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Old 16 February 2011, 04:57   #1
Country: Luxembourg
Town: Hesperange
Make: Searider 5.4
Length: 5m +
Engine: Yamaha 75HP
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 169
Depth gauge


I would like to ask you about your experience with depth gauges.
Do they really work on high speed and are they show what they should show?
What with transom mount transducer? worth to buy?

Is any difference between high end expensive gauge and cheap one? I mean for instance Lowrance LST-3800 and HawkEye D10DX.01T

Maybe it's better to buy Fish Finder (150) ?


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Old 16 February 2011, 05:00   #2
Country: UK - England
Town: Dorset & Hants
Boat name: Streaker/Orange
Make: Avon/Ribcraft
Length: 4m +
Engine: 50Yam/25 Mariner
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 5,551
I have a Yamaha sounder on my little Avon and it works faultlessly at every speed I can do ( 30ishknts) and depths from 3inches to 250ft +.

I had a raymarine on the old boat - useless at anthing over 10knts

Both transom mounted ........

I think a lot depends on fitting and hull shape with the amount of air running under the hull on the old boat meant it just didn't have smooth water at all....

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Old 16 February 2011, 06:43   #3
Country: Luxembourg
Town: Hesperange
Make: Searider 5.4
Length: 5m +
Engine: Yamaha 75HP
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 169
DO you have any experience with Lowrance 3800?
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Old 16 February 2011, 14:09   #4
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Country: Ireland
Make: Redbay Boats
Length: 9m +
Engine: 370hp
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,137
I have a Raymarine transom mounted transducer. It can play up in lumpy seas and I put that down to air under the hull. If I was installing another transducer, I'd go "through hull", but obviously if you catch a lot of air, it won't work.

I have seen mine read (accurately) well over 100 meters at 25kts but at other times be foxed by a shoal of fish under the boat. Their air filled swim bladders reflect the signal and give a false "bottom". That's how sensitive the system is to air. Diver's exhaust bubbles show up quite spectacularly on most sounders...
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Old 17 February 2011, 10:15   #5
Country: USA
Town: Oakland CA
Length: 3m +
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,618
I don't use a digital depth gauge, preferring the graphical display that a fishfinder offers.

My Lowrance LMS-520 (530?) has a transom mounted transducer, which works OK at all speeds; but at higher speeds, you tend to lose a bit of definition. Also, in really skinny water (readings of 1.x to about 5 feet), it may get confused by weeds and such, and lose lock for several seconds.

The transducer currently has a problem with being kicked up by kelp and such; I have deferred cranking down on the mounting bolt to give me time to come up with a spring pressure system, the latter which I have been too lazy to think about much. Probably time to tighten the mount up.

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Old 17 February 2011, 10:54   #6
Country: Ireland
Town: Castlebar
Boat name: Clewless
Make: Valiant DR 490
Length: 4m +
Engine: 60 hp ETEC
MMSI: Awaitng one
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,118
I have a garmin 160 c. It works well except at high speeds 20 kn plus and shallow depth circa 3.0m and less. If I slow down in shallow water it works fine. I generally slow down in shallow water any way

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Old 17 February 2011, 11:32   #7
MarkM's Avatar
Country: Netherlands
Town: Breda
Make: Scorpion
Length: 7m +
Engine: Evinrude 250 DI
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 368
On two different RIBs each time a Faria depth gauge with transom mount transducer. Works very fine up to 50 km/hr, that's ok to me. At that speed you're to late to stop anyway.
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Old 18 February 2011, 01:53   #8
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Country: UK - Scotland
Town: Oban (mostly)
Make: Ribcraft, Humber,BWM
Length: 5m +
Engine: Outboards
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 632
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Just a thought ....

does it really matter very much? If you're worried about the depth, you shouldn't be travelling at high speed.

I've never had a depth sounder on any of our RIBs that I would trust at high speeds, but it hasn't ever been an issue for us

Tel; 07525 012 013
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Old 18 February 2011, 16:35   #9
Country: UK - England
Town: NW& wherever the boat is!
Boat name: depends on m'mood!
Make: Humbers/15-24m cats
Length: 6m +
Engine: etec130/big volvos
MMSI: many and various
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,815
cheapest sounder we have ever bought Eagle Cuda 128 (I think!) at about 70 works fine @ 30 odd knots with the transom mount transducer siliconed inside the drain well. Does it matter? - absolutely in an area where we have a deep underwater glacial valley with sheer sides to miles of very shallow banks it is a great tool for contour navigation when the fog drops down and also proving that the chart plotter is showing the right underwater profile, including an underwater pipeline that shows up really well. Trouble is it doesnt show a fellow club members gearbox which was planted into it at a fair old speed some years back. Basically we use it all the time.

Dave M
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