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Forward scan sonars

Old 10-08-2006, 09:27 PM
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Default Forward scan sonars

Does anyone have any experiance with these. I am very interested in them and would like to get some feedback as far as how they work and what kind do you use. Do the transducers interfere with regular sonar?
Old 10-09-2006, 12:24 AM
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Default Re: Forward scan sonars

Our boat came with a wesmar hd800.... I'm just learning how to use it. I think that it's overkill for the type of fishing that I do...This unit has a 6" dome that is mounted on an elevator ( the sound dome is lowered about 8 inches below the hull when operational...) because of this the unit only works at speeds under about 8 kts other wise there is too much noise.... There are several display modes and scan modes you can select as well as pulse length it even has a speaker that you can listen to the pulse length if you want to.... you can display any any sized sector from 360 degrees to just a few degrees I have found that using a split screen with the side scan displayed on top and the bottom displayed below gives me a fairly intutive picture of underneth and around the boat. the beam tilt is adjustable so when you are looking to the side you can scan from the surface down. it will display fish (bait) in 750' radius around the boat and probably farther once I figure out how to tweak the settings. It transmits at 160khz and doesn't seem to interfer with the other depthfinders onboard..... If you have specific questions II'll try to answer them....
Old 10-09-2006, 12:27 AM
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Default Re: Forward scan sonars

The good ones are very expensive, and are not commonly found on recreational boats.
Old 10-09-2006, 12:35 AM
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Default RE: Forward scan sonars

Since I live on Maui and we have lots of whales, I bought an Interphase forward scanning unit to watch for whales in my path. I returned it after I found that it could not see a whale. That's a pretty good size target! The transducer was huge and the utility was, uh, not much.
Old 10-13-2006, 02:28 PM
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Default RE: Forward scan sonars

Yeah they sound good in theory but suck in reality and the transducers are HUGE. If you were stationary on a pond then it would work but in the ocean swell on a small boat you're just kidding yourself. Save that $1000 for something else.

Old 10-13-2006, 11:59 PM
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Default Re: Forward scan sonars

The Westmar like Finadict has are excellent--and very expensive. The Echo Pilot and interphase will show steep drop offs--like a leged or rock--but only as a multiple of the bottom depth. Sloping sand beaches sides of the waterway are not well seen. You have to be going very slow in shoal water to keep within the rangewhere you can stop the boat before you hit an object. My recollection is that you can see foreward six times the depth--if you are in 10 feet you can see foreward 60 feet. The max forward range of the Echo pilot is 300 feet. Interphase gives a max range of 1200 feet (but in 200 feet or water) logs may not be easily seen because of the surface aggitation effect (mixing or water and air).

If you are in the PNW or Maine--it might be worthwhile--but not in Florida or the Gulf. I have run boats with them and am not impressed. If your really want a good foreward or side scan unit--consider the Westmar. Furuno has a FLS (Foreward looking Sonar) with a range of 1600 feet, which has been in the works for over a year--and not yet released. The rumor is that it will be about $4000, and the jury is out on its quality. I believe that Furuno has made high end commercial side scan and forward scan sconar at a considerable price--more than many of our boat's value.
Old 10-14-2006, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: Forward scan sonars

The better Wesmar, Simrad, and Furuno Sonars cost between $5K and $30K

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