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Depth sounder needed quickly


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I do appreciate this is not a yachting forum but.... you've been most helpful in the past!

 

Next Thursday I'm helping someone move their new (to them) wooden motor boat from Falmouth up to a new mooring, it's being delivered by road Thursday morning and I've a made sure that equipment I need to be happy is available - I've also said we need to stay in harbour for at least an hour whilst I make sure everything works and there's enough diesel etc. We have charts, there is a buoyed channel etc...

 

The owner has asked for advice on a depth sounder - my starting point was it's  a bit late in the day and if we can't keep in a buoyed channel using charts and binoculars for four miles I shouldn't be doing it - but they're not happy. Worse, as always everything has cost more than they thought so they don't want to spend much, which I can see meaning they end up buying a better one in a few months - anyway, enough of my gripes, is it possible to get a cheap depth sounder that can be installed in half an hour? If so, what is it? 

 

Thanks 

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I think you can get handheld echo Sounders, standard practice is to drill thru the hull, preferably on dry land, a bit late to worry about cost lol

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6 minutes ago, LadyG said:

I think you can get handheld echo Sounders, standard practice is to drill thru the hull, preferably on dry land, a bit late to worry about cost lol

It's a bit late to be drilling through the hull! I can't see the delivery company hanging round whilst I install it on their trailer! 

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You can get ones that fit on the transom. Around Falmouth it is pretty easy boating and deep and if you are going up one of the creeks for the first time do it on a rising tide. If you do go aground be careful if you hop over the side as the mud is very deep!

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As others have said, rising tide and a weight on a rope - be aware that "runny" mud may feel like water (as in the weight sinks into it and you don't realise). If worried get friend to hold it at (say) 6ft, deeper than the keel, and shout if they feel a drag!

 

Old fashioned sounding leads had a hollow in the bottom which could be packed with tallow and bring up a sample of sea bed - you'll see on the chart "Sand", "Shells", "shingle", "Mud" etc - it's not there in case you run into it, it gives you more of a guide where you are!

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26 minutes ago, LadyG said:

I think you can get handheld echo Sounders

Like this? https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hawkeye-DepthTrax-Handheld-Depth-Sounder/dp/B06Y3BGTM7

 

Be aware - Echo sounders can read double the depth without warning ("ping" goes surface --> Sea bed --> surface --> Sea bed --> Surface).

 

On a graphic display, it's fairly obvious - a "fake" sea bed (which is actually the real one) at half the depth it's telling you - on one with a pure digital readout not quite so obvious...

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Where’s their new mooring to?

It’s all very well marked with buoys, I wouldn’t have thought you’d have much of a problem.

I guess you’re going up the Fal ?

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1 hour ago, magpie patrick said:

Next Thursday I'm helping someone move their new (to them) wooden motor boat from Falmouth up to a new mooring, it's being delivered by road Thursday morning

 

I'm sure you know what you're doing, I'd be a touch nervous, the last wooden boat I launched leaked badly for a week until the wood swelled up again... but it had been on a hard standing for over a year...

Edited by Quattrodave
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You can get portable fish-finders (depth sounder) with 'suckers' to stick the transducer onto the transom, but a screw fixing will give more consistant results.

A fish finder not only shows you the depth but profiles the bottom , humps and hollows as well;

 

Garmin Striker 4 CHIRP Fishfinder with GPS | Force 4

 

Or in Falmouth - supplier of depth sounders and fishfinders

 

Bt Marine (cylex-uk.co.uk)

 

Suppliers, installers and service agents for the better brands of marine navigational electronic equipment. From radar, gps, chartplotters, sounders, to instruments and autopilots etc. We're not a 'discount house' for the cheap brands, but if you would like pricing information or a quotation for supply and install, please get in touch with us via the contacts section.

Competitive price is very important, and our business is also built on quality advice, expert installation and product support that is second to none - just look at our 'past projectsfor testimonials.

 

Next day delivery from Amazon a big choice from about £50

 

Amazon.co.uk : Portable Fish Finder

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2 hours ago, LadyG said:

I think you can get handheld echo Sounders, standard practice is to drill thru the hull, preferably on dry land, a bit late to worry about cost lol

 

No it's not standard practice to drill through the hull of a wooden boat. The transponder should be able to operate though wood or GRP. It wouldn't work through steel which is probably where you're getting confused.

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5 minutes ago, blackrose said:

 

No it's not standard practice to drill through the hull of a wooden boat. The transponder should be able to operate though wood or GRP. It wouldn't work through steel which is probably where you're getting confused.

