Latest News: Forums Cruising Depth-sounder

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • #26616
    David
    Participant

    Whilst well aware that either a centreboard or a paddle work well as a depth-sounder in shallow water and require no batteries; who on here has experience of fitting a depth-sounder to a Wayfarer/dinghy and using it?

    Thanks

    David Harris

    The Lynette 9759

     

    #26626
    Peter Carbutt
    Participant

    Hi David, I have fitted a NASA Marine Target 2 depth finder though not to a Wayfarer, it was on a slightly bigger cruiser. I bought the package for about £100 from eBay. Very easy to fit, and very useful. Easy to use with big numbers and max/min alarm. Power consumption is very low and it will run for weeks on a small rechargeable burglar alarm battery. The transponder comes with lots of cable which can’t be cut and has to be coiled up out of the way. The transponder will work very well through a fibreglass hull but should be positioned so it’s away from ‘turbulent’ water. The usual method is to seal a short piece of bathroom waste pipe vertically inside the boat, the pipe is filled with a light oil (I used olive oil) and the transponder sits in that. This gives the contact needed for the signal to be sent and received. I’ve found mine invaluable for following the deep water channel in poorly marked estuaries.

    Peter Carbutt. Wayfarer 5744

    #26627
    David
    Participant

    Thanks Peter, that sounds very useful and interesting.  I was assuming I’d have to put a hole in the boat, so that’s good news.  So was the bathroom pipe pushfit (Flexible) or solvent weld (hard) and what diameter? I know making a Wayfarer into a mini cruiser is anathema to some folk, but having an awareness of depth is helpful to the style of pilotage I am tryi g to develop.

    #26628
    Peter Carbutt
    Participant

    I used the rigid solvent weld type and I can’t quite remember the size, I think it was 32mm and was quite a snug fit. I filed the bottom end of the pipe to fit and then glass fibred it to the inside of the hull. The inside of the front buoyancy tank would be ideal. I used some tape to ‘seal’ the top end around the cable, no real problems with oil loss. I have a spare transponder and I’m hoping to fit it in my Wayfarer so that the display unit can swop from boat to boat.

    #26629
    David
    Participant

    Thanks Peter that’s very useful.  Front buoyancy tank sounds like the place.   Sounds like 1 1/4 ” , I’ll probably find out the hard way whether solvent weld cement works, a screw top is available which I might try.  This seems like a cost effective solution.  What sort of outlet did you get the battery from?

    #26630
    Peter Carbutt
    Participant

    I don’t think you’ll do very well with solvent weld on fibreglass, clear bathroom silicon may work. Battery was from the electrical wholesaler I use for all that sort of stuff, 12 volt sealed rechargeable battery for a burglar alarm. Have a look on eBay – should get one for about £15

    #26631
    David
    Participant

    Thanks so much Peter, I’ll bear all that in mind when I start to put this plan into action.  It would seem I owe you a pint.

    #28975
    Kez
    Participant

    Please don’t use bathroom silicone chaps, it will only last a short while and I wonder what the light oil will do to it.  The only number you need to know is 291 with “Sikaflex” in front.

    An alternative solution might be to make a short tube of epoxy and woven glass tape by wrapped and laminating it around a piece of plumbing/drainage pipe that you have waxed beforehand to allow you to release the cured tube.   That would give you an epoxy/ glass tube you can cut and file to shape and, most significantly, that you could glass to the inside of the hull ( abrade and wipe the surface with acetone first) using epoxy resin (not polyester resin).

    #28979
    BluTak
    Participant

    I too fitted a NASA unit like Peter. The tube is up against the bulkhead about 4” from the keel. The tube is pultruded glasss epoxied in. The transducer is epoxied onto the tube and I think I filled the gap between it and the hull with epoxy too. The cable and power supply (9 aa batteries in a battery holder From eBay) are all tied neatly under the foredeck. The display is mounted on the bulkhead ahead of the front seat. 4 holes for bolts and one for the cable. I take the display and batteries out when i’m not using them eg where the shore is steep sided like the West Coast Scotland and only use it for estuaries, sandbanks, bars etc where I find it very useful. Everyone laughs at it but I wouldn’t be without it E.g. in the middle of Morecambe Bay. You never need to be surprised that the seagulls are walking not swimming again! It’s also handy for anchoring so you easily know how much water will be underneath you when you want to get going again.

