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  #11  
Old 06-06-2012
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Fishfinder vs depth sensor

When my depth finder transducer needed to be replaced I used my fishfinder with a portable base and the transducer suction cupped to my transom. Worked fine except under extreme heeling. Changed my permanent transducer for one with a dummy plug but enjoyed features such as bottom graph, water temp. And alarms that the fishfinder provided!
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  #12  
Old 06-07-2012
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Re: Fishfinder vs depth sensor

It's also not an either-or thing. You can have a fishfinder AND a simple depth display via NEMA. though, probably not on the low end price points.
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Old 06-07-2012
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Re: Fishfinder vs depth sensor

When I purchased my sailboat (Gusto), it had a Garmin gpsmap 162 and a horizon speed unit in it. I replaced them with a Humminbird 858c DI mounted on the Garmin swing bracket mount (at the companionway), speed/temp sensor thru hull, depth and fishfinder thru hull. It gives me the best of both worlds, and has the ability to add radar when needed. Very simple to install, less than $1500. with navionics card. It works for me.
Dave
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Old 06-11-2012
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Re: Fishfinder vs depth sensor

I took out the depthsounder when I bought my Morgan 36 Out Island in 1999, and replaced it with a Humminbird "Wide 100" fishfinder.

The transducer is mounted inside the fiberglass hull (not a _cored_ hull), on a pad of silicone caulk. The silicone reduced efficiency -- I can only read bottom to 300', instead of the 600' rating of the sounder.

The fishfinder could have been mounted on the cockpit bulkhead, but I made a little plate of "Starboard" (plywood would have been fine) , mounted that on my steering pedestal, and mounted the Wide 100 readout free-standing on that.

I have no regrets. The unit has seen several thousand miles of sailing.

Charles
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Old 06-11-2012
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Re: Fishfinder vs depth sensor

I have a $150 fish finder / GPS. Gives me my ground speed, coordinates, has a MOB button, can beep if my anchor drags and can do basic nav functions like distance to destination. WAY more useful than a depth gauge. I shoot mine through-hull. Plus it has maps of lakes and rivers. And the Chesapeake.
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Old 06-11-2012
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Re: Fishfinder vs depth sensor

IMHO it's fishfinder all the way. I have two on my boat, one on the bulkhead in the cockpit and one at the pilothouse helm. I do a lot of fishing from my boat so there is good reason to go with fishfinders. But in any case, I think they provide some very useful information as has been pointed out by others. In addition, I can get a very good idea of the bottom when I'm prawning or crabbing which can be important. Following chart contours works well but the combination of a finder and chart does wonders. One of mine is a shoot through and the other is a bolt through. Both read pretty much identical and they are both reliable. I did the same thing as "copacabana" with my shoot through. That particular cheapo finder is a $99 Lowrance fishfinder that came with a transom mount transducer like this one which I epoxied to the inside of the hull. To find the best spot, I put some honey down and pressed the transducer down against it but I think water works just as well. When I found an ideal spot, I epoxied it in place being careful to make it as vertical as possible. Works like a charm but as has already been mentioned I would imagine silicone would work just as well and might be advantageous.

The drawbacks I see with the cheepo fishfinders:
Some of them are only good to 300 or 400 feet and are quite often restricted to less under certain sea conditions. Some of them cannot be calibrated to account for position below the water line. The last issue can be rectified with a sticker like (Add 3 Feet) stuck to the sounder.
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Last edited by Bilgewater; 06-11-2012 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 06-12-2012
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Re: Fishfinder vs depth sensor

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
Definitely go with the Fish Finder. As mentioned above, you can determine what type of bottom structure you are contending with, mud, sand, rock, weeds. Additionally, fish finders are far more powerful than standard depth indicators--some approaching 1,000 or more watts, which provides other useful information in deeper waters. Additionally, if your hull is not cored, most fish finders will shoot through a standard, fiberglass or aluminum hull without drilling holes. And, as for where to mount it--how about somewhere on the steering console rail. There are lots of them with rail-mount brackets and they have a relatively small footprint. The big bonus is, of course, if you want some fresh fish for dinner, you know what type of bottom structure you are over, therefore, determining whether it has the ability to hold various species of fish.

Good Luck,

Gary
If they are that powerful, then I wonder how much will my battery last if I don't use the motor for a while? Is there "economy mode" that uses less power?
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Re: Fishfinder vs depth sensor

Mine runs an entire season off a portable battery jump starter. Nowhere near 1000 watts. Either that was a typo or they make super powered fish finders for those bass boat guys that spend more money on lures than I spend on tow vehicles.
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Old 06-12-2012
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Re: Fishfinder vs depth sensor

Quote:
Originally Posted by copacabana View Post
Not so Beersmith. The transom mount that comes with your fishfinder can be mounted inside the hull. It has to be glued into place carefully so that no air bubbles diminish the signal. You can use epoxy or silicone. I prefer silicone because if you decide to remove the transducer after, it isn't a big deal. The fact that you don't need a hole in the hull for the transducer is just another one of the advantages of fishfinders.
Might I suggest mounting the transducer with polysulfite caulk instead of silicone. It allows you to remove and reuse the transducer if you need to and yet doesn't flex like silicone and won't reduce accuracy of the fish finder.

I have used a fish finder GPS for years and find it far superior do a simple depth gauge.
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Old 06-13-2012
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Re: Fishfinder vs depth sensor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Romario View Post
If they are that powerful, then I wonder how much will my battery last if I don't use the motor for a while? Is there "economy mode" that uses less power?
Because the pulse from the transducer is such a short duration, the power consumption is extremely low. If it were a constant 1,000-watts you're battery would be dead in a matter of hours. With this system the battery will last for weeks without going dead.

Good Luck,

Gary
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