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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. Looking for a depth finder for my 27 foot sailboat. My old one stopped working. I don't want to pay to take my boat out of the water to replace the depth finder. Do they sell depth finders (ideally budget friendly, under $200) that I can install on my own without having to take the boat out of the water?

I appreciate any answers Thanks!
 

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Emmalina
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If you have a cored hull you have a problem with in hull transducers. I would imagine any of the new range of chirp fishfinder plotters is what you need to try
 

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Hi Swim06
No need to pull her out to mount the transducer,
I sanded the hull, made a block of putty and pushed it onto the hull.
Then I pushed the transducer into the putty and screwed the mounting bracket into the bulkhead.
This is in a locker on the port side just forward of the keel.
The putty is used by electricians to seal where conduit goes through a wall or by refrigeration mechanics to seal where pipes go through something. Cheap, easy to use and available at any large hardware store.

As for the fish finder, try to get one with the largest font that you can. My old one was black and white and I could fill the screen with the font, Great!
My new one displays in (useless) pretty colors but the font size is not adjustable.
Gary
 

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You need to figure out what went bad (transducer, display, wiring) first. Also need to figure out the frequency of the transducer. I was able to get my old Datamarine display to work with a glue in 200khz tranducer when the through hull Datamarine transducer went bad. Many brands use standard Airmar transducers.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Swim06
No need to pull her out to mount the transducer,
I sanded the hull, made a block of putty and pushed it onto the hull.
Then I pushed the transducer into the putty and screwed the mounting bracket into the bulkhead.
This is in a locker on the port side just forward of the keel.
The putty is used by electricians to seal where conduit goes through a wall or by refrigeration mechanics to seal where pipes go through something. Cheap, easy to use and available at any large hardware store.

As for the fish finder, try to get one with the largest font that you can. My old one was black and white and I could fill the screen with the font, Great!
My new one displays in (useless) pretty colors but the font size is not adjustable.
Gary
Super helpful! Thanks for sharing the video too
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You need to figure out what went bad (transducer, display, wiring) first. Also need to figure out the frequency of the transducer. I was able to get my old Datamarine display to work with a glue in 200khz tranducer when the through hull Datamarine transducer went bad. Many brands use standard Airmar transducers.
You are probably right. The display works fine, it just always shows the same number no matter where I am in the water. So, if I had to guess, it's probably the transducer.
 

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You are probably right. The display works fine, it just always shows the same number no matter where I am in the water. So, if I had to guess, it's probably the transducer.
=================================
couple of thoughts here
my depth finder started to act weird right now, erratic readings and no readings?
suspect growth getting on the surface of the transducer since have not cleaned for a while and transducers usually do not get painted with antifouling, that should be an easy fix if can dive and check it out.
On inside transducers, they are very easy to install, just glue the darn thing and there you go, well not so fast, had a boat with cored fiberglass and could not find a spot inside so eventually mounted it on an external bracket, not ideal but had a flat transom, just clean it often because the growth.
Finally, because given my current problems with my readings realized the need (for my boat use) to have a backup and purchased a

SONARPHONE W/ HS TRANSDUCER (PHONE NOT INCLUDED) (amazon)
works like charm! and can be read on my cell or tablet!!!
 

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=================================
couple of thoughts here
my depth finder started to act weird right now, erratic readings and no readings?
suspect growth getting on the surface of the transducer since have not cleaned for a while and transducers usually do not get painted with antifouling, that should be an easy fix if can dive and check it out.
On inside transducers, they are very easy to install, just glue the darn thing and there you go, well not so fast, had a boat with cored fiberglass and could not find a spot inside so eventually mounted it on an external bracket, not ideal but had a flat transom, just clean it often because the growth.
Finally, because given my current problems with my readings realized the need (for my boat use) to have a backup and purchased a

SONARPHONE W/ HS TRANSDUCER (PHONE NOT INCLUDED) (amazon)
works like charm! and can be read on my cell or tablet!!!
forgot, the transducer transmits the signal via a black box to the screen(cell tablet laptop) WIFI
 

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Discussion Starter #12
=================================
couple of thoughts here
my depth finder started to act weird right now, erratic readings and no readings?
suspect growth getting on the surface of the transducer since have not cleaned for a while and transducers usually do not get painted with antifouling, that should be an easy fix if can dive and check it out.
On inside transducers, they are very easy to install, just glue the darn thing and there you go, well not so fast, had a boat with cored fiberglass and could not find a spot inside so eventually mounted it on an external bracket, not ideal but had a flat transom, just clean it often because the growth.
Finally, because given my current problems with my readings realized the need (for my boat use) to have a backup and purchased a

SONARPHONE W/ HS TRANSDUCER (PHONE NOT INCLUDED) (amazon)
works like charm! and can be read on my cell or tablet!!!
Ah I see. Seems like my best bet is to install one inside and glue it or use epoxy or putty or something of that nature. I will have to look into it.

Sorry this may be a rookie question, but how do I know if the hull is cored or not?
 

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Ah I see. Seems like my best bet is to install one inside and glue it or use epoxy or putty or something of that nature. I will have to look into it.

Sorry this may be a rookie question, but how do I know if the hull is cored or not?
is not a rookie question, nobody knows until try?
sometimes may find info from manufacture specs otherwise is just a try and see, try different places as some hulls may have only some parts cored and others not
good luck
 

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If you are looking for a basic inexpensive depth system, this is your most inexpensive option. Comes with an Airmar tranducer that can be glued to the inside of the hull in the bilge area, display, and cabling, all for $100.
 

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Irrationally Exuberant
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I installed a shoot-through in my previous boat by simply embedding the transducer face completely in plumber's wax. Much less messy than silicone or epoxy etc. and could be easily removed if ever necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
If you are looking for a basic inexpensive depth system, this is your most inexpensive option. Comes with an Airmar tranducer that can be glued to the inside of the hull in the bilge area, display, and cabling, all for $100.
Awesome! Thanks for the recommendation
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I installed a shoot-through in my previous boat by simply embedding the transducer face completely in plumber's wax. Much less messy than silicone or epoxy etc. and could be easily removed if ever necessary.
Interesting. Thanks for the tip! To clarify, do you mean plumber's putty?
 

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Hi. Looking for a depth finder for my 27 foot sailboat. My old one stopped working. I don't want to pay to take my boat out of the water to replace the depth finder. Do they sell depth finders (ideally budget friendly, under $200) that I can install on my own without having to take the boat out of the water?

I appreciate any answers Thanks!
You can find some hand-held depth-sounders, like a Hawkeye or RICANK Depth finder. I use the Hawkeye when in my dinghy. If you have a finder failure, then you can always use fishing line or a rope with a weight on the bottom---mark the line and presto! you have a manual depth sounder. Happy Soundings!!
 
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