Hand Held Alternative? - SailNet Community

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post #1 of 10 Old 12-03-2013 Thread Starter
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Hand Held Alternative?

Hello,
If you purchased an older boat with the depth sounder and speed/knot meter requiring service, would you attempt replacing or is there a good hand held alternative that is both reasonably priced and accurate/dependable?
Your thoughts please.

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post #2 of 10 Old 12-03-2013
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Re: Hand Held Alternative?

Whether I replaced it would depend on where I was sailing and in what. If you are in a familiar Lake or Bay with good charts and known depths, you could pass, if you like. A handheld GPS will give you speed over ground, but not through the water. It can be somewhat useful, unless you are really trying to be precise.

If I was cruising anywhere else, I would put in the right instruments.


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post #3 of 10 Old 12-03-2013
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Re: Hand Held Alternative?

You can get hand-held depth sounders, but I don't think they would be practical to use from the boat. They are great for using in the dinghy to sound an anchorage or channel. The cheapest solution for depth, I think, is a fishfinder. It shouldn't set you back more than 80 bucks. Speed you can get from a cheap GPS (hand-held or otherwise). It'll give you speed made good, not your speed through the water, but what you really need most is your speed to destination anyway. You might consider a GPS chartplotter/fishfinder combo. This will give you everything you need (including digital charts) in one reliable package (and for about 400 bucks).
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-03-2013
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Re: Hand Held Alternative?

I suppose the answer depends upon your particular boat (draft, keel design, etc.), your intended sailing plans and your location.

That said, I've got a handheld depth sounder (Norcross Hawkeye) that I occasionally use to explore gunkholes and potential anchorages in the dinghy, but in all honesty it doesn't always work and is certainly not as convenient as a fixed mount depth display in the cockpit of the mothership. I have a fixed mount knot meter, but I rarely pay any attention to it since I don't race and am usually not in any hurry.

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post #5 of 10 Old 12-03-2013
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Re: Hand Held Alternative?

As mentioned, handheld devices (other than GPS) are of limited utility from the deck of a boat. Craigslist and the like can be good sources of working replacements for the older gear for relatively little money (also saves 'butchering' existing cutouts or having to make cover plates) but eventually upgrading is going to be the way to go.

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Re: Hand Held Alternative?

im in the same boat...I will simply be blobbing on a fishfinder transducer inside at the best marked location

you have to have a non cored hull though at the waterline...

fishfinders are cheap...

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Re: Hand Held Alternative?

I installed a flushmount Uniden model depth sounder and shoot-thru tranducer in my previous boat. It was actually a fairly easy installation and only cost about $100.
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Re: Hand Held Alternative?

nice!
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Re: Hand Held Alternative?

Pea stick for depth

GPS for speed

D


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post #10 of 10 Old 12-03-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Hand Held Alternative?

Thanks,
Again it seems that replacing equipment that was originally designed and installed by the designers for the boat (Northern 29) is the right thing to do. I will take the advice and watch on Craigslist or Kijiji for equipment that is for sale or find new equipment.

Thanks All,
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