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  Airmar Tilted Element or Pocket-Mount Transducers

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Author Topic:   Airmar Tilted Element or Pocket-Mount Transducers
msirof2001 posted 09-11-2014 07:37 PM ET (US)   Profile for msirof2001   Send Email to msirof2001  
Has anybody in this forum tried the Airmar tilted element or pocket mount transducers on a Whaler? The tilted element look appealing because they are flush to the hull. Pocket mount looks like they can be inserted into the hull and be made flush to the bottom surface. Obviously Whaler construction is different. I have a guy in my area who is a certified Whaler repairman and he is probably the only one I would trust doing this. There are a lot of appealing aspects at first glance. I have a 1994 Furuno 582 CRT which is 20 years old. I have a transom Transducer which looks like a golf club head. Not optimal. I have a Simrad NSS7 (Not evo2). If the Furuno dies, the obvious choice would be to get a Simrad BSM3 and chirp transducers. Curious if anybody has undertaken this. Thanks.
jimh posted 09-11-2014 11:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Some of the larger models and more recent models of boats from Boston Whaler have special areas in their hulls that are constructed for the purpose of accommodating a through-hull SONAR transducer, and I don't think there is any particular problem with installing that type of transducer on those Boston Whaler boats--they've been made for that purpose.

Exactly what model of Boston Whaler boat are you planning for the installation of the AIRMAR tilted element transducer?

I never heard of any sort of certification being issued from Boston Whaler to repair shops. When you go to the certified repair shop, can you take a photograph of the certificate that certifies they have certification from Boston Whaler. I would very much like to see it.

msirof2001 posted 09-12-2014 01:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for msirof2001  Send Email to msirof2001     
1995 21 Outrage. I was told that through-hull transducers would void the hull warranty. That warranty was 10 years, and that expired 10 years ago. They really didn't want people drilling into that hull.

That "certification" term is something I've seen mentioned about him. I'll find out further what that is or means.

russellbailey posted 09-12-2014 05:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for russellbailey  Send Email to russellbailey     
I installed a tilted element SS264w-200 on my 1984 Outrage 25 a few years ago. It works incredibly well and always get a great image.

I installed it through the fishwell in the rear. It was not hard if you have medium level fiberglass/resin skills. I largely followed Airmar's instructions for a cored hull but had to adapt some as the Whaler hull is a thicker core than Airmar envisioned.

I've read of others doing similar on Whaler hulls.

Basic process.
1. Find best location - mine was slightly off the keel in the rear fishwell, where the hull is only about 5" thick
2. Drill small hole from inside through hull to verify location - confirm good location
3. Holesaw from bottom - I think mine was 3 7/8. Just go through hull.
4. Holesaw from top with bigger size - I think mine was 4 1/2 - maybe 4 3/4.
- I also dug out maybe 0.5" of extra foam around that larger hole
5. Get a 3 7/8 polyethylene or similar rod from McMaster Carr - stick inside of bottom hole as a blank for the transducer - this made making the "doughnut" that seals off the interior foam easy
6. Fill the space inside with an epoxy/fiberglass/colloidal silica mix
- managing the heat generated by the fill is the hardest part
- I did it in two batches and use a heavy amount of fiberglass powder to cut down on the heat generated
- you may need to experiment to keep the heat down
- if you just pour it full of epoxy it will get too hot and full of bubbles and brittle

Lastly, I had to do a 7th step, which was to use a really big hole saw from the inside to reduce the thickness that the transducer nut had to cover. My hull was too thick for the threads on the transducer. I wish I'd realized this before I did the epoxy pour so I could have done one less step. As it was, I had to cut off the epoxy "doughnut" I'd made about 1.5" down and seal the foam again inside the bigger hole. Depending on how thick your hull is you may or may not need to do that.

None of the fiberglass work is difficult but it does take a few steps.

I don't see ever going back to a transom mount transducer again. The picture is that much better and never loses a good picture.

jimh, I've got some pictures of the whole process I took on my iPhone as I went along if you are interested in documenting it for the site.

jimh posted 09-12-2014 11:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Russell--I think many would like to see the process you used. Can you select no more than ten images, and write very detailed captions for them? Send them to me and I will post them. You are also welcome to write a more detailed narrative around the pictures.
msirof2001 posted 09-14-2014 01:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for msirof2001  Send Email to msirof2001     
This is awesome. I really appreciate the detailed description. I have very large fish-holds in my Outrage 21 (1995). My brain is too small and my toolbox is too empty for me to attempt this myself. There is an amazing boat repair guy in my area that has worked on tons of Whalers, including amazing work on mine. I would leave it to him. Your experience gives me a lot of hope that this could work for me.
russellbailey posted 09-15-2014 10:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for russellbailey  Send Email to russellbailey     
jimh, I am looking for all of them. I found the ones post installation but have not found the earlier ones yet. I hope I still have them all. If not, you can tell reasonably well from what I have. I'm going to look a little more for them first.

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