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  1. #1

    How useful is a depth finder?

    I thought this would be a useful add-on but now I'm wondering. Is it more useful for navigating channels or for knowing the depth when selecting an anchoring/fishing location?

    Is it worth the extra $399 ?

    (looks like it's a simple plug in on the GTX if I want to add it later, right ?)

  2. #2
    SplishSplash's Avatar
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    If you know your waterway, its a waste of money. If your riding in an area with sudden depth changes due to rocks,its a waste of money as your on the rock before you know it. Navigation in unknown waters is far more usefull.
    You can buy a really good nav/Depth unit for that price.

  3. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongIslandBrit View Post
    useful for navigating channels or for knowing the depth when selecting an anchoring/fishing location?

    Have a look in the Fishing section on GH. There are threads that discuss chartplotter and fish-finder equipment and related.

    I have also posted in several threads regarding the Garmin EchoMAP 95SV chart-plotters we currently use.

    We are often riding in unfamiliar waters and at times really depend upon our Garmin for navigation info. Not just for locations of marked channels but also the bottom profile and known rocks/shoals/obstacles at or just below the water surface. I have navigated through extensive shoal areas using the Garmin charts. Just looking across the water surface it all looked about the same, without the charts we would most likely have contacted many rocks.

    The Garmin Downview and SideView * displays show the bottom profile (and inferred type) and it can show fish in the water column.

    Depth as a number is of course also shown, along with water temp, GPS speed, etc.

    For our uses we chose the largest display size we could reasonably fit onto the ski. For several years we have been using the nine inch screen size. Prior to that was seven inch Garmin. With the larger screen sizes it is easier to see chart details while riding at speed.

    http://greenhulk.net/forums/showthre...=1#post3148149

    http://greenhulk.net/forums/showthre...=1#post3141457

    http://greenhulk.net/forums/showthre...=1#post3132301

    http://greenhulk.net/forums/showthre...=1#post3132190

    http://greenhulk.net/forums/showthre...=1#post3131739




  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by SplishSplash View Post
    If you know your waterway, its a waste of money. If your riding in an area with sudden depth changes due to rocks,its a waste of money as your on the rock before you know it.
    Thanks; that's what I was thinking - skis can ride in very shallow water so there are few waterways where I'm going to have a problem as I'm going to be travelled 'well ridden' routes and following other traffic.

    You can buy a really good nav/Depth unit for that price.
    For $399? Like what? THe sea Garmins seem to start at $600+

  5. #5
    Thanks K447 - originally I was looking at Sat nav but decided I'll see how I'm using the ski first but I was left with the choice of the standard depth finder, hence the questions here. Sound like the DF isn't going to be so useful for me, but if I add it to the Garmin, do I have to drill a hole in the hull for the sonar/DF to get all features working?

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongIslandBrit View Post
    do I have to drill a hole in the hull for the sonar/DF to get all features working?
    There are in-hull transducers available. The trick is finding a spot inside the hull where there is no inner liner (sonar requires attachment directly to the inside surface of the actual outer hull material).

    And there needs to be no other obstacles inside the hull.

    And the outside of the hull at that location must provide clean water flow, no turbulent flow and no outside hull hardware. So it must not be over the ride plate edges or hull strakes, for example.

    I use an externally mounted Garmin transducer, which is also required for the side view feature to work.

    I have made several holes into my hull for various things, and a hole somewhere is required to pass the sonar sensor cable into the hull from the external transducer. I added a hole through the forward top of the transom tunnel area so the gland cable seal fitting would be out of the water. The wet portion of the cable routes around the front of the jet pump base and upwards.

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  8. #7
    Mod less, ride more! troyheb's Avatar
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    I have the used the SD OEM depth finders since they came out. Currently have them in my Rxpx and Rxtx. They are great if you explore new waters, which we do alot of.

  9. #8
    canuck's Avatar
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    I have the oem one in my 2015 RXT-X and will add one to the new 2022 I have on order. The waterways we ride in are usually very silty due to tides and currents so you have no idea if the depth is 1ft or 30ft by looking at the water as mentioned above they need to be used with some common sense, understand the limitations of the unit and local tide conditions when in tidal areas. Mine is located at the rear of the hull so when you're travelling at anything above idle it's not going to warn you of shallow water ahead as it's reading what you just passed over. The depth sensor stops reading around 25mph and will only read to depths up to 100ft I tend to use it in known waters to help stay in the middle of channels at low tides and slow speeds.

  10. #9
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuck View Post
    I have the oem one in my 2015 RXT-X located at the rear of the hull so when you're travelling at anything above idle it's not going to warn you of shallow water ahead as it's reading what you just passed over.

    The depth sensor stops reading around 25mph and will only read to depths up to 100ft

    I tend to use it in known waters to help stay in the middle of channels at low tides and slow speeds.
    My Garmin will read to depths beyond 500 feet (and I have seen that on my own screen) and will report depth while traveling at speeds of 50mph.

    The depth sensor is at the rear of the hull but typically the bottom profile does not rise instantly from dozens of feet up to less than two. Big rocks and underwater obstacles do occur but most of the time the real-time depth reading combined with the chart depth color shading provides enough info to stay out of trouble. Other chart markings showing rocks give clues about the type of bottom in that area.

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  12. #10

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    If you travel the ICW, with the changing tide and when we get a storm, the shore line changes. One day there's island, next day it's gone. You can be 1/4 mile from shore and the depth is at 3 ft. Depth finder has kept me out of problems. Don't leave home without one. It's worth the 399.00. (if you can find one)


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