 343 unit I had employed a control/display at lower and upper helm with a switch to shift between which one was running the 'ducer, and I liked it a great deal.

Nowadays, I am running an integrated system like many have, and I cannot say I like the concept preferring instead the eclectic mix I had on the trawler with some talking to each other and others not as I liked it.
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:25 AM   #25
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Get Airmar?

Just installed an Airmar using the same hole in the hull as a previous sounder. It works great and does not have a protruding object under the boat. They have different types and can be installed parallel to the hull surface without any shims. Based on the deadrise of the hull at the place where they are installed, they use a correction factor of some sort. It works nicely and if you get an expensive one you can watch the bottom as you move over it and see the fish.
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:49 PM   #26
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I was losing the bottom OFTEN, especially in less than 10', when I needed it the most!

I decided to do what Beneteau did, starting with their 2014 or 2015 ST44's, I abandoned the original, blue, boat-shaped one, and replaced it with a Raymarine P79 hockey-puck sized beam-through-the hull style.

Great improvement!
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:57 PM   #27
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When we bought our current boat it had several old unused transducers (3). I have the port engine out right now and just started glassing one of them closed. I also installed a new Marine Elegance head that uses pressure water so that through hull is also going away. I donít understand why people just cut the cables and donít actually remove and glass up the old transducer hole. Next year when I pull the starboard engine I have 2 more unused transducers that will go away and also an old bronze plate and will be glassed up.
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Old 01-24-2020, 06:10 PM   #28
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I don't understand why one would reduce the number of depth sounding devices on a boat.
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Old 01-24-2020, 06:35 PM   #29
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Probably because they were outdated and no longer being used.
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:07 PM   #30
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I have had issues with our Raymarine sounder. So as a last resort I set it back to the factory default settings, and it has worked very good since. Lost bottom a few times when over 500', but I can live with that. I think it might have been a problem with the previous owner and then myself setting to many custom settings. A very easy fix and the price was right!
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:32 PM   #31
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Probably because they were outdated and no longer being used.
So why eliminate the function entirely instead of repairing/replacing?
Besides a good sounder never becomes "outdated".
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Old 01-24-2020, 08:27 PM   #32
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Because I donít need 4 depth sounders in my boat. I need one. If it goes bad, I will fix or replace it.
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Old 01-24-2020, 11:37 PM   #33
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So why eliminate the function entirely instead of repairing/replacing?
Besides a good sounder never becomes "outdated".
Definition of "a Good Sounder" must include "functioning properly".
I have a few protrusions for fairings with transducers, none of which are attached to "Functional" sounders. If I ever take the time, those will go away.
Until then, they cause me no angst whatsoever.
I also have a pair of "shoot through" transducers that are attached to functioning sounders.
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:58 AM   #34
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I'd love to have 2 reliable sounders, especially one with "look forward" capability.
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Old 01-25-2020, 11:57 AM   #35
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I'd love to have 2 reliable sounders, especially one with "look forward" capability.
How far forward and how accurate will it be?
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:10 PM   #36
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How far forward and how accurate will it be?
Not sure, but anything will be better than seeing a depth when it’s too late to do anything about it.
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:44 PM   #37
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Because I donít need 4 depth sounders in my boat. I need one. If it goes bad, I will fix or replace it.
Well, if you don't stray far from home and/or civilization, I suppose you could get away with that. But if one goes bad in the middle of nowhere, then what?

Plus I've found that having transducers on both sides of the boat to be helpful in narrow sketchy channels.

As for some other posts, I haven't seen a forward sounder that gives you an early enough warning, unless you are coming upon an unchartered seamount.
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:59 AM   #38
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OP.....Sounds like the machine could be reading thermoclines or density changes.....pretty rare but high gain or an auto setting with any fuzz on the ducer can do strange things. Like another poster suggested, sometimes a factory reset helps. Often as a field tech, and the basics were checked, factory support would recommend a reset.

As far as shoot thrus... I have mounted dozens or more and worked on many, many more that have worked just fine. Some ultimately need relocation if the initial spot want a good one.
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Old 01-29-2020, 09:35 AM   #39
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From what I've read the forward sensors are only useful at slow speeds. Nothing's going to warn you soon enough to do anything if you're running faster than 3-4kts. That and you'd likely be carrying too much momentum to be able to make effective course corrections anyway. That and there's not going to be a way to mount it at an effective angle that would be able to clearly obtain the necessary reflections. At least not on a recreational use boat.

I've always been interested in a 3-D sonar setup. Side-scan, etc. Ones that pair with the chartplotter to sample and store the bottom contours. And then let you see that data as 3D on the chartplotter. Those tend to be oriented more toward fishing and only map the bottom as you're passing over it. But I'm not (yet) in the market to replace all my chart plotters so I've set the idea aside for a while.
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:04 AM   #40
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I haven't seen any of the newer models in the last 10 years or so...but will they tell you whether right or left is deeper?


If so that may be all you need in the ICW in many areas as the marked channel may not be very deep all the way across but you only need the deep spot to keep moving.


Areas near the inlets that have sand banks (bars) the change might be too steep for even the better forward lookers at any speed.
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