I am having the new platinium version installed on my next boat.
So I too am interested in any answers.
I was tempted with the USA one which has twice the power and range in certain circumstances but in the ended opted for the UK one.
Its seems that the range depends on the depth, so in shallow water it is reduced. However a few hundred yards in normal depths of water may be of some help when travelling about 10 knots - helpt in avoiding a container or something like that.
Above that speed, there is just no time.
My main purpose for getting one is when probing into bays and anchorages etc.
Be worth talking to Echopilot. I think they test most of their kit on a Nelson which, whilst it isn't a planing hull, proceeds at a reasonable pace. Presumably they'll have established whether or not it works at planing speeds.
I had one on a boat i bought a couple of years ago . I could not get it to work well , I sent the box and the tranducer back to manufacturer for refurb tested A ok , fitted back to boat still did not seem to work well , and still does not.
I personaly doubt if a forward looking sonar would work at planing speed, then take into account pitching when you would be measuring the angle of the boat and the depth below that angle rather than the actual depth of the water. I am not convinced .
I would consider myself reasonable at the use and interpretation of radar. I would suggest a good chart plotter, a good echo sounder and a good understanding of the tidesis more prudent.
PS I hate smileys and emoticons which are the spawn of the devil!
I have sopken to the echo pilot people and they made it clear that it cannot work at planing speeds - at say 25 knots you are covering a 200 yard stretch in under 15 seconds - simply not enough time to get the signal, establish an action and take it. The forward looking sonar is not meant to work like that.
Even at 10 knost you would only have about 45 seconds.
They are probalby good at poking up inlets and avoiding sand banks etc at 3 knots when in shallow water, you may only be seeing say 15 yards ahead anyway.
Placed in wrong position. Same basics as putting a depth sounder trasducer into the boat. Many complain that at planing speed depth sounders dont work. They do, if placed correctly. Same applies to FLS. Put it in the right place, it will work
Blinking useless at planing speeds though, so a pretty meaningless conversation. As Gludy says, use them for poking into bays and inlets
As others have suggested the FLS is really an aid to getting close into shore at v.slow speeds without hitting the bottom. If you want it to avoid collision with a semi-submerged object at speed such as a container then this is the wrong tool for the job. You need to be looking at EchoPilot's other product CASS (collision avoidance sonar system) which is a much more sophisticated product and you pay for it, about £8,000 I think. Sounds a lot, but how much would it cost if you hit a 30' steel contained at 25kts?!!! Look for CASS at http://www.echopilot.com
But the collision avoidance system does not work - they are having problems telling the difference between waves and real objects 1 km away.
Its a product that won an award in a recent mag article but they have awarded a product that does not really exist .... so I guess the award is for the best idea???
I wish it did work because the idea of hitting a container at 25 knots scares me and I would buy one right away!
Well, all they need to do is throw some more processing power at it. I'm sure it will work, eventually; the only issue is whether they can keep the price down to a level that would encourage enough "leisure users" to buy it!
The military have lots of things that can do lots of seeing and listening and some of it classified at the mo but like much technology military wise, it will filter through to joe public in time, no doubt.
I inherited one already fitted to a secondhand Targa 48 I used to own. It never worked properly at high speed or low speed. I spoke to Echopilot who suggested that this might be due to interference from the other echosounder on the boat so I disconnected that. Even then the FLS still didnt work so I just gave up on it.
That would be a magnetic anomaly detection device, where the equipment measures the minute changes in the earths' magnetic field, caused by the passage of a large metallic object, such as a missile sub.
You could always ask the MoD if they are willing to lend-lease you one?