Installing the echo sounder sensor on the yacht
Denis Korablev
  • 03.12.2019
  • 789

Installing the echo sounder sensor on the yacht

Echo sounder is an indispensable technical assistant for yachtsmen and fishermen, allowing you to accurately analyze the situation under the vessel. One of the most demanded questions among water motors, especially when choosing yachts for rent, is the fixing of the device sensor. Any echo sounder contains at least 2 components: a transducer and the device itself with a screen. Sensors come in different types depending on the installation. Correct (or incorrect) installation of the sensor will determine many points in the operation of the device.

Transom transducers are mounted near the outboard motor propeller and will severely distort the data when the boat enters planing mode. Among the disadvantages of this kind of sensors is a high probability of damaging the device while driving (debris, drifts, etc. can interfere)

Another type of sensors are those mounted on the bottom and located inside the hull (the mounting method is only suitable for ships with a plastic hull). The disadvantage of such sensors is that the signal loss due to the operation of the device through the body is significant, the sensitivity is reduced, and the scanning depth is small. Often, 1-4 kW sensors are mounted on the bottom, with an effective echo sounding depth of 250-3000 m.

Inset view of sensors is embedded in the bottom of the yacht, the size of its hull and the angle of dispersion of the emitted signal is selected according to the thickness of the skin and the angle of its inclination. Air bubbles, aquatic vegetation, vessel speed, or floating debris will not interfere with the effectiveness of the in-line sensor.

Plunge-in inclined sensors, the emitter of which has a free stroke in the middle of the body at a given angle, are designed for mounting on keel bodies and have approximately the same power as the in-hole ones. For installation, a place is selected with the formation of turbulence in water flows - in front of the rudder, keel or propeller.

Most common sensors

Based on the experience of our specialists in yacht rental, transom sensors are most widely used, but, as already mentioned, This mounting method has many disadvantages. A sensor that receives data through the yacht's hull material does not work on ship hulls made of wood, aluminum or steel. And for installation, they select places where there are no air bubbles in fiberglass - they contribute to a delay in the conduction of sound. The good thing about in-hole sensors is that they are suitable for yachts of any size, and the propellers do not generate any significant interference for them. Tilt sensors compensate for bottom deadliness at the point of installation and ensure maximum efficiency of the device, but their cost often reaches 50% of the price of the echo sounder.

The most commonly used type of echo sounder is the cheap 1- and 2-beam instruments used by fishermen, travelers and even ice fishing aficionados.

Travelers buy fancy chartplotters, combining several devices at once: a navigator, an echo sounder and a remote control for tracking engine parameters. And fishermen and divers use expensive structured scanners capable of producing incredibly accurate color images of the bottom.

Interestingly, even the simplest echo sounder allows to record the temperature of the water overboard, notify of a sharp decrease in depth and inform about a decrease in voltage in the on-board network.

Installing the echo sounder

The echo sounder, if necessary, can be installed independently, while it must be remembered that the quality of the resulting image will directly depend on the correct installation of the emitter. When placing the remote sensor, it will be necessary to ensure reliable contact of the device with water. The perpendicularity of the sensor to the water surface must also be ensured. When installing a built-in sensor, it is better to entrust this work to experienced specialists with professional tools.

The method of gluing the sensor into the body is very convenient, but it cannot be used in some cases:

  • When the yacht has a hull made of wood, there will be no signal due to the porosity of the wood structure;
  • When the body contains transverse steps - due to air bubbles in the boundary medium, the aerated bottom is not suitable for mounting the meter;
  • In the case of a whaleboat stern of a displacement hull, hovering on waves in the air and at this time the sensor's connection with the bottom is lost, etc.

After the cable is laid in accordance with the rules, and the monitor is fixed, the task is to find an acceptable place for the sensor to be located so that the quality of its readings does not suffer from air bubbles falling under the bottom on the move. It is possible to screw the transom to the transom from the inside, then it will be necessary to maintain a certain constant level of sub-bed water to prevent the formation of an air wedge between the bottom and the transducer.

As an option - glue the sensor on a straight section of the bottom between the redans, - it is fixed with construction sealant or auto-plasticine. You can also use the method when the gap between the bottom and the sensor is filled with a conductive liquid.

A correctly mounted sensor will delight the shipowner with stable readings throughout the season. By using an echo sounder, you significantly reduce the likelihood of running the boat aground or damaging the propeller. Enjoy sailing on your dream yacht!