When we take our depth finder in a boat that is not our own, the biggest challenge is mounting the transducer. You want a good reading, but you do not want to hassle with it. There is a much easier and inexpensive way to mount a transducer portably than by using a bulky clamp-on device or sticking to an unsure surface with suction cups. It is a perfect example of the saying “simpler is better”. Just like the high performance bass boats of today, you can use most any type of transducer placed in the hull to get similar results in even the most basic fishing boat.
By setting the transducer on the bottom of the boat hull in a puddle of water you can read clearly, just as if the transducer were mounted on the outside of the boat. The only requirement is that the hull must be constructed of a single layer of material, like aluminum or fiberglass. The water acts as an effective sound conductor between the transducer and the hull, and then out to the water below. It’s best to find a good flat spot near the center of the stern away from the ribs or rivets. Most of the time you can expect very good high-speed performance as well.
This can be done with most any transducer type that was designed to read on your unit. When you first set it down, wet the transducer by rubbing some water on the face of it. Slide it around and look at the unit. Find the location where the bottom signal looks the strongest. Make sure It’s sitting in at least 1/4″ of clean water. Don’t be surprised to find that it may vibrate and move out of place at times. Placing a sopping wet rag around and over it can help keep it in position.
A minor drawback to using this method is the abuse that your transducer goes through. Any hits to the transducer face can be bad for the transducer. The extreme vibration between it and the hull can be damaging to the transducer. After time, it can become weak. You’ll notice that you aren’t seeing as many fish or your losing bottom when it gets deep and soft. Then It’s time for a new one. This doesn’t happen when the transducer is glassed or glued into place. You can help the situation by putting the transducer down only when you’re most interested in looking at the depth finder. Also, keep the area of water clean and free of gritty sand and dirt. Oil and gas in the water can make readings very difficult as well. Keep a clean rag along and wipe the face of the transducer from time to time.
It’s not fancy, but this method of mounting a transducer is very simple and effective. And there is one less thing hanging onto the outside of the boat that you need to worry about.
The new Pro View Ice-Ducer works really well for this.