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Thread: Depth finder

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Long Island
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2000 Searay 180 BR
    Engine(s)
    3.0 Mercruiser
    Posts
    14

    Depth finder

    Hello. New to the forum and new to boating. Just bought a 2000 180 BR. Love it so far. Had it out for the second time this weekend and much to my surprise I hit sand on the bottom with my prop heading out of my marina. Had no idea it would even be close. No damage but now I NEED a depth finder. There is nowhere in the dash to mount a simple round depth guage. Are those depth finder/fish finder combos reliable as depth finders? I was looking at the lower end Lowrance or Garmin fish finders with a small LCD screen and show the bottom and the depth reading. Are these reliable for depth? Any suggestions whatsoever appreciated.

    Bill
    **New** 2000 180 BR

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Great South Bay, Long Island N.Y.
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    280 Sundancer, 1991
    Engine(s)
    Twin 5.7 Mercruisers w/alpha drives
    Posts
    553

    Re: Depth finder

    My factory depth finder broke this year and so I purchased a Garmin Shoot-Thru transducer to connect to my Garmin Sounder 180 (This unit will be replaced next year)

    I am glad i did, the depth finder saved me a couple weeks ago in the middle of the bay--I notice the depth going shallow and stopped. the GPS unit i have has small B/W numbering on the actual chart that i cannot read (Why I am replacing it next summer) and if i would have kept going I would have been in 2 feet of water and grounded.

    The Fish finder or GPS/Char-plotter from Garmin does work well with the depth feature and I would recommend it.

    A good cheap Garmin 441 with a Transom or Shoot thru transducer for your boat would be a good idea. The only thing I don't like about the shoot thru is no water temp's so I just send the kids into the water first before I go in.

    The other thing good about the depth is when anchoring close to shore. the depth saved me from that as well. I anchored in 5 feet of water knowing how deep it was and that the tide was going out, when i got back to the boat I was in almost 4 feet of water. Any closer to shore and I would have needed to wait for high tide to get going.

    I recommend the GPS/Fish/Chart-plotting of the 441s especially if you go out at night.

    enjoy
    Great Day,

    Vince
    1991, 280 Sundancer. Twin 5.7 power

    Great South Bay Boaters Group: http://clubsearay.com/forum/group.php?groupid=12

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    NY
    Boat
    unknown
    Details
    none to share
    Engine(s)
    none to share
    Posts
    1,342

    Re: Depth finder

    Quote Originally Posted by Bboyg View Post
    Hello. New to the forum and new to boating. Just bought a 2000 180 BR. Love it so far. Had it out for the second time this weekend and much to my surprise I hit sand on the bottom with my prop heading out of my marina. Had no idea it would even be close. No damage but now I NEED a depth finder. There is nowhere in the dash to mount a simple round depth guage. Are those depth finder/fish finder combos reliable as depth finders? I was looking at the lower end Lowrance or Garmin fish finders with a small LCD screen and show the bottom and the depth reading. Are these reliable for depth? Any suggestions whatsoever appreciated.

    Bill
    **New** 2000 180 BR
    you need to remember that depthfinder shows depth from transducer to bottom and prop is usually lower than thru-hull or transom mounted transducer. some units allow you to "move" bottom reading (to add few feet for safety) , and all of them have a shallow water alarm - but you need to turn it on

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Beaufort, SC
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2001 400DB / 2009 175 Sport
    Engine(s)
    Cummins 6CTA / 3.0L Merc, Alpha 1
    Posts
    1,472

    Re: Depth finder

    Quote Originally Posted by Bboyg View Post
    Hello. New to the forum and new to boating. Just bought a 2000 180 BR. Love it so far. Had it out for the second time this weekend and much to my surprise I hit sand on the bottom with my prop heading out of my marina. Had no idea it would even be close. No damage but now I NEED a depth finder. There is nowhere in the dash to mount a simple round depth guage. Are those depth finder/fish finder combos reliable as depth finders? I was looking at the lower end Lowrance or Garmin fish finders with a small LCD screen and show the bottom and the depth reading. Are these reliable for depth? Any suggestions whatsoever appreciated.

