Cheap depth sounder/ fish finder.


Well-known Member
Hi folks, I guess this would be the best section to post this so here goes.

We want to start using our small motor boat for some coastal trips but currently have no electronics fitted.
We don't need anything complicated but would really benefit from a depth sounder.
I've had a little look around but there's quite a choice. Even some wrist watches that pick up the signal from the transducer.
I'm really looking for recommendations as regards which unit and advice as to how the transducer is fitted. Does it need a hole cut into the hull etc.

Many thanks for any replies.



Usually the transducer needs to point at the bottom of the sea so it is in a hole in the hull. Then the installation needs to be to makers specs to make sure the hole you made doesn't become an issue if the transducer falls out!

(Edit - I believe there are transom mounted transducers nowadays so that side of it has been made a bit more leisure use friendly)

Anyway if you want a depth sounder then buy that. A fish finder is the same technology but best to stick to the use the maker made it for IME. If you want to find fish look at specific fish finder models.

Work out what depths you need it for - when deep sea depth sounders are kind of redundant except when something expected or unexpected makes it shallow ( or you are fishing at deep depths)

If you wanted to 'see' the actual bottom at depths over 20 metres, you are looking for a depth finder for another specific purpose. Bit like surveying for charts (hydrographic surveys) and very specialised.

Looking for submarines? Another specialised purpose :D:laugh:

Anyway you get the idea - work out what you need and then look what is around. That will control costs off the bat as well since you can discount specialist devices that cost more and add nothing to your needs.

What is a small motor boat in your case? Is it built to any particular standards? The builder should be able to assist if they are still around.

Obviously if cutting holes etc yourself make sure you know what you are doing - or grit you teeth and hand over the money to a boat builder/repairer. Again if it was built to any standard make sure you do the work to the standard as may apply.

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