Old Transducer, Is 'thru the hull' Xducer an option?

Discussion in 'Main Morgan 38 Sailboat Forum' started by schlepper, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. schlepper

    schlepper John m. Harrison

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    Okay, if you watched my Youtube video, you saw the sexy new Garmin 741XS that I mounted at the helm along with my venerable Garmin 541. The 541 does a great job, I really didn't need a new GPS except that the 741XS was on sale, it's touch screen, has blue tooth capability, and can be uploaded from satellites, etc. There are many advantages to that unit but the chief reason I bought it was that it had Sonar tie in.... since October 25, 2012 when I bought my Morgan 383, I have relied on a Datamarine LCD screen on the starboard side of the companionway to measure my depth. The LCD is so bad that you cannot read it in daylight without polarized sunglasses on; at night, forget it, it's unreadable. The transducer is fine.

    I called Garmin today and ordered the converter box that takes me from an old transducer and you place the wires from the transducer in the appropriate slots inside the box and voila, you have depth reading... however, after ordering, I decided to call Gemeco who apparently are the successor to Airmar? The guy there told me that my DX-110 Datamarine transducer is an Airmar product and it is a 100 Watt 'instrument only' transducer, meaning, that my 741XS puts out 600 Watts and will fry that transducer so it must be replaced.

    I will say the Garmin people I talked to today were native English speakers, they were extremely helpful and they didn't rush me off the phone. They scored twice in my book... they both recommended a 'thru hull' transducer, i.e. one that shoots thru the fiberglass hull to get signal, thus negating the need for holes in our boats below the water line. I am all for that, however, I know how well built and heavy these boats are. The recommendation for this type of transducer is 5/8" or less hull thickness.

    Has anyone used this type of transducer? If so, does it provide reliable date? Where did you mount it if it works? I am ready to get this show on the road and have it all work and get rid of the Mickey Mouse stuff I now have... but want to avoid a haul out!

    Thanks and please advise,

    John Harrison, a.k.a. "Schlepper"
    S/Y Tranquility
    383 hull # 037
     

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  2. bwilliams

    bwilliams Marvin (Bill) Williams

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    Six years ago when I was down in Panama, my old Datamarine Depth sounder failed. At that time, as an emergency replacement I decided to try a fish finder as a temporary replacement and mounted the transducer for thru hull use. It was the inexpensive Lowrance X-4 Pro.. Took one of my Tupperware round plastic containers, sanded the place on the bilge area where I intended to install it, generously used clear silicone to bed the Tupperware container, filled it with water (open top), plunked in the transducer and the fish finder depth function worked like a charm. Real cheap depthfinder which cost me a little over $140 US purchased in Panama. Checked on accuracy of actual measurements versus depth reading on instrument showed essentially no difference. I am still using the same instrument today. I read where you should have no air pockets between your interior hull surface and the bottom of the container holding the transducer so I applied a liberal coat of clear silicone and compressed the container hard down on it.
     
  3. schlepper

    schlepper John m. Harrison

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    Bill thank you for the reply! Can you share with me where this is mounted?
     
  4. terry_thatcher

    terry_thatcher Terence Thatcher

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    I use an inside transducer for my Horizon depth sounder and one for my old data marine sounder (at chart table). the units sit just forward of the forecastle door, under the cabin sole. I get about 200 feet of accurate readings, then they stop reporting. Good enough. And Morgans do not have all that thick a layup, by the way. I have actually added glass on the leading edge of the keel,along the mid-hull joint along the canoe body, and in way of the holding tank aft of the lead. The hull thickness below the turn of the bilge, where my engine cooling water through hull is located is only 5/16". That doesn't bother me, but I hope I never run aground and end up with the boat lying on her side on the rocks.
     
  5. schlepper

    schlepper John m. Harrison

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    Terry, thanks for the response. I'm surprised I haven't heard from more of our fellow Morgan 38xers on this, as I feel certain it's not a unique situation I'm in... with that said, I could wait until I haul next time and have it done then and just do another thru hull and replace what I have. I just am not in a rush to haul out ($ obviously) but I do need to get my depth soundings at the helm and have it be reliable.... So when you say 'forecastle', you are talking about the essentially square teak & holly floorboard that lifts out in the v-berth area? I have a thru hull that has a plastic plug in it now, that is in the long floorboard that lifts out just before stepping thru the head door, it used to have the speed paddle transducer in it... in either case, it's a haul out to refit the mount and then insert the new thru hull transducer. I may get a cheap inside transducer for now and then at next haul out look at getting a thru hull in place of one of the thru hull fittings I have now.... and then patch the other hole completely...
     
  6. terry_thatcher

    terry_thatcher Terence Thatcher

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    My transducers for speed and depth are just inside the door to the vberth area. The depth transducers have no hull holes and, as I said, work fine up to 200 feet. I am happy to have fewer holes in the hull.
     
  7. bwilliams

    bwilliams Marvin (Bill) Williams

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    John, my little Tupperware container containing the transducer is installed in my port cockpit locker right adjacent to the bulkhead backing my ice box., Like every other depthsounder, my failed Datamarine transducer in installed right outside the head door. I was in the San Blas islands at the time of the failure, so took a same day round trip van from Carti to Panama City. Bought the fishfinder and returned to the boat. The San Blas area is kinda challenging area to sail without a depthsounder. Thinking about a permanent depthfinder installation later, just made the temporary installation to continue cruising in the San Blas. It's done the job for almost 7 years, so I'm sticking with it for now. It has been used in Colombia, Panama, Honduras, Belize and Guatemala without any problems
     
  8. schlepper

    schlepper John m. Harrison

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    Thanks Terry and Bill for the follow up to my question. I think I will order a thru hull and give it a go.... I don't want to go thru the expense of a haul out if I can avoid it until paint time.
     
  9. stnick

    stnick lee nicholas

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    Yup cheep inside transducer with the clear plastic half bubble filled with regular silicone will just work for ever ! Right in front of the keel !
     

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