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post #61 of 125 Old 09-02-2014
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Re: Why do people still use depth sounders?

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Was it calibrated? Was it showing depth below keel, depth below transducer, depth of water, or some random, uncalibrated number?

By the way all the spiffy stuff that the fishfinder does happens in software. The transducers are the same.
Mine shows the depth under the transducer which is mounted 18 inches below the water line and 24 inches above the bottom of my keel it is nice to know those numbers for your own vessel as well.

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post #62 of 125 Old 09-02-2014
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Re: Why do people still use depth sounders?

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I love your blog. But not nearly as much as I love good electronics.

I use my depth gauge like you use the internet and a digital camera. You could do a "blog" completely by hand like in the old days - but that would be stupid.
I nominate smackdaddy for the win.

I don't think the OP is really interested in our answers to this question, so I'll just add my +1 to smack's post and call it good.

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I have a sauna on my boat, therefore I win.
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post #63 of 125 Old 09-02-2014
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Re: Why do people still use depth sounders?

It's an easy way to navigate in tandem with your gps or paper chart. When you're furiously tacking back and forth in a channel, it's nice to be able to hold the tack til the last minute.

It is a bit like those "Traffic Ahead" signs on the highway that you come across 20 minutes after crawling to a stop though. Still, there's a certain charm to the shrill screeching of the alarm each time I sail/plow in and out of the skinny water of the home marina!

First year, and Yes, I've run aground.

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post #64 of 125 Old 09-02-2014
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Re: Why do people still use depth sounders?

If you don't run around at least once a year you ain't sailing

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post #65 of 125 Old 09-02-2014
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Re: Why do people still use depth sounders?

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Murphy is gonna fix the OPs arrogance about not having run aground... this can be assured.
Well, that might require that he ventures beyond his local waters...

You know, like... "Voyaging"...

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post #66 of 125 Old 09-02-2014
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Re: Why do people still use depth sounders?

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Was it calibrated? Was it showing depth below keel, depth below transducer, depth of water, or some random, uncalibrated number? RTFM.



Then the yard owes you a haul and cleaning.

By the way all the spiffy stuff that the fishfinder does happens in software. The transducers are the same.
Dude,

I read the F'ing manual... and the unit was calibrated to display the depth of water from the surface... Don't go making assumptions.

While I am sure that it was state of the art in '87, it was a complete POS in 2012, when I ripped it out. Back when I first bought the boat it would read 10.5, 10.7, 3.5, 3.2, 8.8, then 10.2. WTF was that? a fish? did I run aground?

Yes, I agree that the yard that stripped, barrier coated, and painted the bottom of my boat owed me a new transducer. But, I'd have a new transducer, with the same old POS depth sounder, and I would have to pick a fight to get it. Not worth the aggravation.

A fish finder is a FAR better tool because it shows you the depth, the bottom contour, and gives you a pretty good idea of what the bottom looks like... I installed the dual frequency transducer, which is far different from the old one, to shoot through the hull. It does not just show the user a number which may, or may not be accurate, as my old depth sounder did.


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post #67 of 125 Old 09-02-2014
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Re: Why do people still use depth sounders?

fwiw I had a standard horizion unit that did the numbers game...howver I git used to it and decided that the first and last numbers of the series where the right ones...jajajaja

all my previous boats for whatever reason have included fishfinders and I bet you its because people dont want to bother with installing a thruhull

ps why would a new transducer be needed because its painted over? do some get damaged like that?

new to me

Merit 25 sold...Islander 36 still afloat? who knows...Im still in Columbus, and back...I think...jajajaja!!!!
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post #68 of 125 Old 09-02-2014
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Re: Why do people still use depth sounders?

I too used to walk to school 10 miles in the snow in my bare feet. Old enough to mean it...sort of.

Seriously, priority for NAV gear starts with a compass and a sounder. In my youth that's all we had in the fog. Others have mentioned following a contour to a A boy, then headings marker to marker to find your way home. It works.
Could do this with a hand line but you'd be plenty busy

When entering an unfamiliar harbor I'm happy when everything agrees including compass, sounder, chart plotter, radar, marker numbers, and if it's clear, eyeball. Some places in my neighborhood change with moving sand. Chart plotter alone won't show that.
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post #69 of 125 Old 09-02-2014
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Re: Why do people still use depth sounders?

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Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
I read the F'ing manual... and the unit was calibrated to display the depth of water from the surface... Don't go making assumptions.
I didn't make assumptions - I asked questions.

You appear to have missed my most significant point, that the transducer in a modern fishfinder and the transducer in a modern depth sounder is the same piece of equipment. So you replaced an old transducer with a new one, and an old display with a new one. You still have a depth sounder, whatever the graphics are.

Most likely you had corroded connections in the old unit, but I wasn't there and I certainly am not going to ask you anymore questions at this point.

You asked why people would use a depth sounder and the overwhelming answer was that they are important navigational and operational tools. Remember that your fishfinder IS a depth sounder.

Now I am going to make an assumption that you bought a kit somewhere and now have a transom mounted transducer which means its readings will be subject to cavitation and air entrainment. You would be best off with a replacement thru-hull transducer with whatever kind of display head makes you happy.

The Airmar (pretty much the only game in town for recreational acoustic transducers for Garmin, Raymarine, Lowrance, Hummingbird, ...) dual-frequency transducer that came with your fishfinder is the same one that comes with a lot of numeric display depth sounders. The fishfinder display you have is surely available with thru-hull and through-the-hull transducers as well as transom mounts.

sail fast and eat well, dave S/V Auspicious

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post #70 of 125 Old 09-02-2014
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Re: Why do people still use depth sounders?

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Originally Posted by christian.hess View Post
fwiw I had a standard horizion unit that did the numbers game...howver I git used to it and decided that the first and last numbers of the series where the right ones...jajajaja
My old one was a Signet Marine SL172. It updated about once a second, and would continue to spew numbers that I really didn't trust.
Quote:
all my previous boats for whatever reason have included fishfinders and I bet you its because people dont want to bother with installing a thruhull
Nope, fish finders can use through hulls, and can also be far more accurate, with more features, than a numbers only depth sounder. The real reason is that they are cheaper. Because they are frequently stand-alone devices, they don't have to have the networking (NMEA 0183/2000/other) interfaces that depth sounders do. You can buy a great stand alone fish finder for $300. You want a sounder from Garmin; that'll be $399 and up for a GCV10, plus $150-$1000 for a transducer, plus you have to tie it to a MFD, for another $1K...
Quote:
ps why would a new transducer be needed because its painted over? do some get damaged like that?

new to me
Because the paint can (and usually does) disrupt the sound wave emitted by the transducer (one way is that the paint can form a bubble on the face of the transducer), it will either decrease the range of the transducer, or (as in my case) disable it entirely.


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