    I got mine second hand of eBay. Keep your eyes open. I’m sure someone will use a telescopic paddle!

    #29134
    James Archer
    Participant

    Last season I mounted a Garmin EchoMap Chart-plotter with a stern mounted transducer, though I found it wasn’t very practical for a Wayfarer as the stern sits slightly out of the water. This meant I had to mount it to a ‘heath-robinson’ style piece of wood and clamp it to the stern when I wanted to use it. Whatever the aerodynamic qualities the transducer itself possessed, were completely nullified by the flat piece of 2 x 1, of which it was mounted to, causing drag and turbulence. I was forced to accept that it was wholly impractical unless at anchor or drifting very slowly, where probing with an oar usually proved whether or not there should be any cause for concern! It spent most of the time lashed to the starboard aft bench out of use except when needed to relieve a persistent itch within my dry-suit. It was all hastily fitted at the eleventh hour before the cruise, and the only benefit was that it alerted me, usually when finally asleep, of the presence of a large fish, passing beneath the hull.

    So after reading these forum posts, I am once again encouraged to maybe have another attempt, but this time with the above mentioned hull-type transducer, namely the NASA Marine Target 2 or something similar, though will I be able to fix it to an old wooden hull? Secondly does anyone have any photos of the installation?

    I doubt that I will have anything sorted before the next cruise, which is less than 3 weeks away, so will have to rely on tidal curves, paper calculations and the use of a lead line, maybe even the use of an oar!

    #29136
    Dave Barker
    Keymaster

    I carry a bamboo cane about 1.5 metres in length. If you use this method when the boat’s moving just remember to hold tight or it can quickly turn into a withy…

    #29159
    BluTak
    Participant

    I was at my Wayfarer yesterday strengthening the mast step. Here are some pictures of my set up

    Shows Depth Sounder and Transducer. Sounder can be taken off the bulkhead if you don’t need it or get fed up with Piss Takes from people with bamboo sticks!! It is held on with wing nuts and plugs into the transducer. You need 4 holes for bolts + 1 larger one for the plug

    Shows transducer. I had piece of pultruded pipe you can make your own as Kez suggests. Transducer is epoxied in bottom of pipe filling gap between it and hull. Make this joint as thin as possible or there is danger of epoxy exotherming (spontaneously combusting). Also put fibres, cloth silica in to reduce the amount of epoxy. You are effectively just making a thicker hull at this point. You could just epoxy it to the hull but it would be easily damaged and you want it pointing vertically down. You must not get any air bubbles in here or it won’t work. The tube is back filled with Sikaflex (EBT from builders merchants not the expensive one) to protect the shaft etc from damage if it is knocked. You must make it robust if you store clobber near it

    Shows battery box with 9 x AA batteries in old aquapac waterproof case. This is fastened along with the rest of the transducer lead underneath the deck to one of the bolts holding the wooden handles. (You must not shorten the transducer lead so coil it up neatly) A simple switch is fastened in line with the live lead so that you only have it on when you need it. There is a switch on the battery box (ebay) but it is difficult to turn on and off through the polythene

    I find it works very well indeed. I used to have it mounted on the front hatch but it was awkward to see and get at. The sounder comes with a cover which protects it. All the wires etc are out of the weather under the deck. it comes into its own over sandbanks and estuaries. I like to have AA batteries in my gps, vhf and depth sounder as I don’t have to rely on a recharge

    Before anybody asks no I don’t have radar mounted on the starboard bulkhead!!

     

     

    #29160
    Dave Barker
    Keymaster

    I will just point out that my previous (serious) comment was prompted by James’ reference to a lead line or an oar.

    #29189
    BluTak
    Participant

    My comment about people taking the mick when you have a depth sounder in a dinghy was also serious (and is one reason I have made it removable). But crew are impressed when tacking up a narrow channel and there isn’t much time to tack before the centreboard hits the rocks if it’s windy. You used to be able to buy a hand held sounder but it looked expensive and easy to drop. Also by the time you’d read it you could be well aground. A whisker pole or an oar could also be easy to lose – a bamboo cane (or 2) is definitely preferable!

     

     

     

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