How to Install a Fishfinder?

Most people are conversant with the consequences of poor fish finder installation, especially the first time they try their hands on it. A well installed fish finder ensures you get an enviable fishing experience and that’s why my best fish finder makes it easy for you by training you on how to install fish finder in six effortless steps.

Settling on the Best Position for the Transducer

Your transducer will be one of those parts whose significance can’t be ignored. It will mimic the exceptional way in which most of the sea predators trace their prey by sending out sound waves and receiving echoes, enabling the fish finder to analyze what is held in the depths you can’t see. This means that if your transducer is not well installed, the sound waves will not be well transmitted leading to poor readings and less gain from your expedition.

Upon completing your fish finder installation you will realize that your transducer will be a fixed part of the boat and can’t be moved from time to time according to your preference. It has to be fixed on the transom; the place where the vessel’s name is commonly displayed. This will be done before fixing the fish finder, reason being that the fish finder’s position will be determined by the wires connecting it to the transducer.

It will be important to note that in order to achieve effective functionality in your transducer it will have to sit in a perfectly horizontal submerged position and be free from any interference. That means that as you fix it on the transom, you should ensure that the section it’s fixed on is smooth and a 12 to 14 inches distance from the propeller.

Part of the care it needs will include protection from being bumped around so check on its position in relation to boat trailing.

CAUTION: Installing a fish finder for a thru-hull transducer will include cutting a hole at the bottom of your boat. If you prefer this transducer please do seek the help of a professional for your installation.

Trial Run of the Wires

The wires are test run from the transducer to the main unit and from the main unit to the battery. We will use sealants on the mount holes attributable to the transducer and tampering with the sealants will have water flowing into the boat. The trial run should, therefore, take precedence over transducer mounting, ensuring the sealant remains intact by avoiding accidental tags in the wires after mounting the transducer.

During the trial run the wires may prove to be extremely long but that’s easily sorted out by coiling clamping them or even tying them near the main unit. Cutting them may seem like an innovative and easier way to go, until you visit your manufacturer and find that your warranty is no longer valid.

No matter how tempting it may seem, running the wires of the transducer with those of the engine’s wiring harness or VHF cable is not something you want to do as it will interfere with your fish finder performance.

Fix the Transducer

One of the most common issues associated with this stage is the numerous unnecessary holes that people drill into their boats. If you doubt your accuracy or drilling skills and can’t figure out how to install a fish finder while your boat retains that original touch, the plastic block will be a welcome savoir.

First, you will use glue to stick this plastic block on the perfectly picked out spot for your transducer before patiently waiting until the glue dries and sticks firmly. This will allow you to mount the transducer as previously instructed. Please mark the drilling points on the plastic block before mounting it for better precision. No matter how much confidence you may have in your accuracy, using a sealant is still necessary for precaution.

In case you have that perfect knack and would love to mount your transducer directly on the transom, you will still need to mark two holes and drill through them. This will be a more delicate option. Transducers carry mounting hardware in their box, and these will be used to screw it in. Extra precaution will be necessary in the use of the sealant in this case, with application on both sides necessary not to mention that the share of sealant used ought to be generous.

Run the Wires

Our installation is now almost complete and perfect, this being a step closer to the desired end. We earlier talked about test running the wires and now it’s time we run them. If you find drilling as taxing as I do run them above the transom, but if it sounds like something you would do just drill a hole into the transom and run the wires through it. Ensure that the drilled hole is a little high above water level.

Wires lying around in your boat may get in your way. Clumping or tying to secure them at a constant reasonable distance will give you a better boating experience. As you run the wires from the power source to the main unit bear in mind that the black wire is negative and the red wire positive. Inspect for a fuse in your cables. Even though most manufacturers will be kind enough to install it, please do install yours if your cable has none for security purposes in case of power surges which can cause large losses.

Don’t connect the terminals at this point but you can fasten them as you find appropriate using connectors.

Set-up the Fish Finder

At this point all other installations have been made. Installing a fish finder has never been easier. You already decided where your fish finder would be located at during the test run and now the wires are well placed in position for a final connection. This means that some wires should be running from the transducer to the chosen location and others from the power source to this location.

The fish finder is mounted on a dashboard, in a well cut out area. Don’t worry if your boat has none as you can buy an in-dash mount which is just as efficient.

Using your fish finder manual read the instructions carefully. Most manuals will clearly show how to install fish finder on your boat. Just be precise when cutting out the desired area else you may have a hard time fixing it.

Go out and have fun!

You are not only well equipped on how to install a fish finder but also have a fully operational fish finder and can’t wait for the next trip. You will however have to ensure the sealant is dry before setting off to celebrate your accomplishment.

If readings don’t show at this point, check what you might have done wrong. The performance of your fish finder is within your control. Just check your settings and adjust them to ensure you get the preferred results.

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