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Author Topic:   Airmar TM 260, Stern Saver Transom Mounting System
bluewaterpirate posted 07-25-2013 08:49 AM ET (US)   Profile for bluewaterpirate   Send Email to bluewaterpirate  
Since installing my Simrad NSS8 with TM260 transducer early in 2012 I wanted to clean up the transducer install. The issue was my Boston Whaler. I initially cut a piece of 1.5 inch thick starboard so that I could bond it to the transom face so as to not to have to embed screws in the transom itself. I did so but it looked terrible even though it was functional. Note: I had to use some screws to ensure it's integrity on the transom.

As you can see my attempt to cut my starboard block symmetrically was less than acceptable--to be bluntly honest, it sucked.

Scott Johnson, owner of Stern Saver, graciously came to my rescue. He offered to design and manufacturer a Stern Save System that would be suitable for use with my Airmar TM260. In other words the bonding agent would have to be strong enough to hold the starboard Stern Saver to my transom with my TM 260 attached to it in the open ocean environment.

True to his word, my newly designed Stern Save arrived last Saturday. I took me a couple of days to get everything ready to install it. I had some patch and glass work I needed to do on my transom. Scott's machinist did a terrific job cutting and shaping the new larger Stern Saver.

Here are pictures from the install. We used black because I will be adding bottom paint over the winter. TM%20260%20Stern%20Saver/5.jpg~original TM%20260%20Stern%20Saver/4.jpg~original TM%20260%20Stern%20Saver/703fc344-1b06-4c96-adfb-eb2766cfc7ea. jpg~original

The TM260 mounting bracket is not aligned in this picture ...... TM%20260%20Stern%20Saver/1-1.jpg~original TM%20260%20Stern%20Saver/8.jpg~original TM%20260%20Stern%20Saver/7.jpg~original TM%20260%20Stern%20Saver/5-1.jpg~original TM%20260%20Stern%20Saver/4-1.jpg~original

I tested the install last night and everything was solid. I ran 45-MPH for 20-minutes, jumped some wakes, and the Stern Save worked as Scott and I thought it would. This Stern Saver has 12 pre-drilled cavities that are filled with the bonding agent used to secure it to the transom face. He really did a bang up job with this.

Here's the link to his website.

As you can see in the post above I have two Stern Savers on my transom. The really great thing about this system is you can easily tweak your transducers position in relation to the bottom of the boat and water flow across it.

Thanks again to Scott!


bluewaterpirate posted 07-26-2013 08:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Got everything dialed in this afternoon and ran little, then back to the shallows to make some adjustments. That's the nice thing about Stern Saver you can make adjustments any time without worrying about re sealing the screw holes.

I used one wedge to change the transducer angle up a few degrees. TM%20260%20Stern%20Saver/9-1.jpg~original TM%20260%20Stern%20Saver/2-2.jpg~original TM%20260%20Stern%20Saver/3-1.jpg~original TM%20260%20Stern%20Saver/1-2.jpg~original TM%20260%20Stern%20Saver/5-2.jpg~original

You can really see the difference in size between the TM150m (CHIRP) and the TM 260 transducers. TM%20260%20Stern%20Saver/7-1.jpg~original


jimh posted 07-26-2013 11:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Tom--You really have a state-of-the-art set-up for a small boat SONAR installation with those two big transducers. Thanks so much for all the details about them, and for the mounting methods.

It may be too late for my boat transom, which is beginning to look a bit like Swiss cheese with all the old mounting holes that are filled, to change to the Stern Saver.

Are you drilling and tapping machine screws into the Stern Saver? Or just using self-tapping screws to attach the transducer brackets?

ASIDE: For some reason my Safari browser will not work with the hyperlinks Tom has given, but they work just fine in the Chrome browser.

bluewaterpirate posted 07-26-2013 07:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Thanks Jim ......

The Stern Saver sure saves time and the transom.

Using self tapping screws ......

Here's the bolt pattern ..... TM%20260%20Stern%20Saver/1-3.jpg~original


bluewaterpirate posted 08-01-2013 08:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Size comparison Airmar TM260, TM150m (CHIRP), P66 transom mounted transducers.

TM150m ..... P66 TM%20260%20Stern%20Saver/1-5.jpg?t=1375403309

TM150m ..... TM260 TM%20260%20Stern%20Saver/1-4.jpg


silentpardner posted 08-02-2013 02:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for silentpardner  Send Email to silentpardner     
Man, you are a brave soul!
I seriously considered trying the stern saver approach, but I just couldn't stand the thought of that,(in my case TM-265LH), big transducer falling off! I have actually considered the possibility of actually building a glassed and gel-coated block on each side of the transom for attaching transducers.
When I got mine, I couldn't believe how heavy the thing was. When I realized how much I had just paid for a transducer, I thought about putting it in a lock box hanging off the boat! Remember when you got one that was adequate to exceptional with whatever sounder you had just purchased?

That installation looks really nice, great pictures. I am curious about the substance used to bond the block to the hull. Is it epoxy? Please keep us updated on any problems you run into with that bond to the boat, I know you will be watching it closely with that 16 lb gold bar hanging off it:)

bluewaterpirate posted 08-03-2013 06:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Did an offshore trip yesterday in some really tuff conditions 3 - 5 footers 8 - 10 second intervals blowing southwest 15 - 20. Not ideal weather for a 25 mile offshore run in a 21' boat. The Stern Saver/TM 260 combo was solid as a rock. I got the boat airborne on more than one ocassion .... on one re entry the TM260 actually came loose from the bottom hold done rod (as designed to do if enough force is applied). I was able to run comfortably 25 - 28 mph both ways.

This was the first true offshore test in rugged sea conditions of larger Stern Saver Scott Johnson designed specifically for use with the larger Airmar transom mounted transducers. BZ to Scott.

The new Stern Saver is 6 x 6 x 1.5" and has ten epoxy holes that are filled to bond it securely to the transom.

bluewaterpirate posted 08-03-2013 06:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
silentpardner ...

The epoxy Scott uses is something he blended to bond starboard to gelcoat. Each Stern Saver Kit comes with an applicator that comes preloaded with the blend. There are two tubes that service a nozzle used by the applicator to mix the blend as it's pushed into epoxy holes on the back of the Stern Saver. TM%20260%20Stern%20Saver/1-6.jpg?t=1375567348


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