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-   -   Fishfinder vs depth sensor (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/88306-fishfinder-vs-depth-sensor.html)

Romario 06-06-2012 12:31 PM

Fishfinder vs depth sensor
 
I looked online and it looks like the cheaper fish-finders that show depth as well are approximately the same price as the cheaper depth meters.

So my question is - why get depth meter if you can have fish-finder which usually has bigger screen and more function?

And what brand/model would you recommend?

smurphny 06-06-2012 02:02 PM

Re: Fishfinder vs depth sensor
 
Where do you put a big box with a screen in sailboat cockpit? Smaller is better for readouts.

minnow1193 06-06-2012 02:26 PM

Re: Fishfinder vs depth sensor
 
I have been considering the same thing. I don't fish much, but thought the extra detail would be nice to have. Ran into the same problem, though --where would i put it? I like the idea of a permanently mounted small readout next to the companionway. Always visible and easy to decipher.

MarkSF 06-06-2012 02:31 PM

Re: Fishfinder vs depth sensor
 
A simple number is all I need, with an audible alarm - far easier to decipher than a screen.

My NMEA2000 depth sensor displays on the chartplotter, so I don't need any extra display.

KiteRider 06-06-2012 02:43 PM

Re: Fishfinder vs depth sensor
 
Fish finder if you have an integrated chart plotter or eventually plan to have one. Depth sounder otherwise, unless you actually plan on doing a bit of fishing. If you do fish often though definitely get the fish finder.

copacabana 06-06-2012 02:51 PM

Re: Fishfinder vs depth sensor
 
A fishfinder is great to give you an idea of the type of bottom as well (sand, mud, weeds etc.) when you are anchoring. It also has alarms, water temp and a number of other functions. I believe you can get a cheap one for under $100. I have 2 and would never go back to a regular depth gauge. Just my 2 centavos...

Beersmith 06-06-2012 03:20 PM

Re: Fishfinder vs depth sensor
 
it seems to me that all of the fishfinder transducers are the transom mount style, which do not work for sailboats.

The thru hull or in hull transducers, used on sailboats, do not have fishfinding functions.

copacabana 06-06-2012 03:37 PM

Re: Fishfinder vs depth sensor
 
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.

travlineasy 06-06-2012 05:13 PM

Re: Fishfinder vs depth sensor
 
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 :cool:

bljones 06-06-2012 05:22 PM

Re: Fishfinder vs depth sensor
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by smurphny (Post 881429)
Where do you put a big box with a screen in sailboat cockpit? Smaller is better for readouts.

And yet people find room for a chart plotter AND a depth gauge AND a wind speed/direction readout, AND a compass and, to top it off, an iPad.

a small fishfinder is about the same width as a Raymarine ST series gauge, and twice the height. As a bonus, unlike depth displays, a fishfinder is bracket mounted, which means you don't have to drill a large hole in your bulkhead to install it.


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