3 Easy Steps to Install a Fish Finder

After picking the best fish finder for you, the next thing you need to know is how to install it properly. Installing the fish finder properly is one of the open secrets for successful fishing. Fish finders are not only used for finding the school of fish but also for measuring the depth, identifying objects that are submerged in the water. It could be used in kayak fishing, ice fishing, shore fishing, angling and many other purposes. You probably have or would like to have a fish finder on board if you are a casual fisher, weekend cruiser or a professional one. So, sooner or later you need to know the installation and replacement process of a fish finder. This is a kind of DIY job which is easy to manage. This article deals with the know-how of installing the fish finder and might contribute to your knowledge.

How to Install Fish Finder?

Experience the under-water staffs by just taking on this simple electronics installation. Enjoy your fishing outing ahead!

Step 1: Figure out the Location for Binnacle Mount

A fish finder’s display mount is often known as binnacle mount. It is an important issue to choose the location to place the fish finder’s display. One should try to place the unit closer to the helm that could give him/her the best and easy viewing angle. To avoid the neck strain, make sure that the fish finder is placed between waists and shoulder high. Do not hang it down from a hard-top over your head. You should be also watchful while tilting the fish finder that would not hit the affixed items of your boat. The mounting place should be flat and sturdy.

Take the materials that come with the original packaging of the fish finder along with a drill and some screws. Next, you need to inspect the area from the back and underside to make sure that it has enough room and no blockade for bulging the screws and wires. Look if there is already a hole or not. The fewer hole in your helm section, the better. Then mark the location where your display will go using the binnacle as a template. Make the mounting holes using your power drill, running it at full speed and force. This might be pretty easy. After that, attach the mount to the fish finder. Most modern fishfinders offer ‘snap and go’ sort of mounting option that allows taking out the display any time after drilling in the base. That gives you ultimate mobility!

The holes should be large enough to pass all the wires easily and make sure that they are not bending sharply. Locate the power bus/ fuse block too at this stage.

Step 2: Run the Wires

It is recommended to test-run the power leads all through the units before screwing the transducer in. That will make your installation process flawless. The supplied wires are enough for your use unless it has a shortage. In the case of shortage you need to add some extra gauge but be sure what the manufacturer recommended and stick with the proper color-coding. But if you find the supplied wire a little long, DO NOT cut them as there is a product warranty issue and it will void that. Rather coil it near to your unit and also make sure that it does not become any obstacle to you.

Put the wires down through the exit hole that you’ve done. Secure the wires every 18 inches by the clumps or ties while minimizing the slack. Then run the wire to the power source. It’s advised to use a fuse for the safety your unit. REMEMBER: the red is positive and the black is negative when connecting the power source. Leave the terminals disconnected at the time of installation process.

Either above of a transom or through a hole of a transom you can run the actual power leads. But keeping the matter in mind while making a hole in transom by drilling be sure that the hole is well above the water level.

Step 3: Mount the Transducer

After you mount your binnacle and run the power leads you to need to find the place where to locate the transducer. There might be a different recommendation to mount the transducer first then the display screen unit, but it is entirely okay if you test-run the wires and do the relevant measures. This step is by far the most important of the installation process. Finding the right place is a must before one commencing the actual installation. But such an excellent tool creates a problem when it has a good number of variations. Now, we know that variety is great, but it only becomes an issue in the case of installation as each need significantly different scenario.

Transom mount transducer is the most common type of fish finder. These are relatively simple and easier to produce, so they are popular on the market. They are mainly made of plastic. Thru-hull transducers are used in the large vessels. Another type of transducer is an In-hull transducer that requires the least amount of effort and modification in your craft. With all these variations it is hard to suggest the step in a standard line, so take a look at the different approach.

Transom Mount Transducer: This type of transducers is not the best match for the high-speed vessels due to drag they create. But transom mount transducers are the popular one on the market, and you can easily install it with the tools of your garage and shed. When you have found the best position, attach the transom mount to the transducer, and you might not find any difficulty to do that. Adjust the transom mount’s position until it’s perfectly centered and horizontal, but not too close to any moving parts. Any disruption could cause the fish finder performance poor. You need to angle the transducer slightly inward towards the water as it can move 13 degrees, from three degrees to 16 degrees. You can also stick a plastic block too to avoid unnecessary holes on your craft and mount the transducer on it. It’ll be a great idea!! But make sure that you’ve allowed enough time to stick the plastic block strongly and don’t forget to use silicone sealant. Lastly, check your wiring when finished the entire installation.

Thru-Hull Transducer: Through-Hull transducers are sturdier and give a better safety throughout its lifetime. They have more range and accurately receive sonar waves. Before installing it, hook up the transducer temporarily. Inspect, if that is functioning properly or not. The best place to set this type of transducers is close to the centerline of the boat. The place should be as flat as possible, and if your boat has an angle of 8 degrees, you can use a leveling block to keep your transducer flat. After deciding the place to set the through hull transducer, then make a pilot hole. The pilot hole should be large enough to fit through the transducer’s cable. You already setup the power leads, so just put the cables through the hole and can test run the transducer.

Next, evenly spread the sealant either side and fill the hole correctly. Finally, knot the bolts with appropriate pressure.

In-Hull Transducer: Installing this type of transducers is the easier one. But the problem is the hull should be made of fiberglass, even there couldn’t be any wooden planks, cardboard in between or under it that might obstruct the signal. Thus, finding the proper area is harder to installing one.

The process is just a formality! Put an adequate amount of sealant on the decided spot, and then place your transducer on it. Put something heavy on top of it to give a firm and constant pressure. That will make the hold stronger. Most sealant takes optimally 48 to 72 hours to dry. Finally, run the cables to the transducers when it fixed.

Now, once you fixed all the processes, quickly test-run your unit. Does everything alright? If NO, troubleshoot immediately.  And if YES, it’s time to take your vessel on the water right away. Enjoy!

I have tried my best to share some knowledge with you and give an in-depth guideline about how to install a fish finder in just three easy steps. The different approaches for the different type of transducer will allow you to increase your fishing efficiency. But, if you are still confused about the variety of the fish finders, you can check our popular article on how to pick the correct fish finder.

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