The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ.
The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.
Greetings from a 4th year owner of a C25 and a developing yet enthusiastic sailor. I've visited this forum a number of times and have always come away with something of value. An article I printed out on pointing a couple of years back has been particularly valuable to me as have some lessons from a couple of folks around the marina.
I freely admit I'll be taking more than I'm giving on this forum for the foreseeable future.
I'm getting ready to pull the boat out and give it the once over, top to bottom, including bottom paint and I may have a question or two. I'll also be adding a depth sounder, through the hull and ahead of the keel where it will help me anchor on our lake which has very variable depths.
Anyway, thanks for letting me join and I look forward to learning and sharing when I can.
PS - If someone could please let me know how to send my membership $ I would appreciate it.
1985 C-25 TR/FK #4940 Midsummer Lake Don Pedro, CA
Welcome to the Forum. You mentioned installing a depthfinder through the hull. In most instances, installing thorough the hull is not necessary. These days, mfrs usually have a depthfinder and/or fishfinder model that has a sensor that can be mounted on the hull. The only affect with installing on the hull vs through the hull is the strength of the signal. For example, my Humminbird fishfinder indicates that it's transducer can be mounted off the transom in the water with a strength able to detect depths to 1000ft. If mounted on the bottom of the hull, the accuracy of the meter is about the same but the strength of the signal is less - down to 400ft. For my purposes on the Potomac River, I am dealing with depths down to about 45ft and so in-hull mounting of the transducer has been fine. I installed my fishfinder over 10 years ago. The transducer was mounted simply by taking a glob of a toilet bowl wax ring bought at Home depot, slapping the glob on the hull below the VBerth and then squishing the transducer into the glob, I then smoothed out the glob to ensure it overlapped all edges of the transducer. I have had a strong signal ever since. Also, you may want to consider a fishfinder versus a depthfinder. Fishfinders have the benefit of sort of giving you an idea of the depth contour besides actual single point depth readings. I say it sort of gives a sense of the bottom contour because fishfinders screen scrolls over time not distance. Even so, it is great for seeing the change of the bottom contour of the river I sail in. You get a sense of how fast the bottom is coming up or staying at same depth.
My website has details of my fishfinder install. Below are two photos to give you an idea:
Excellent Larry and thank you. I hadn't thought of a fishfinder before but it makes sense given the variable terrain at the bottom of our lake.
So your transducer is reading through the hull material? I've heard of those but I guess I thought the hull was too thick for that. Mainly I'm interested in anchoring and not running aground in shallow water. So I don't care about depths over 20 feet or so.
I figured, since I'm pulling the boat out I'd install a through-hull transducer like the one shown below. (Hey, if God didn't want us to put holes in our boats, then he wouldn't have given us drills and hole saws!) I'd get the added benefit of a speed meter as well. I planned on putting the sensor exactly where you put yours, just ahead of the keel. I was doing to set an offset to the bottom of the keel and set a depth alarm.
Now I'll rethink punching a hole.
Can I ask what those two white things are just aft of your sensor and sea cock? More sensors?
1985 C-25 TR/FK #4940 Midsummer Lake Don Pedro, CA
I have my sensor mounted in the space underneath my quarterberth. I too use toiletbowl wax to pot my sensor. I also have a fish finder but I use it in my freshwater canoe for lake trout fishing and on Passage for flounder fishing. I've rigged the sensor to a 1X3" stick to mount it using a clamp to the gunwales. The fish finder head uses a suction cup to mount it in the boat. The power connector uses a cigar lighter plug. In my canoe, I use a battery booster gizmo for power.
You will find that many utilize the model fishfinder/depthfinder that has a transducer that will read from in the hull. The only real difference between the sensors is that the one that mounts in the hull has a wider base facilitating installing it. Many mfrs will recommend utilizing epoxy to install the transducer in the hull but from the experience of many on the forum, that is not only an overkill but not recommended since if you do not get a good signal, using epoxy does not make it easy to relocate the transducer. But using a toilet bowl wax ring matl is extremely versatile and very forgiving if you want to relocate the transducer.
The two white things are the old depthfinder transducer and the existing speed transducer. Both of these are thru-hull fittings. Since I have no use of the old depthfinder transducer, I left it in place and just cut the wires to it and removed the wires leading back to old depthfinder.
