Depth Sounder Options - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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Old 03-03-2010
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Depth Sounder Options

So the 35 year old depth sounder in my SJ24 is dead and I'm looking for a replacement.

I'm looking for a solution that is cost effective for her, in other words: I don't want to put a nice $400+ Raymarine unit into a boat I'm going to be selling next season anyway.

So I'm looking at this Uniden unit, with in-hull transducer, for around $100:
West Marine: Sonar Units Product Display

I've also seen a lot of small boat guys getting fishfinders too... What would you guys do?
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Old 03-03-2010
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Should work just fine.
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I guess the only thing holding me back from buying the Uniden unit is the size of the thing. Its only 2" in diameter.

My eyesight is poor as it is, and if I mount it up on the bulkhead, I don't know if I'll be able to read it! Esp with wind, spray, etc in my eyes.

Maybe I can find a place farther back in the cockpit to mount it...
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Test it. Figure the four character display is .75-.90 " high, and 1.6- 1.85" wide. So grab you black felt tip pen and draw characters approximately to actual size on a post -it note and stick it to the wall. Stand two feet away from the post-it. Look clear? great! take a step back. and another. and another. stop when you can no longer clearly read the numbers or when you step over the virtual transom of your virtual cockpit. Try this test in varying light conditions, and you'll have your answers.
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I have to say that the contrast of a post it note is far superior to that of an LCD display. Try writing with overhead projector pen on a peice of cello. Tape that to the cabin. That is more representative of what a depth sounder looks like in the middle of the day.

At night, they should be lit, so it's a non-issue.
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bljones - Genuis! Why didn't I think of that? I'm definitely gonna try this. Thanks!

edit: just saw your post tager. Good idea, I'll have to see about rounding some materials up.
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You can probably get a decent size Fishfinder/DepthSounder for $150.00 or so. I have the Eagle brand combo unit that I paid about $200.00 for five years ago so it would be cheaper today. Mine has a big 5" display that I can read quite easily and I can change it to split screen or change to larger fonts or change what is displayed. Plus it has the paddlewheel for speed thru the water and temperature.Fairly simple and easy to use unit but eventually I plan to upgrade to a combo Chartplotter/Depthsounder/Fishfinder/Radar/AIS all in one because of space limitations.
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Raymarine ST40 Depth with Transducer is around $200 fairly good quality

A better Choice Garmin GPSMAP ( Charts pre-loaded )Chartplotter with Sounder transducer $550
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I have the hummingbird version of that sounder and it works great. Seeing it from 10 feet is fine for me, and if you set the shallow water alarms then the actuall depth isn't really a problem, as long as there is water under the keel. Who cares if you are in 100 feet of water anyway (unless you drop something overboard) I'm surprised at the resolution of the meter, and the clarity of the digits make it easy to see.
Good Luck
Kary
S/V Mariah
#49080
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Old 03-04-2010
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hmm...lots to think about.

CaptK - do you have a picture of how/where you mounted your unit?

Chuck - Thanks for the idea, I looked into the Raymarine ST-40 sounder and it only has an option for transom mount and thru-hull. I'm limited to getting a shoot-thru-hull type transducer. Raymarine offers one, but only starting in the ST60 product lines.

75R20 - i saw the humminbird version... must be the same thing. Do you have a picture of it mounted?

I have a few more weeks to decide for sure, but I'm leaning toward the Uniden one. I still need to do the eye "test" though...
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