Installing your fish finder in the proper manner will ensure that you get the most out of it. Taking a little more time and care to do it right the first time will result in many more pleasant fishing trips!
Step 1: Figure out where to mount the transducer
This is without a doubt the most crucial and sensitive phase of the installation. The majority of units come with a transom mount sensor that you can simply install at home using tools available in your garage or shed. If you chose for a through-hull transducer, have it done professionally; the installation is considerably more difficult and necessitates cutting a hole in your boat’s bottom!
Some people suggest putting your fish finder first, arguing that you must know where to run the wires. It’s more practical to install the transducer before looking for a place to run the wires; you can move your fish finder unit around but not your transducer!
Examine the hull for a location that is always submerged in the water. If your transducer isn’t in touch with the water at all times, it won’t work! Also consider how smooth that area of the transom is, how far away from the propeller it is (preferably 12-14 inches), and whether anything else is nearby that might disrupt the flow of water. The more turbulent there is, the greater the reading will be disturbed.
You should also think about where the transducer will be when your boat is towed – make sure it isn’t jostled about.
Make sure the transducer is horizontal.
Step 2: Test-run the wires
We should test-run the wires from the transducer to the main unit and then from the main unit to the battery before we actually screw it in. If we do it after screwing it in, an accidental tug on the wire might cause the sealant we’ll use to seal up the holes to come undone.
If you have too many wires, DO NOT CUT THEM! Any form of cutting wire will invalidate your manufacturer’s warranty! Instead, coil and clamp the wires or fasten them with ties near the main unit, not near the transducer.
Please do not run the transducer wire or the VHF cable over the engine’s wiring harness or directly into it. This can cause interference, which will degrade the fish finder’s performance.
Step 3: Mount the transducer
Once you’ve found a decent location, secure a plastic block in place – you’ll be mounting the transducer on this block, so you don’t want to drill any additional holes in your boat. Allow enough time for the epoxy or glue to dry and bond firmly before removing the block.
Place the transducer on the block as previously described, and mark the holes with a pencil. This is where you’ll be drilling.
Mark the two holes and drill through them if you decide to attach the transducer directly to the transom. Install the transducer using the mounting hardware that was included in the package, then add a generous amount of silicone sealant on both holes both INSIDE and OUTSIDE to ensure that no water leaks through from anywhere – this can be quite an issue!
It’s never a bad idea to seal the hole you made in the transom, regardless of whether it was with a plastic block or not.
Step 4: Run the wires
Now that you know how to put the wires in place, it’s time to do the actual wiring! You may run the wires either above or through a hole in the transom. Make sure there is at least an inch of water over your new hole before you try to sink it!
Clamps or ties should be used to secure the wire every 18 inches or so. They will stay in place and not move around too much this way.
You must also run wires from the power source to the main unit. The majority of manufacturers’ cables include a fuse built in. DO NOT DISCONNECT THE FUSE! A power surge might destroy your equipment. If there isn’t already a fuse, you should probably install one! Remember that red is positive and black is negative when connecting to the electricity source.
When you’re finished, put the terminals back in their respective holes. Whatever kind of connections you prefer to use may be fastened.
Step 5: Mount the fish finder
You should have a transducer connected to your fish finder, and wires running from the transducer to your chosen fish-finding site for your fish finder.
If your boat has a dashboard, most fish finders come with optional in-dash attachments (also available separately) that you may use. Make a pencil outline of the area on your dash and then cut it out very carefully. If you make a mistake when cutting, you won’t be able to repair it!
Manually reading the manual and following its instructions is a great way to learn how to fix fish finder mountings.
Step 6: Enjoy!
It’s time to take your boat out on the water after everything is reset and your sealant has had ample time to cure. Assuming you followed all of the instructions and the transducer is installed correctly, you should start getting readings right away!
It’s now your turn to fine-tune and customize the options to get the greatest performance for your own style and needs.