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Steve W

Depth Sounder in a plywood boat

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I use a Samsung galaxy Tablet for navigation using Navionics and a Garmin hand held GPS so I pretty much know exactly where I am. But I ran aground in the Chesapeake when I was supposed to be in 8' of water. I suspect that a sandbar (mudbar) had shifted and my centerboard kissed the bottom. I want to add a depth sounder to Skeena. They make models that draw .1 amp so powering one off my solar system is no issue.

 

I hate the idea of a transom mount transducer. In fiberglass boats I've bedded the transducer in a liquid and shot through the hull successful. I have a few questions the brain-trust may have experience with.

 

Has anyone ever added a transducer inside one of our plywood/glass boats with success? If not, did you figure anything out that worked to allow shooting through the hull?

 

Thanks,

Steve

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My P-28 is not a plywood boat but the hull is wood core- so essentially the same thing. My transducer came with a two part plastic fitting that was supposed to fit through a hole in the bottom of the boat. Holds the sending unit and screws together to make the assembly waterproof. I did not like that idea at all. What I did was to hole saw down to the outer glass skin,  removed all the wood and epoxied a piece of PVC pipe into the hole. I then filled the bottom of the pipe with CLEAR epoxy to come back to the original hull thickness. You want clear to make sure there are no air bubbles. It's the air that degrades/kills the signal. After it cures fill the pipe with mineral oil, drop the sending unit in and put a PVC cap on and away you go. Your pipe needs to be just a smidgen bigger that your sending unit so the sender does not bounce around. It also needs to be totally full of oil. Again you don't want any air bubbles. Mine works really well and I have one less through hull to worry about. Good luck PeterP

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Thank you, that sounds promising. The only spot I have to do this is in the compartments under the bunks. The easiest would be in the ones forward. They would not be flat on the boat bottom, but I could cut PVC pipe angled so the transducer would be facing straight down.

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There you go. I had to do the same thing. Never a flat spot around when you need it -seems like. PeterP

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Some transducers are designed to be placed on an angle.  And they have a range that they work in.  There might be a simpler solution.

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2 hours ago, Hirilonde said:

Some transducers are designed to be placed on an angle.  And they have a range that they work in.  There might be a simpler solution.

Dave, I haven't seen any data of transducers shooting through wood. Can you elaborate. I'm all about simple.

 

Thanks,

Steve

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The hull mounted transducer on Clementine (Belhaven 19) is going on 12 years without issue.    Avoiding thru-hull fittings is certainly understandable but I'm not sure it is worth the trouble for boats that are trailer sailed.  Of course I'll feel differently if it starts to leak.     

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On 10/31/2019 at 10:19 AM, Steve W said:

Dave, I haven't seen any data of transducers shooting through wood. Can you elaborate. I'm all about simple.

 

Thanks,

Steve

 

I never tried, so I have nothing to add on the through wood part.  I was just commenting that the angle issue might be dealt with by the choice of transducer.

Personally, through hull doesn't bother me.  They come with plugs as well as the ducer, and keep a wooden damage control plug handy.  Plumbing through hulls with poor or no seacock are what scare me.

 

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