Forward Looking Sonar

Joined
4 Feb 2003
Messages
352
Location
UK
<font color="blue"> My existing depth meter is getting tempremental and works when it feels like it.

I am toying with the idea of replacing it with forward looking sonar, ideally with a transducer that I can mount inside the hull as I am going bluewater sailing and it would be useful to know what I am about to hit before i hit it.

Any advice or guidance would be very welcome.

Brendan
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Papapete5

New member
Joined
16 Feb 2005
Messages
11
Location
Corfu, Greece
Forward looking sonar relies on a transducer which protrudes from the hull and faces forward. So there is no possibility to mount inside the hull. I know FLS have been working on a system that could act as a warning system, but their systems are mainly intended to help with berthing or approaching unknown shorelines. You could also contact them directly they are very helpful.

Papapete
 

Salty John

Active member
Joined
6 Sep 2004
Messages
4,563
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UK
I had forward looking sonar for a couple of years cruising in the Bahamas and it didn't earn its price in my opinion. It certainly wouldn't see sufficiently far forward at shallow enough depth to see anything you might hit in blue water. It was occasionally useful in shallow water, to tell you which way to turn if the depth was getting dodgy and you didn't instinctively know which way the deeper water was. The transducer was never a problem although it is quite bulbous. If I inherited it on a boat again I'd keep it, but I wouldn't buy it myself.
 

Danthegorrila

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Joined
28 Apr 2002
Messages
146
Location
in med on way to ........ home used to be in Cumbr
Hi
We changed to a FLS a couple of years ago, it was rubbish and never really worked. Echopilot exchanged the transducer (which as someone has said has to go through the hull) and it works very well.

However...... You can not use it alone as a depth sounder or in any way as a warning of hazards.

We have fitted another depth sounder to use when sailing, and the FLS comes into its own getting into anchorages etc. It is also great for helping when anchoring, it gives a very good idea of the bottom and you can find a flat, boulder free bit to drop the hook.

A second advantage if you go for the higher standard instrument it makes a repeater for GPS etc in the cockpit, which we use much of the time switching to FLS when doing inshore pilotage.

A last note, if you go the same way we have you need to get a 2nd depth sounder working at a different frequency, which is difficult and again expensive. We got around this by fitting a through hull transducer near the stern ( do remeber that tubulance will stop it working so you need it infront of the prop etc. away from the keel, on flat section and far enough from the FLS not to interfer.)

I hope this all helps.

PB
 

RPC

New member
Joined
9 Jun 2004
Messages
105
Location
Currently UK (last 6 months)
We used an "Interphase Probe" multiple array forward looking sonar on the last half of our circumnavigation from New Zealand to UK

It was brilliant for the purpose for which I purchased it.......

It was great for surveying a potential anchorage;
keeping an eye on bottom changes in relativly shallow water (up to about 20 meters);
Exploring uncharted areas etc.

They are not very good in deep water and are useless for checking for semi submerged objects ahead. Like any echo sounder, sometimes they throw a wobbly under certain conditions.

These units (mine was excellent) are far superior to ordinary echo sounders, especially when venturing into badly charted areas.

I would not go long distance cruising without one now that I know what they can do if used properly, but I would spend the money on a powerful and well proven device.

Rod
 

fireball

New member
Joined
15 Nov 2004
Messages
19,453
I wonder if it would be feasible to mount a forward looking sounder in the bow ... ??
Would mean that it can look forward and down ... might be a pain if the bow lifts out the water too often...
 

RPC

New member
Joined
9 Jun 2004
Messages
105
Location
Currently UK (last 6 months)
These devices DO look forward, mine was mounted forward of the keel but they MUST remain submerged and should not be in turbulant water that has a lot of air mixed in. They warn of shoaling water, rocks etc ahead.
 
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