I have more to say about installing a speedmeter but wanted to first mention that the way I installed my fishfinder many may not see the immediate advantage. First of all, I utilized a RAM Swing mount which is fantastic for swinging the fishfinder back into the cabin when leaving the boat at the end of the day. Also, the height of the fishfinder install was selected purposely so that I can put 2 companionway boards in if rain is threatening or there is slight rain. The fishfinder would be positioned just above having two companionway boards installed. The last thing is that my install required no addl cuts or holes drilled into the bulkhead. What you see from the above photo is very deceiving - Those studs/nuts are not in new drilled holes !! I purposely designed that Starboard support board so that the studs fit within the depthfinder hole that existed. So. the studs are not in pre-drilled holes but actually along the inside perimeter of the pre-existing depthfinder hole. Once the nuts are tightened on those stud bolts, the starboard support is then held in place by friction/clamping down on those stud bolts. Also, the starboard is purposely extended to be snug adjacent on the left side to the bulkhead fiberglas edge. That ensures that the starboard support cannot rotate or slip being held firmly by the stud bolts that create a friction fit and the companionway edge stop.
I do not like putting addl holes or cuts in my boat especially if I can improve on the attachment method.
Back to the speedmeter - If the depthfinder/fishfinder you were considering has a thru-hull depth/speed combo transducer, I would for that reason alone reconsider away from a combo thru-hull transducer never mind the fact that you can utilize an in the hull depth transducer. The story with speed transducers is that they are sometimes prone (especially on sailboats) to becoming clogged or obstructed by slime,algae or seaweed growths. Some sailors just live with inaccurate or OOC (out of commission) speed meters until they pull their boats out and can clean the exterior of the speed transducer. However, other sailors that have speed transducers that have an internally threaded housing that allows or facilitates temporary removal of the speed transducer to clean it and re-install it, is the better option. This option involves the use of a dummy plug that is temporarily union joint threaded in to take the place of the speed transducer while you clean the transducer and then remove the dummy plug and re-install the transducer. This can be done waterborne but approximately 1/2-1 gallon or more water may enter/gush into the boat while performing the above operation. Not necessarily a tension-free maintenance action. I have performed this a few times during the years but never look forward to it - Don't like the sight of the water gushing in....but except for about 1 gallon of water to deal with, it is an okay method for maintaining accurate speed readings. The thru-hull shown in your photo does not seem like the one that allows for the speed sensor to be threaded out and temporarily replaced with a dummy plug and so the transducer in your photo may just have to wait to be cleaned at end of season or whenever you pull the boat out of the water.
There are also two other options regarding speed meters...actually 3: 1) If there was an old speed meter installed that does not work (ie. SR Mariner). SR Mariner does not sell new units any more but they do support their old SR Mariner speed meters. The old unit can be reconditioned and/or a new speed transducer complete with housing and dummy plug can be ordered from this Long Island.NY Mfr.
2) Some sailors forgo utilizing a mechanical speed meter with a thru or in-hull transducer and instead, utilize a portable or semi-permanent GPS meter. This would be one of those hockey puck style speed/GPS speed meters that West Marine sells or a handheld Garmin/Magellan GPS. You can also go all out and instead of getting a fishfinder, get a more expensive (and more amp drainage) fishfinder/GPS plotter - That will then show depth, charts and speed. The handheld GPS is what most would go with if not a speed meter with transducer. The issue is that some sailors prefer knowing their speed versus the water rushing by which is what you get from a transducer versus a handheld GPS gives you true speed based on distance actually travelled - Does not take into account any current/tide movements.
(3) There is an ultrasonic speedmeter that is on the market but it is very expensive and not sure how well it performs. Do not know any on the forum that has reported experience with one of these. Actually, I am experienced with ultrasonic flowmeters (on much larger size boats (ie ships) for measuring flows as part of data collection for determining pump performance. But it is a different animal involving two transducers, bouncing the signal from one to the other and humongous cost - 1000s of dollars.
Anyway, others will weigh in on all this and provide you with plenty to consider.
Others have more knowledge, however my depth transducer is mounted in, not through, under the Port settee. I used silicon rather than toilet bowl wax, which has worked reasonably well. I have wind/speed/direction instruments but use my portable GPS for speed. I know hull sped is not over the bottom speed, but for my purposes it suffices.
Welcome to our eclectic group of proud Catalina owners!
Peter Bigelow C-25 TR/FK #2092 Limerick Rowayton, Ct
The downside to wax can be high temperatures, but that is not usually an issue if the boat is in the water unless its summer in the FL Keys and water temp is 90º. The downside to silicon is its flexibility that leads to some signal loss that is manageable if you keep it very thin by pressing the transducer into it firmly until it sets. Regardless, most would recommend using wax initially to test function in your chosen location before using the more permanent silicone.
