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Thread: Depth sounder?

  1. #1
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    Default Depth sounder?

    Anyone have recommendations? Considering one for sail camping and help with anchoring depths and such.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    I don't know anything about Garmins, etc, but I can say you can get the Navionics app and use that for anchoring. The GPS function of your iPhone will show you right where you are on the chart. You'll also know what the range is for that day and what to expect overnight.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    I don't know anything about Garmins, etc, but I can say you can get the Navionics app and use that for anchoring. The GPS function of your iPhone will show you right where you are on the chart. You'll also know what the range is for that day and what to expect overnight.
    Ooohhhhh ok, Ill check it out. I assume they offer offline maps and work off GPS? Way less work than adding more electronics.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    You could go a hand held. Electronic or lead line. My first boat i had paper charts, hand held gps and a lead line for anchoring depths. Shallow draft cat so it worked ok. (Pre fancy nav apps) Or you could go a cheap one and mount it on a bracket or a stick, like for runabouts and such. Will take up more room though.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    I prefer a sounder to trusting charted depths, especially sailing in bays or sounds with sandy bottoms that shift. My boat draws 5.5', and eyeballing the depth might put me aground. On anything with a 3' draft or less, I use a boat hook or oar to sound.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    The Navionics app is very good and I use it a lot in conjunction with a good depth sounder, like they say, you need 2 of everything on a boat, for 12-13 bucks a year for the app and a few hundred or less for a basic depth sounder it's cheap insurance.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    Was shopping for a replacement depth sounder two years ago, and discovered that there aren't many single-purpose units still on the market. Found a Garmin "fish finder" , which had a 7 ins. screen, that included a depth sounder, which fit neatly in the cockpit. The unit has a self-contained GPS, plus two sets of charts that includes all US waterways, plus the Canadian portion of the Great Lakes, down to any tiny pond. One set is navigation, the other extensive bottom contours. It also has extensive capabilities for sail racing, waypoints, etc. Came with a transducer that basically is for small boats, hanging over the side, and I installed a different one in the hull with an 800-ft. depth capacity. Some of this is redundant with other charting system, bit it also is compatible with NMEA system. Seems like overkill, but at roughly $500, was about the same as a simple depth sounder. As an example of its detail, at its highest resolution, it shows the boat in its well, plus the bottom about five wells on either side. Does the same in a pond in the middle of Kansas. It also shows fish swimming under the boat on the screen.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?



    I use this Garmin Echomap 44



    Swivels out of the way. The lead for the transducer goes down the bilgeboard trunk.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post


    I use this Garmin Echomap 44



    Swivels out of the way. The lead for the transducer goes down the bilgeboard trunk.
    That's a similar unit in the hand-held version.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    Quote Originally Posted by skerry View Post
    Anyone have recommendations? Considering one for sail camping and help with anchoring depths and such.
    is this a small boat? That’s how I was reading it.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geftb View Post
    is this a small boat? That’s how I was reading it.
    It is an Eun Mara, twin to mine.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    You can get a transducer that will output NMEA data directly to any NMEA-compatible display (e.g. laptop/tablet/mobile with nav software). No dedicated display needed. I get the attraction of a simple, dedicated device but the reality is that a multipurpose computer will be more flexible and can be stowed away completely when not needed. Plus the installation is simpler than a dedicated sounder, which needs power and permanent mounting in addition to the transducer cable. You just need one wire between the transducer and the display device. (On Skookum Maru we have the NMEA feed routed through onboard Wi-Fi so that we don't even need a dedicated connection to the device but she's a much larger boat and already had all of the systems in place to support that setup).

    For an Eun Mara I would get a tablet with whatever navigation software you like and connect it to an NMEA transducer. We use a Surface Go tablet with OpenCPN. Other people (Yeadon) like Navionics. Just make sure that your display device can connect to the transducer.
    - Chris

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    Life is short. Go boating now!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geftb View Post
    is this a small boat? That’s how I was reading it.
    Yeah, with centerboards and rudder up 18" draft, 20ft loa

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    If you're just looking for anchoring depths, there is nothing wrong with a lead line
    What's not on a boat costs nothing, weighs nothing, and can't break

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    I don't know anything about Garmins, etc, but I can say you can get the Navionics app and use that for anchoring. The GPS function of your iPhone will show you right where you are on the chart. You'll also know what the range is for that day and what to expect overnight.
    Great recommendation, have a lot of experience with them. Worthy to note how easy they are to use and very dependable

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    I used one of these on the Hartley TS16 with the transducer just cable tied onto a length of dowel that I could hand over the side when I wanted to use it and could also take it from the Hartley to our tinny (15’ aluminium fishing punt).
    It may not have been this exact model, I let it go with the Hartley when I sold it:
    https://www.bcf.com.au/p/garmin-stri...ps/551386.html
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
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    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    I used one of these on the Hartley TS16 with the transducer just cable tied onto a length of dowel that I could hand over the side when I wanted to use it and could also take it from the Hartley to our tinny (15’ aluminium fishing punt).
    It may not have been this exact model, I let it go with the Hartley when I sold it:
    https://www.bcf.com.au/p/garmin-stri...ps/551386.html
    The Garmin transducers mainly come with an attachment that hangs over the side of small boats--don't actually need a dowel.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    The Garmin transducers mainly come with an attachment that hangs over the side of small boats--don't actually need a dowel.
    The transducer came with a fitting for fastening it to the transom below the waterline, rather than fasten it to the boat I used the length of dowel as a more portable option.
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

    LPBC Beneficiary

    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    As mentioned,…. And fail safe.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    For those of you who use a lead line... How do you mark the line so the depths can be easily read?

    Jeff

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    You tie knots in it. Have a candle ready to see them in the dark, when making a harbor entrance. Don't forget to put the tallow on the indentation on the bottom, so you can see whether the bottom is sand or gravel.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    If it is less than a fathom (between two outstretched hands) I use an oar. More than a fathom, no worries...

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    I pick a general spot with the Navionics app, and then double-check with a lead line or an oar if I feel the need.
    -Dave

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    I have a crown knot at 3 ft and that is it (about 6” more than my draft). My line is only about 15-20 feet, so there isn’t need for more.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    FWIW, an electronic depth sounder was the first electronic navigation instrument we installed--before Loran was available. The point was not to worry about running aground, but using it as a navigation tool. Depth readings give you a good reference as to how far off the coast you are. In this area, this means reading depths to about 800 feet. Might also note that in harbor entrances, etc., the depth sounder can give some warning about uncharted shoaling.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    A friend of mine has a handheld depth sounder which seems to give reasonably accurate depths, at least it does in the marina (around 20 feet or so).

    Other than slotting in some batteries there's no installation required.

    I'm not sure which brand he has, but the one below is $75 on Amazon.



    Depth sounder.jpg

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09LTRN85D...7-99cdce051887






  27. #27
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    Default Re: Depth sounder?

    I bought this one in 2019 and it's still going strong.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I have a B and B Core Sound 20 Mark III and I find the depth info an important confirmation that I am where I think I am. I like the simplicity of a lead line, but I'd have to slow down to use it and I'm not doing that!

    One thing that was successful was putting the transducer inside. To accomplish this I set my router bit depth to the thickness of the bottom plywood (12mm) and ran it around a template to create a hole down to but not including the outside fiberglass the boat was sheathed with. I then filled the hole with glass and epoxy building it up with numerous layers and then letting it cure. I laid a glass patch over the hole at the green stage and let it cure. I then epoxied the transducer over this plug and i shoots right through and gives me a running depth. 2019-11-23 20.30.05.jpg

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