Iím about to rip the dashboard out of The Nashers Revenge for what feels like the umpteenth time and rebuild it with the new instruments for the Opti Iím about to drop on the transom.
And once again Iím considering a mod that Iíve thought about for years.
My electronics package is quite old now, Raymarine C120, RAYSTAR 125 GPS Antenna, Raymarine DSM300 Sounder/Fishfinder module, Raymarine-Airmar in-hull Depth transducer, Navman 2100 Fuel Computer. Oh, and VHF -TBA as I need to replace it.
But itís a robust package and all works very well.
The in-hull depth transducer is bonded in place a few inches forward of the transom and reads at all speeds, even when travelling quickly, but really comes into itís own with the big screen showing the bottom in great detail when trawling around looking for a reef etc.
I really donít want to swap all the gear out, as I certainly couldnít afford to replace it with new equipment of a similar standard.
But of course the admittedly small issue is when nudging in to a beach etc the transducer at the transom is useless when the bow is 6.5M closer to a steep slope or shelf. Obviously a more forward mounted transducer would be useless at speed because only the rear of the hull is in the water, and the DSM only has input for one transducer.
When I worked for Raymarine I discussed at length with the design guys the possibility of mounting a second transducer nearer the bow, and finding a changeover switch which could ĎHot Switchí all the individual wires in the input cable between the two transducers.
Everyone I spoke to agreed it was theoretically possible, but really advised against it not knowing how the system would react.
So plan B all along has been to fit an independent very simple depth sounder gauge that can be switched on once the boat is off the plane, and set an alarm at the depth the engine skeg is below the water.
Iím lucky to have access to the hull below the deck all the way from just in front of the underdeck tank right to the bow, so can work out the best place to bond in a forward transducer and fit it easily enough.
Does anyone have any experience of these:
Hawkeye, which I like as the gauge fits well with the rest of the instrumentation.
Or Nasa, which will probably be better quality, but look pants.
Or could recommend another make?
Not sure Iím even going to bother at the moment, but need to decide very soon.