Forward looking sonar

Forward looking sonar seems such a good idea for working your way through poorly charted channels and to enter secluded anchorages. The price has tumbled recently and having reviewed the options the new EchoPilot FLS 2D with proffesional transducer seems the best value for money.

Fitting the transducer to make sure it is level in a complex shaped hull was going to be interesting. As I had removed the water intake for the forward head the space vacated gave an ideal location just forward of the keel. The existing hole was too small but enabled me to make a mould to attach to the hull and poor epoxy from the inside to make a wedge. The best mould that came to hand was an empty marvel milk tin! This is hard to describe but can be seen from the photographs by clicking on the image on the right. TLC recommended making a fairing to reduce drag so this was achieved with multiple layers of epoxy. The fairing has been sanded into shape and the transducer fitted. A piece of the alignment bar on the back of the transducer had to be cut to make it easier to quickly remove it.

The hole in the bulkhead was cut out using the multi-cutter and sealed with Arbomast. The wiring now needs to be completed.

July 2011. The wiring is now installed. It took some thinking to find a route as the transducer has a preinstalled connector on the end of the cable that was quite large and was not easy to push through existing holes. Discretion as the better part of valour I asked Carl from TLC to run the cables as he has significant experience of routing cables in boats. It did not take him long. All that is required now is to test and calibrate when in the water. Job finished.