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  #1  
Old 09-15-2008
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Thru hull sensors - retractable?

Im the victim of a lightening power surge that blew out most of my instruments, and now am selecting new ones, which includes the depth and speed/temp transducers. Raymarine sells 2 kinds of thru hull versions: fixed and retractable. Why would I want a retractable version on a Catalina 30? Are there any advantages? Appreciate any insight.

Thanks much
Dave in NC
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Old 09-15-2008
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a retractable version would allow easy replacement if it failed or just needed to be cleaned
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Keeping them clean is hte #1 reason. More important for speed than depth.

If you are starting from scratch, I strongly suggest you look at doing a NMEA 2000 netork. YOU can mix and match some peieces from different manufacturers, something that has been promised for years, but finally is seeing some traction. For instance, I have a Simrad Depth and speed (old IS12), Lowrance chartplotter, Simrad tillerpilot, Garmin cockpit display (GMI10) and soon a Garmin wind transducer.

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I'd look at the TackTick instrument lineup, since it will save you a lot of hassles in wiring. The mast-top wind transducer doesn't require any wiring. The instrument display heads also don't require any wiring. The hull transmitter needs to be wired to the two transducers and to power, but doesn't require any further wiring. You can also add displays without much effort in the future.

The retractable transducers, IIRC, have a flap in the transducer through-hull tube that seals the tube as you remove the transducer, which greatly reduces how much water comes into the boat during the swap out process. They also have a quick-release pin which allows you to pull the transducer and swap it for a dummy plug without unscrewing the transducer shell thru-hull attachment.
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Was going with Raymarine, cause I had vintage datamarine equipment, and thats what was offered as a like replacement. Raymarine uses Seatalk I believe.

So your saying that NMEA 2000 or Ticktack wireless is the way to go? I dunno - I mess with computers as a hobby, and wireless, bluetooth, wifi, or whatever, is just not always as rock solid as a good ol wire.

Get this - the replacement firm estimates almost $3500 just to do the install of the raymarine ST60+ instruments, which includes pulling new wiring to the mast..

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Db-

Given that the Raymarine St60+ instrument package (wind, speed, depth, temp) is going for less than $1300... you're paying $2300 for the installation. You can do the installation of the TackTick gear (about $2000) yourself, using the old through-hull holes more likely than not, and still end up saving about $1400. It isn't rocket science.
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Old 10-11-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Db-

Given that the Raymarine St60+ instrument package (wind, speed, depth, temp) is going for less than $1300... you're paying $2300 for the installation. You can do the installation of the TackTick gear (about $2000) yourself, using the old through-hull holes more likely than not, and still end up saving about $1400. It isn't rocket science.
Thats what I am thinking! Not that I wouldn't install the Raymarine stuff myself anyway, the other points also make a lot of sense.
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I formerly had a retractable through-hull installation for my knotmeter and depthsounder, but presently I don't get that information with a hole in my hull. Today's sonar transducers that sound through the hull as well as GPS data for speed are very accurate.
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Retractable vs removable.. most speed transducers (paddles) are removable.. Retractable to me means the paddlewheel can be pulled up into a cavity without removing it from the fitting.

I always remove our paddlewheel and replace it with a plug prior to hauling, avoiding the risk of the strap crushing the paddles. Always exciting as the water gushes for a second (no flapper). We once chartered a boat whose knotmeter retracted as described.. easy to protect the sensor without the stress of switching to the plug.
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I like my removable transducers (log and depth). When I have my boat surveyed and they did the short haul, the lifting straps came right across the the log transducer, damaging it's paddle wheel. Also, both were covered in sea creatures that enjoyed the nooks and crannies.

Now, I pull them out at the end of each weekend to prevent that. The process takes about 10 seconds each, maybe. Water comes in, but it just goes right into the bilge. And you can bet they will come out before the next short haul. For the winter, they are probably coming home with me.

If you are wondering if they leak, they do not. Not a drop.

I am using older Nexus stuff that came with the boat. I am very pleased with it. I do admit it would be nice to have the flap SD mentioned, but I don't really miss it and would not select instruments based upon that feature alone. Of course there are other reasons to pick Tick Tack or Raymarine beyond the flap.

As for the wireless, I'm also in the computer industry and where I can use actual wires, I prefer to. You only have to run the wire up the mast once, and I also prefer not to use batteries where I can avoid that (other than the house battery of course). That's a personal preference thing.

Just my 2 cents worth. Good luck!
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