Posted by: Dan Sprague | July 21, 2012

I updated my depthfinder…

My small sailboat’s navigation equipment is more than adequate for the sailing we do in it.  It gets most of its use on the river we live on, so the need for much in the way of navigation instruments is nonexistant.

A cell phone can be used instead of a VHR radio, the river runs basically east and west so the compass is not needed, speed / distance is not needed, a GPS is not needed, but a depth finder is useful. My little boat was once hit by lightning, and all the original electronic navigation instruments were blown away but the depth finder.

The depth finder is an old Stingray flasher unit that has a dial you set a minimum depth on, and a display shows what depth is under the boat. A sound alarm sounds when the minimum depth is approached. It is simple, and it is all that it is needed on the river. I am guessing it is about 20 years old. 😎  And it survived the lightning strike so I am reluctant to get rid of it. It is nostalgic.

The old portable fish-finder that we have is about the same vintage and it survived because the unit was not hooked up. When the transducer went missing and a replacement part as no longer available, I thought about replacing it. The old unit was a pain to use so it was seldom used. The new units are not comparable to the old one we have.

When I mentioned that I might get a new fish-finder to my wife, I was surprised when she said it’s about time. I figured I could get a basic unit that would also complement the depth finder. Or maybe a side scan unit with a GPS / plotter, down imaging and that could be upgraded to a 360 degree unit. 😎

I struggled with myself between a low end and a high end unit. It came down to what I wanted and what I needed. For as little fishing as we do, going high end was not logical. I could always upgrade to a better unit if I really liked it.

I got a Humminbird 345c DI. It is a DualBeam Down Imaging® finder that shows you a side image picture below the boat. It displays a view of structures on the bottom, definition and contour of the bottom and it shows where the fish are. It is easy to use and much more than I needed. I do not think I will use many of the functions that it has built in. One function I will use when sailing is a large number display of depth and speed over the water because it is easy to read. That display and with my old depth finder display it can give a great idea what is under the boat at a glance.

We will be doing more fishing. I love the little fish on the screen display and they call out to put a line overboard. I may just step up to a better unit with side scan if I can find a logical reason (or excuse) in doing so. 😎 This type of technology is fun and addictive.


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