 

The only way to get a transducer to correctly operate thru fibreglass / GRP is to araldite (other glues available) a short lenth of plastic pipe to the hull - it must be mounted vertically irresepective of the angle of the actual hull.

 

Fill the tube with oil, insert the transducer and wedge a lid onto the pipe allowing the cable to leave the pipe, but not for the oil to leak.

The signal is attenuated as it goes twice thru the GRP so the accuracy and power is not as good as a transom mounted transducer.

 

 

I have never fitted one to a wooden hull (except screwing a transducer to the transom) so cannot comment how it would work directly thru the wood.

 

 

 

 

 

Nasa In hull Transducer Mounting Kit | Foxschandlery.com

 

Inhulltransducerm

 

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I’m sure the OP will be fine without one, in the 3rd naturally deepest harbour in the world.

You can get all the way up to Malpas before having to make sure there’s enough tide to take you in to Truro with buoys marking a path all the way through. 
 

Halford Passage is marked with buoys.

Unless they’re going around the Manacles in storm, I can’t see there being a problem.
 

The OP hasn’t said where they’re going though, might only be to Flushing. 

 

Edited by Goliath
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9 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

 

Next day delivery from Amazon a big choice from about £50

 

Amazon.co.uk : Portable Fish Finder

 Thanks Alan, I've been looking at those - will order one shortly

 

7 hours ago, Goliath said:

 

The OP hasn’t said where they’re going though, might only be to Flushing. 

 

 Sorry - missed that. Loe Beach, well, not the actual beach obviously but a mooring there. Google Earth suggests about 6km as the crow flies assuming the crow sticks to flying over water. 

Thanks for all the comments folks 

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4 hours ago, magpie patrick said:

 Thanks Alan, I've been looking at those - will order one shortly

 

 Sorry - missed that. Loe Beach, well, not the actual beach obviously but a mooring there. Google Earth suggests about 6km as the crow flies assuming the crow sticks to flying over water. 

Thanks for all the comments folks 

Lovely, enjoy that.

It’s a wonderful place to go boating. Lots to explore. With some decent pubs and beautiful beaches.

 

 

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15 hours ago, 1st ade said:

Like this? https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hawkeye-DepthTrax-Handheld-Depth-Sounder/dp/B06Y3BGTM7

 

Be aware - Echo sounders can read double the depth without warning ("ping" goes surface --> Sea bed --> surface --> Sea bed --> Surface).

 

On a graphic display, it's fairly obvious - a "fake" sea bed (which is actually the real one) at half the depth it's telling you - on one with a pure digital readout not quite so obvious...

I remember having a similar problem at a cluster of islets south end of Islay. We knew no other boats would be around, as Vis was 10-20m, we were dead reckoning pre GPS., the echo sounder was either 2m or 20 m below keel, looked over the side, seaweed!

 

 

 

16 hours ago, LadyG said:

I think you can get handheld echo Sounders, standard practice is to drill thru the hull, preferably on dry land, a bit late to worry about cost lol

You should see every bouy has a number as noted on your chart.

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56 minutes ago, Goliath said:

Lovely, enjoy that.

It’s a wonderful place to go boating. Lots to explore. With some decent pubs and beautiful beaches.

 

 

And Skinner's brewery at the top of the creek just outside Truro but it's very tide dependent that far up

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7 hours ago, Loddon said:

And Skinner's brewery at the top of the creek just outside Truro but it's very tide dependent that far up

But definitely worth a visit. Love Skinner's brews. They used to do a great session ale called Spriggan, it was nectar, shame they don't make it any more.

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Their brewery trip is something else!

I ended up having seven pints which were all covered by the entrance fee £7.50 if you are old like me ;)

Great fun afternoon 

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15 hours ago, magpie patrick said:

 Thanks Alan, I've been looking at those - will order one shortly

 

 Sorry - missed that. Loe Beach, well, not the actual beach obviously but a mooring there. Google Earth suggests about 6km as the crow flies assuming the crow sticks to flying over water. 

Thanks for all the comments folks 

Late to the party but I've sailed in that area any number of times and cannot imagine any difficulty without an echo sounder. A chart, reasonable weather and the tide on the flood is all you will need..

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Posted a thread with a brief trip report (link below) - thanks everyone for the advice, we made the journey without a depth sounder in the end! Too many other glitches before setting sail for me to worry about having one. 

 

 

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