Having adequate placement for your transducer is essential for ensuring optimal sonar performance. Contracting with a professional at a marine electronic service company can eliminate many problems that surface from an improperly placed transducer.
Below we have outlined the steps necessary to properly mount your transducer.
1. Understand Manufacturer Instructions
Every transducer has installation disclaimers provided by the manufacturer. Ensure all onboard equipment and electrical wiring is installed according to these instructions.
If you are unsure, a marine electronic service in Michigan can provide professional support.
Once the electrical is completed, your imaging transducer will be ready to be installed.
2. Position Boat for Transducer
Before you can start the actual installation, you must move your overboard boat to shallow water while keeping the lower unit high above the bottom. Ensure the motor is in its trim position and off.
3. Find Best Imaging View
Get in the water with the transducer, behind your boat. Try out different positioning options while watching the monitor to find the most precise image.
This is usually a two-person job: one watching the monitor and one positioning him or her self until you find the best setting.
4. Mark the At-Rest Waterline
It is ideal to place a transducer above the running surface, but below the at-rest loaded waterline. This protects the transducer, so it doesn’t drag, and air bubbles aren’t compromising the image. You may need to take the boat out at to confirm where the transducer would sit best while at your average speed.
Mark the at-rest loaded waterline and the desired location for the transducer to be placed. Tilting the motor may be required to obtain a desirable view.
5. Mount on Dry Land
Move your boat back to dry land and position your transducer in the ideal location. Use screws or another transducer mounting system to secure. A transducer mounting plate will ensure you are able to adjust your transducer as needed.
6. Test and Adjust as Needed
Many transducers are installed too far from the keel of the boat. This can cause poor sonar readings when at high speeds, sometimes with no image at all. The only way to know for sure if your placement is correct is to run the boat after mounting the transducer. It is common for a transducer to need to be adjusted after the initial installation.
Things to Avoid
If you are choosing between mounting on the port side or starboard side, consider that there is a clockwise rotation. This means that the starboard side is more desirable because the cavitation is above the transducer.
When mounted on the port side, you may find an issue with bubbles under the transducer.
The material of your boat also plays a factor with transducer placement. With aluminum boats, a transducer should be mounted directly behind the strakes and rivets parallel to the keel. In comparison, transducers on fiberglass boats can be placed on the bottom step by the pickup and drains.
If you are interested in multiple transducers, the placement of each is even more crucial than when using only one to avoid interference with each other.
Proper transducer placement will eliminate guesswork, unnecessary boat damage, and wasted time relocating your transducer from an incorrect location.