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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Depth Sounder... As does most of the other civilized boating world... I also have a 5' draft.

My depth sounder is mounted in the engine compartment which happens to be behind the fixed keel.

So far I have grounded once. It wasn't a fun experience and the depth sounder said I had plenty of depth... If only I hadn't run over a extending mud bar.

While on our trip, we have seen all the barges with solar devices on the front of their vessels.

Do they make anything for pleasure boats that paints a "picture" of the approaching depths prior to actually being over the area? It would be nice to have a picture of the approaching sea floor, river bottom, or whatever prior to being over it.

I assume you can buy anything for a price, but is there an affordable piece of electronics for the "rest of us"?
 

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The normal location for a sailboat depth finder is in the bow, mine is under the V berth, so it is at least reading the depth before the keel gets there. Whether you'd get useful notice of an obstacle is another matter....

The beam on my Airmar DST800 is 10 degrees by 44....the 10 degrees being fore-aft - so the beam points 5 degrees forward and aft of vertical, and 22 degrees to each side.

I suppose you could mount it so that the 44 degree axis is fore-aft....but then you'd lose bottom when the boat heels.
 

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Google "EchoPilot 2D Forward Looking Sonar". There are models from $875 (USD) up. Some versions will "talk" to your Garmin/Raymarine/et al plotters.
 
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Courtney the Dancer
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The forward looking sonars that I've seen (Interphase makes one) all have an appendage that sticks down from the hull that looks prone to being broken off. That's why I don't have one. Maybe newer models have overcome this problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Google "EchoPilot 2D Forward Looking Sonar". There are models from $875 (USD) up. Some versions will "talk" to your Garmin/Raymarine/et al plotters.
Thank You! That is exactly what I was looking for. I think I am going to invest in one of those.

Is it just me or does anyone else think this is something someone doing rivers and the ICW with a sailboat should have?

I think it would really be nice around the Florida Keys too.

The Website for Technilab says they are only $500
 

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Thank You! That is exactly what I was looking for. I think I am going to invest in one of those.

Is it just me or does anyone else think this is something someone doing rivers and the ICW with a sailboat should have?

I think it would really be nice around the Florida Keys too.

The Website for Technilab says they are only $500
Whoaa ! Slow down a bit and look at the ratio of down/forward of those units. They work well if you are in 100' looking many yards ahead to 5'. but from 10' depth looking forward 50' or so to 4' depth they don't work worth squat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Whoaa ! Slow down a bit and look at the ratio of down/forward of those units. They work well if you are in 100' looking many yards ahead to 5'. but from 10' depth looking forward 50' or so to 4' depth they don't work worth squat.

I assumed that if it had a 2m alarm that it would warn a person about waters that are 6' at a distance.

I don't need to see the depth a mile ahead of me, I need to see what the depth is as I am approaching an anchorage outside of the channel or finding the channel if there are no navigation buoys.

Believe it or not, there are several places on the Illinois river where the channel isn't even marked.

I think for under $700 it would pay for itself. Even going at idle speed into muck will get you stuck enough that a small prop will not get you out.
 
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