    Bill
    **New** 2000 180 BR
    I have a Northstar depth finder mounted on the top center of the dash. It was installed when I bought the boat. I added a Garmin 441s since. To answer your question, I watch both regularly when I boat and I haven't noticed any meaningful differences in the readings of the two. You really can't boat around here without the chart feature of the 441s unless you've grown up memorizing the tides and channels. I'd have serious problems without it and even with it I've run up on some sand a few times.
    -- Bill

    2009 Sea Ray 175 Sport
    2001 Sea Ray 400DB

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Portland, Maine
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    310 Sundancer 2001
    Engine(s)
    300 Mercruisers, Raytheon RL70CRC Raystar 120 WASS/GPS
    Posts
    88

    Re: Depth finder

    I have a Garmin 240 fish finder and in the last week it acts very erratically. Sometimes it shows depth -1 and other times it shows -661 when I am in the middle of the bay (typically anywhere from 30-90 feet of water). My regular depth finder is ok.

    Is this electrical or a transducer issue?
    Sea Ray 310 Sundancer 2001
    Mercs 5.7 350 Horizon Magnum MPI
    Raytheon RL70CRC, 120 WASS/GPS

    Your Maine REALTOR
    UniqueHomesofMaine.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Alberta
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2008 Sport 175
    Engine(s)
    3.0L Mercruiser, Alpha 1
    Posts
    124

    Re: Depth finder

    On my 08, the gauge cluster had an extra 2" hole just meant for a depth finder. When I purchased the boat, the dealer gave me a Hummingbird HDR610. Found out that the puck transducer didn't work on my model (cause the floor design), so the pickup was installed on the transom.
    It's nothing fancy, does not read water temp, but has shallow alarms, the zero can be adjusted, looks good, and most importantly it reads the depths accurately, even in rough water. Recently we were in the Shuswap and it read all the way to 433'.
    '08 175 Sport


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Kill Devil Hills, NC
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1996 270 Sundancer
    Engine(s)
    New twin 4.3's - 235hp each with Alpha 1 Gen 2 Drives
    Posts
    1,652

    Re: Depth finder

    My depth gauge died not long after I got mine and didn't bother replacing since I wanted a fish finder as well. The additional functionality of the fish finder is well worth the time and effort. I bought a Humminbird with the transom mount which gives depth as well as water temp - has worked very well. Gets a little confused at times when there are weeds but it's a nice little unit. It was only $89 at WM.
    <img src=http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm268/tdappleman/boatatsunsetgrill.jpg border=0 alt= />
    Travis Appleman
    Kill Devil Hills, NC
    "Something Fishy"
    ASE Certified Technician
    www.coastalfastlube.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Long Island
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2000 Searay 180 BR
    Engine(s)
    3.0 Mercruiser
    Posts
    14

    Re: Depth finder

    Thanks for all the replies. Are there any stand alone units that are depth finders only? Doesn't seem to be any that I can see. They all look like they need to be mounted in the dash.

    I think I'm going to look for a simple fish finder/depth finder but my next question is transom mount or shoot thru. I have read mixed replies on weather or not a shoot thru will work on Searay. Some say they worked fine. Many say the hull is too thick or something. Anyone using a shoot thru with success?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Alberta
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2008 Sport 175
    Engine(s)
    3.0L Mercruiser, Alpha 1
    Posts
    124

    Re: Depth finder

    I miss all the info that my fish finder showed which was installed in our old boat. When i got this new SR, I did not want the big screen bolted onto the dash, that's why I went with the small depth gauge. As long as you find a nice place to install it, there are lots of different kinds. The more money you spend just gives you bigger screens, more options, bluetooth, etc, etc.
    As for the shoot through, I wanted that too, untill I found out the hull is injected with foam and that it wouldn't work on my 08 model so I had to use the transom mount. Also I didn't want to drill holes in a perfectly new boat, but now that everything is installed, I'm happy with the result. The secret is to install the pick up properly and it will give you good readings.
    '08 175 Sport


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