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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-11-2010
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Depth Gauge or Fish Finder...

Hello Again;

The Depth Gauge on my boat is toast and I am looking at a replacement. I thought the easiest way of repairing it would be to use a fish finder. I can borrow a fish finder off my father in law to get the boat back to Canada then worry about figuring out if the transducer is bad or the gauge or whatever.

Would it just make more sense to replace the unit now as the boat is out of the water than to fiddle with a fish finder and then replace the unit next year when I haul out the boat to do the bottom paint?

Maybe I am trying to take the easy way out on a few things and this is something I should just take the time to fix now.

Thanks all;

Robert
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2010
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Why not just replace the depthsounder. It would help if you said what kind of boat you had in your signature or include it in the post. If the boat has a solid glass hull, you can install a new depthsounder without installing a new through-hull, since most modern depth transducers can easily shoot through a solid glass hull.

One way to do this installation is to set the transducer on a ziploc bag full of water. Move it around until you find a spot where it gives a good reading.

Mark the spot on the hull and then fiberglass in a 4" PVC schedule 80 clean out fitting to the hull there.

Cut a hole in the clean out fitting cap and mount the transducer in the cap. Fill the cleanout with mineral oil or non-toxic antifreeze.

Screw the cap into place.
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Old 03-12-2010
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I reccomend the FIsh FInder. The advantage of these units is that with the graphical output, you can see the trend of the bottom (and fish or course) and by adjusting the gain you can also get a fairly good idea of bottom conditions--e.g. a sharp return indicates a hard bottom, a sharp return under a fuzzy upper layer a hard bottom under mud or grass, etc.

FWIW...
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Old 03-12-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
I reccomend the FIsh FInder. The advantage of these units is that with the graphical output, you can see the trend of the bottom (and fish or course) and by adjusting the gain you can also get a fairly good idea of bottom conditions--e.g. a sharp return indicates a hard bottom, a sharp return under a fuzzy upper layer a hard bottom under mud or grass, etc.

FWIW...
Hey;

Yeah the fish finder is brand new and free so i might as well take it. I should probably install a new depth finder as well since I will be working on the boat anyway.

Thanks for the info;

Robert
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Old 03-12-2010
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Just a fish finder story. The 35 year old depth sounder on the MC crapped out on one of my trips south. No way to access it with out pulling the mast. I bought a 100+- $ transom mounted unit from WM. The tranducer would not send thru the thick wood hull so I installed it on the aft edge of the rudder and it worked. A few limitations: the reading is aft of the low point of the full keel and any thing above 2000 RPM and the prop wash disrupted the signal. I have improved the location off the rudder but the unit is the same after three years. IT WORKS. Dan S/V Marian Claire

Last edited by marianclaire; 03-12-2010 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 03-12-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post

Cut a hole in the clean out fitting cap and mount the transducer in the cap. Fill the cleanout with mineral oil or non-toxic antifreeze.

Screw the cap into place.
Is the mineral oil a dampener of some sort?
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Old 03-12-2010
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No, the mineral oil or non-toxic antifreeze transmit the sound waves from the transducer to the hull without allowing bubbles to form.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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