Depth Sounders

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  • January 31, 2014 6:26 AM
    Message # 1487369
    Deleted user
    Good morning Westsailors-

    I am re-fitting and going back in the water shortly.  As part of that I removed a non-functioning through hull depth sounder and filled the hole.  I am now looking for a DS that can use a transducer that does not need a hole. I am wondering if anyone here has done the same and if so have any recommendations, positive or negative, for a specific sounder.  Thanks!

  • January 31, 2014 7:27 AM
    Reply # 1487395 on 1487369
    Deleted user


    On my prior boat I found a piece of pvc that the transducer fit in, glassed it to the hull and filled it with distilled water & alcohol.  I then drilled a hole in the pvc cap to mount the transducer stuck it all together and sealed the whole thing with silicone.  I'm sure there are much more technically sophisticated ways to do it today but that worked just fine.

  • January 31, 2014 8:54 AM
    Reply # 1487460 on 1487369
    Deleted user

    We did much the same as Larry but we filled the PVC pipe with silicone and set the transducer in that.  This transducer is meant to be through the hull.  When used this way you loose some depth.  We've seen ours work done to 350-400', but it's rated for @ 500'.  Most manufactures offer a transducer that is made to shoot through the hull and come with an adapter.  The fish finder module for our Raymarine C-80 is this way but we never got it installed.


  • January 31, 2014 11:15 AM
    Reply # 1487567 on 1487369
    Deleted user

    Like the others I glassed in a sleeve (My datamarine 2000 puck slides down into it)

    My other depth is just a temp off the gps/map/sounder and here is where I would give you advice.

    1.) silly putty works just as good as any medium. (Water, etc.)
    2.) if you use silly putty between the bottom of the sounder and the hull (Angled or not), you can move the sounder around until you find the best sounding and location and cable length compromise.
    3.) silly putty will after time run (you have to put something to stop it from running downhill) i.e. the glassed sleeve but for a month or two it works great on its' own.


    Last modified: January 31, 2014 11:50 AM | Deleted user
  • February 02, 2014 3:21 AM
    Reply # 1488462 on 1487369
    Deleted user
    Thanks for the responses folks-  now I just need to find the right spot.  

  • February 02, 2014 6:12 PM
    Reply # 1488924 on 1487369
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I have put my xmitter under the slide out bunk on the stb side and out of the way of stuff.

    How ever you setup the sounder - I would recommend you remove any paint from the interior hull and keep air bubbles out between the hull and the sounder. 

    I used 3M 5200 to secure a pvc coupling tapered to fit the hull that holds the sounder.


  • April 27, 2014 8:20 AM
    Reply # 1543944 on 1487369
    Deleted user
    I did the same as Jay - but I love the silly putty idea - ours calls for oil but I can't see any reason why to use something so messy when there are other options
  • April 28, 2014 7:19 AM
    Reply # 1544278 on 1487369
    I too am trying to decide about a depth sounder and am leaning towards a recommendation from "Soggy Paws" to go with a fishfinder like the Humminbird PiranhaMax instead. They use 3M 4/5200 to secure the transom mount transducer to the inside of the hull. They are a lot more common than depth gauges, give a lot more information, cost a lot less and will show whether the bottom is weedy, rocky or sandy. Does any westsailer use a fishfinder instead of a depth only gauge and can you give a recommendation? Many thanks in anticipation....Peter
  • April 28, 2014 9:02 AM
    Reply # 1544338 on 1487369
    Deleted user

    One item to consider is power usage (head and display).

    I use my depth sounder near shore, for the audio alarm mostly. Can watch it coming in but, most useful in chart work near shore.  Example; half moon bay can be entered on a 30' depth from the south; (double check the #, as it has been some years ago when I sailed in there)

    My backup (temporary unit) is just sitting on silly putty, it is off a GPS, it is also a fish finder (it has a shorter range and uses more power than the depth sounder).

    BIG NUMBERS are nice in the display. Other than display and power, they all do the same thing.


    FYI Please also note: 5200 is good and bad, and it is mostly not removable+/-  . It can have air bubbles in it (they will never come out) and it is very hard to clean up or off. So ? on it's use, it works good but it is a pain to remove or do to much with (move around or clear air bubbles from).
    Last modified: April 28, 2014 9:18 AM | Deleted user
  • April 28, 2014 10:36 AM
    Reply # 1544402 on 1487369
    Thanks so much Norm. I can always count on you to share your well informed thoughts. My bad with the 5200.............Soggy Paws just said they used a lump of 3M sealant to place the transducer on. They didn't say what kind of sealant they used. And regarding the power consumption, their one used rechargeable AA batteries and I think they said they got 10 to 14 hours before the batteries needed recharging. I think the power consumption would depend mainly on the type of screen you were using. Their one was just a four inch monochrome screen. If your device has a GPS on it, I would imagine that that would also use up a lot of power. Thank you again. Peter
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