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  Glueing vs. screwing transducer (and cable) at the transom

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Author Topic:   Glueing vs. screwing transducer (and cable) at the transom
JustinAndersen posted 06-16-2002 03:09 AM ET (US)   Profile for JustinAndersen   Send Email to JustinAndersen  
Chanting the mantra NO HOLES IN MY BOAT! makes me want to glue (ie 3M 4200, etc) the clips holding my fishfinder's transducer cable to the transom instead of screwing them in as well as glueing the transducer iteself Anyone with any ideas? Thanks?
Einar posted 06-16-2002 02:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Einar  Send Email to Einar     
I have been toying with the idea of gluing a piece of whalerboard (or like) to the transom and screwing the transducer to it. This would still allow for adjustments without holes in the transom.


Ed Z posted 06-16-2002 05:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Z  Send Email to Ed Z     
"I feel your pain son" (Bill Clinton)...

I too have the same dilemma... I will probably go ahead and drill the holes to mount it being very sure to fill the holes first with the best life time chaulk I can buy... My boat is a trailer queen and rarely sees more than 10-12 hours of water at a time... But it is a hard decision to make (drill or no drill)...

triblet posted 06-16-2002 06:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Your boat works for a living. It's not
crystal stemware. Drill. Countersink
to the bottom of the gel coat. Fill with
your favorite caulk (mine is 3M 101).
Install transducer. Go find fish.


JustinAndersen posted 06-16-2002 08:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for JustinAndersen  Send Email to JustinAndersen     
Touche. My boat does indeed work for a living. I do, however, abuse it. It's in the water from Apr - Oct, and when (and if) I can get out on it I'm airborne most of the time ramping off 6+ ft. swells. And the absolutely MOST important thing is to DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME so a) things perform to expectation and b) I don't have repairative issues later.
simonmeridew posted 06-16-2002 08:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
forget whalerboard. Transom is curved surface.
Find a spot midway between sponsons on port side. Drill holes. Fill holes partway with 3M 4200. Screw in the screw. Don't worry about it ever again. It won't come off and it won't leak.
JustinAndersen posted 06-16-2002 09:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for JustinAndersen  Send Email to JustinAndersen     
ratherwhalering posted 06-17-2002 12:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
I filled and finished the old transducer holes with gelcoat, then ordered a portable transducer mount from the manufacturer. It is a heavy duty suction cup with a mount for the transducer. Works great, never falls off or moves...and NO HOLES!
newboater posted 06-17-2002 01:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for newboater  Send Email to newboater     
A common method used for cored hulls and decks in sailboats is to drill oversized holes, inject epoxy to fill the holes, and let it dry. Then drill smaller holes into just the epoxy, and install with 5200. Then there is an "Epoxy Plug" protecting the core. For deck hardware or underwater fitings, it is also common to take an allen wrench on a drill and "roto-router" out all the core in the vacinity before injecting the epoxy. This expands the area of the epoxy plug and gives you a little more insurance water won't get into the core.

It might be a little overkill for a Whaler. I would probably just glue it with 5200 or epoxy if it were me.

Dave S.
San Diego

bsmotril posted 06-17-2002 03:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
If you are going to "glue" it on, you need to provide some kind of mechanical bonding surface for the 4200. I did mine that way and routed dovetail grooves on the back of the poly-board ("Star-Board"). Fill those with sealer, butter the back of the board, and then hold in place against the hull with some kind of spacer at the corners so as not to squeeze out all the pookey. I used pennies for spacers, and duct tape to hold the board in position for a few days while the sealer dried. Then pull out the pennies, and add more 4200 to fillet the edges. I've got pics of the install @

I found out the hard way that the 5200 sealer will not bond to the Starboard without something to give it a mechanical "toothe" to hold onto. It cost me a transducer to find out.


JustinAndersen posted 06-17-2002 06:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for JustinAndersen  Send Email to JustinAndersen     
BillS: Thanks for the advice and I have to say your website looks great. Questions: 1. how thick was the Star-Board? 2. I assume you meant you "routered" the back - how deep and wide were your grooves?
bsmotril posted 06-17-2002 09:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
The starboard is 1/2" thick. The grooves were made with a 3/8" bit and about 1/4" deep. I routed a "tic-tac-toe" pattern across the back of the starboard, then filled those grooves to the top with 5200 making sure it filled the undercut edge of the grooves. Then lay on another zig-zag pattern of 5200 across the back of the starboard.
skred posted 06-18-2002 08:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
I use an idea my dad came up with for mounting a transducer:

Thoroughly seal and varnish a 1 inch x 3 inch piece of mahogany or oak. Mount two large 2-1/2 to 4 inch dia. suction cups: one near each end of the wooden bracket piece. Affix your transducer to one end of the new "bracket" Drill a 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch hole near the top of the bracket for a safety cord to tie off on a nearby cleat or some other sturdy location.
This application has proven itself on as large a boat as a Montauk, and stays in place at speeds up to 15 mph. (haven't tested beyond that) Nice part is you can adjust it up, down, left, right, and when your're finished, pop it off, and - no holes!

rb posted 06-18-2002 10:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for rb  Send Email to rb     
I've been tinkering with the idea of mounting a stainless bracket on the engine bracket and attaching the transducer to it.
Tom W Clark posted 06-18-2002 12:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
While I commend the ingenuity displayed here and I trust you will all enjoy the task of installing your transducers, I really have to agree with Chuck.

To those who do not want to spend a great deal of time and money to install their transducer and who want the installation to look clean and be strong, I have to ask: Why reinvent the wheel? Drill two or four holes in the transom, seal them well and be done with it.

There is nothing wrong with drilling holes in the transom as long as they are sealed. Your Whaler comes from the factory with lots of holes in it, a few more wont hurt anything. Varnished mahogany boards with suction cups? Dove tailed starboard?! Custom stainless brackets?!! This just seems like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

ratherwhalering posted 06-18-2002 01:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
Tom's point is well taken. Sometimes the simpilist solution is really the best. Instead of drilling, however, I bought a the suction cup mount from the manufacturer (Humminbird). $13.00 including all hardware. Since its below the water line, I never see it. 2 minutes to install. No holes. Adjustable to boot.
Mize Johnson posted 06-18-2002 09:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mize Johnson  Send Email to Mize Johnson     
I tend to agree about overly complex solutions but, if looks are not too critical, there is a relatively simple way to mount a transducer. About 22 years ago I was trying to find the optimum position for the transducer on my 15 without drilling a lot of holes and found an article on mounting transducers for bass boats. In addition to a lot of other good tips on high-speed operation, the article suggested gluing a piece of wood to the transom with silicone as a way to find the best position. You then just drill through the wood as a template to mount it directly once you are happy with the position and performance. It also mentioned that some people use pressure treated wood and just leave the transducer mounted this way. I did this and 15 years later when I sold the boat, I was using the same piece of wood for my third depth sounder and it was still holding on. I decided to use the same approach on my Montauk except this time I had a tube of polyurethane/silicone sealer handy. This is still working after 2 1/2 years and shows no signs of failing. With a Raytheon 375, I get good readings all the way to full throttle (about 40 mph) for at least 180 ft. Total investment for mounting was $0 and about 30 minutes of time (this doesnt include the hour I spent fine tuning the transducer position)
rsgwynn1 posted 06-19-2002 12:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for rsgwynn1  Send Email to rsgwynn1     
I've seen suction-cup transducer mounts. Or you could put it in the bilge and shoot through the hull, though this might not work with a Whaler's construction.

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