Dave B. aboard Pearl 1982 TR/SK/Trad. #3399 Lake Erie/Florida Panhandle
Its really your choice as to using a 'Through hull' like I have or an 'In hull' that shoots through the hull. Advantages to both. With an in-hull transducer, the signal is transmitted and received through the hull of the boat. As a result, there is considerable loss of sonar performance but there are no holes to be drilled. The reading may jump around or flicker at times but is easy to replace if necessary. Through hulls generally provides the best performance but require a hole drilled in the boat. My through hull works flawlessly with constant readings. It doesn't jump around or go blank. Another good spot to consider when placing the transducer is under the quarter berth, just to the starboard side of the companion way. The hull is fairly flat there so the beam will shoot vertically and the wire run is much shorter. If you decide on a Through hull Use the wax ring method and try various spots until you get a satisfactory reading. Having it mounted forward or more to the rear won't lesson the chance of running aground. Who can stop a boat in 10ft. My depth finder is a stand alone unit and I have a chartplotter on a Ram mount that gives me speed and position.
Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688 Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound
Thanks again to all of you, I feel well prepared to make some purchases based on the experience you shared. I think GPS is the best option for me for speed an location. I've been using my phone and GPS Essentials app to date and it works wll for me. I plug it into the TV monitor mounted on the bulkhead for a better view.
This weekend we did one last overnight on the lake before pulling the boat. It was my first experience in complete white-out conditions. The fog was forecast to lift around noon and when we were crossing the dam with a good view of the lake at 11:30am I could see the sun breaking through and the fog lifting. Winds were 6-8 kts and steady. Beautiful. We set the 130 and off we went.
Then the fog came back in hard. A hundred yards out of the marina and we couldn't even see it anymore. I would say we had visibility of less than 100 feet for most of the cruise out. Plus there was a bass tournament on and those guys all have chart plotters and go fast, very fast.
I used my air horn when I heard a boat approaching and going through some inlets.
So this was my first experience with the complete disorientation that comes from zero visibility. I had to fight hard to trust the map and GPS heading when my brain kept telling me something different. Even then, there was a strong tendency to bear to starboard and end up to the right of where I was heading. I got close to some rocks that I generally avoid.
I made is ok and it was a good experience, one that I needed to have. I would have liked to have an eye an that "third dimension" of depth as I could easily have wandered into some shallows or crossed a bar that would have caught my keel.
We made a 7 mile trip out and had a nice night in a sheltered cove, watched over by another guy that was fogged in (below).
1985 C-25 TR/FK #4940 Midsummer Lake Don Pedro, CA
I've flown in that type weather before. The 3rd dimension adds some fun to the mix. My longest time in the clouds with no break to see the ground was right at two hours. All the time watching the outside temp as it was barely above freezing. I slept really well that night! LOL.
I can appreciate your experiences with fog. I had a somewhat similar experience, many years ago when I used to sail out of Huntington Harbor on Long island. My spouse and I had stayed overnight at the Oyster Bay Sand Hole (west of Huntington on the northern spit of Oyster Bay). The Sand Hole, as it was called, was a great overnight anchoring spot for many boats. Overnight, it had rained and when it seemed to clear in the morning, we took off. I started tacking toward the Connecticut side of Long Island Sound and thought was to make Huntington in two very long tacks - One toward Connecticut and then the second to drop into Huntington Harbor. However, as we made the crossing toward Connecticut, the Connecticut shoreline was getting harder and harder to make out as a dense fog started to settle in. It became so bad, you could hardly see anything ahead and sounds on the Long island Sound became suddenly quite muffled/quiet with only an occasional fog horn that could be heard. The wind as practically at a standstill and I was using my outboard. I would give a fog horn blast every so often and I then had to rely on my compass and my paper charts. I was heading on the tack toward Huntington Harbor, but as you indicated, you have doubts trusting your instruments. In my case, this was a time when I really needed to rely on the compass as you could not see anything in the soup. After occasionally blowing the fog horn, we then both heard sounds, sort of like a train at slow speed. This, of course, made us quite anxious as not knowing what was out there. I blew my fog horn and in return, we heard a large bellowing fog horn - This certainly was not good, as we traded fog horn sounds, louder and in increasing frequency. We then heard someone yell out, "Do you see us ?" Boy - This was not good at all ! I then saw this guy on what was obviously a large ship. I yelled back, "We see you" and we are turning around ! After awhile, I was able to put my thoughts together as we got a better look at what was travelling parallel to the Sound , heading East, while we were heading mostly South toward them, until I turned around - It was the Port Jefferson Oil Tanker ! I had only seen this ship one time and that was anchored in Port Jefferson. Figures that in all the times I had gone sailing, the one time I comer across this tanker, it turns out to be while boatng and in dense fog ! After a few minutes and not hearing the ship any longer, I turned back on to my compass heading and some time later, as the fog was lifting, trusting the compass worked out great, as we were then just heading into Huntington Harbor.
My spouse tells this story as one when she was scared and she tells it as basically not a good day boating. I tell the story as a great adventure and a successful, rewarding outcome utilizing the compass ! I guess it's a matter of perspective.
Notice: The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ. The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.