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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-23-2012
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depth sounder thru-hull

Well I already installed mine, but I think it would be helpful to others considering doing this themselves to post my concerns.

I didn't want a through-hull transducer, but after ordering the transom mount one, and calling for technical help on where to locate it, the customer service guy from the company told me that the transom mount would not work for a sailboat.

So I returned it and got a through-hull. Of course, the instructions didn't tell me where to mount the through-hull, and the customer service guy for this one couldn't tell me where to mount it. The through-hull is made by airmar, and no instructions for the installation were included. A quick google search told me they are in France, and with limited time before I was getting my boat in the water, I was getting frustrated. So I looked around, and saw that other sailboats in the marina mounted these things just in front of the keel. So that's what I did. There is some deadrise in the hull in that area, so I tried to drill the through-hull as close to the centerline as possible.

Of course, the glass at the centerline is thicker and gets thinner the further from the centerline you go. So when I screwed down the through-hull, there was about a 3/16 inch gap on one side on the outside. I used a thin strip of Butyl around the outside of the through hull, to seal up the gap itself, and under the outside lip of the through-hull I used boat life, to try and seal the gap and because supposedly butyl shouldn't be used under the waterline.

The boat is in the water and doesn't leak, but the through-hull could feel more solid. It is also at about a 10 degree angle, so I am concerned about accuracy...

Is this gonna work out OK? What should I do in the future when installing transducers on keelboats?
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Old 03-23-2012
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Re: depth sounder thru-hull

I'm no expert, but it sounds OK to me. For those who are going to use a unit that mounts inside the boat, you can temporarily mount the transducer with the wax from a toilet ring. You can get a good idea of the signal b/f mounting more perminantly.
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Old 03-23-2012
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Re: depth sounder thru-hull

The 10 degrees should not effect your accuracy.
"Through hull could feel more solid"...sounds less than ideal...might want to have that looked at sooner than later.
Unless using transducer for water temp or as fishfinder I done cutting holes in bottom
for transducer.
Should be able to shoot through solid fiberglass hull with no voids. Can use ziploc bag
filled with water to locate transducer. Can use silicone to perm. install (I have successfully for years) make sure transducer does not move until silicone is set, very forgiving way to go.
Or can use epoxy as usually recomended by manufacturer...you get only one chance to
do it right this way.
There are several threads here that discuss subject at length.
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Old 03-23-2012
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Re: depth sounder thru-hull

I have used both silicone and epoxy for inside mounting of a transducer. Checking with a baggie of water first confirms the right spot.
Ahead of the keel on center or as close as possible is the best place on a sailboat. The problem with one mounted through the hull, other than the extra hole in the hull, is that is is a bit vulnerable to hitting debris in that location.
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Old 03-23-2012
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I did the water in the baggie thing and got very little by way of reading. I like the toilet ring wax idea, and may give that a try.
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Old 03-23-2012
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Re: depth sounder thru-hull

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterchech View Post
I didn't want a through-hull transducer, but after ordering the transom mount one, and calling for technical help on where to locate it, the customer service guy from the company told me that the transom mount would not work for a sailboat.
Hey,

Sorry to tell you this now, but a transom mount transducer can work perfectly well in a sailboat. Just mount it inside the boat, with the bottom of the transducer against the bottom of the boat. I did this with my boat. I used toilet bowl wax, intending to use epoxy when I found a good spot. Well, 4 years later the wax is still working fine.

Barry
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Re: depth sounder thru-hull

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Hey,

Sorry to tell you this now, but a transom mount transducer can work perfectly well in a sailboat. Just mount it inside the boat, with the bottom of the transducer against the bottom of the boat. I did this with my boat. I used toilet bowl wax, intending to use epoxy when I found a good spot. Well, 4 years later the wax is still working fine.

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Old 03-23-2012
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Re: depth sounder thru-hull

For future reference, the shoot through the hull method has very few negatives--none actually come to mind. Four years ago, I stuck our Airmar puck-type transducer in some wax (toilet seal variety) right next to the old through-hull. Works perfectly.
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Old 03-23-2012
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depth sounder thru-hull

Vaseline will hold the transducer in the bilge too.
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Re: depth sounder thru-hull

Unless they have moved Airmar is in South Carolina. They were very helpful with my transducer woes and gave me all the information I needed.
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