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Can anybody recommend a good fish finder? I am looking for something in the $150-$250 range. I really prefer a "shoot thru hull" type of transducer, if that's possible with an aluminum hull. I don't care for transom mounted transducers (I'm sure to break it somehow :rolleyes:), but will use it if I have too. Thanks
 

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I recently purchased a Garmin color unit from tigergps.com Checked their refurbished inventory for the best prices as they offer the same factory warranty as the new units at a reduced price. From my personal experiance, stay away from the humminbord units. I bought one new in January and it stopped working last month. When I tried to contact Humminbird customer service, I got no response at all. Just my $.02
As for the shoot through the hull on aluminum, I have no idea if this will work or not but all the information I have read on these refers to fiberglass installation.

Dave
 

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I have a Furuno FCV600L that was only used a half dozen times before I sold my first boat. It is in the original manufacturers box and is in excellent condition. It has been sitting in the box for about a year and a half waiting on me to put it on eBay or something. :) I'd like to get $400 for it (cost almost $800 new). You'd need to buy the transducer and cable for it. Those can be purchased on eBay or at Furuno dealers for around $100 I believe. Let me know if anyone is interested in it. I can send a picture too if you like.
 

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I had a Lawrance X-45 (or X-48 - can't remember) for 7 years on my old boat with no problem. Aluminum hull, skimmer transducer mounted on the transom (outside). Knocked it out of vertical aim once or twice, but never anything that couldn't be fixed by reaching down and straigtening it out by hand. Unit was mounted to the top of the dash on a Johnny Ray swivel mount - no problems with that either.

I just got a Humminbird 535 on the kayak this summer. Good sale price from BPS. I'm shooting the skimmer transducer through the (plastic) hull. I do like the range of settings its got and the screen quality I got by upgrading to the 535. Its way too new for me to comment on its longevity, reliability, etc... of th electronics. Its been fine in those areas so far and I expect it to do so for many more years. The only thing I'm not happy with so far is the bracket - already broke it a bit by not squeezing the yellow buttons to push forward/backward. its still fully operational but now one of the yellow buttons won't stay in its collar. My own fault, but their design didn't do me any favors.
 

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I would recommend a color unit and you can pick up an Eagle 320C unit for around $220. Also, there is a loss of sensitivity with a shoot thru transducer. I've tried it and worked ok but I wasn't satisfied with the detail that it produced. In my opinion, for your best results go ahead and mount it on the transom.
 

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Eagle model fishfinders are built by Lowrance. Basically , they are built to be price point models for sale at Big Box Store(I.E. Walmart, Bass Pro, Gander ) . Usually this only means that they may have fewer features than their Lowrance counterpart. I'm actually considering one to mount on the bow of my boat so I can keep an eye on depth and structure from the casting chair. Yes, you will have to drill a couple of holes and seal them. I have always been nervous about drilling holes in a hull myself but if you plan it well and use a liberal amount of RTV sealant you won't have any problems. I never had a leak in either my aluminum boat or the the new boat. The instructions with your unit will explain how to mount the transducer throughly.
 

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Biggest trick when screwing into aluminum is to use small bolts w/nuts rather than screws. Stainless of course. You can tighten bolts and know they wil stay tight. Screws can work loose in aluminum and leak, especially with something like a transducer that vibrates and can be "bumped" occasionally.
 

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I noticed humminbird not very popular.
I like to keep fishing simple, humminbird
piranhamax 220 seems to have all I need.
Pro bass sells it for 99.99. Anybody have
one? Went fishing with a freind that had
depth finder showing water temp. and
bottom structure thats all. He only 50.00
at gander moutain and is simple.
Gary
 

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I've got the PihranaMax 20 -- predecessor to the 220. Its transducer has a built-in temp probe, and the head has a jack to which you can attach an external temp probe ($20, or $10 on ebay). I use the stock transducer shooting thru the hull of my kayak.

As far as I can tell, it seems to be perfectly adequate. You can see several pictures of it in use in the "Fishfinder Interpretations" thread. No bells, no whistles...

Hope it helps a little...
Lefty
 
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Red X Angler
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Most of what I have fished so far is 4 -15 ft. So for me just knowing where the bottom is and basic structure has been ok so far. I guess it depends alot on what your doing with it.
 
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I just bought a Humminbird 525 earlier this summer. I've got it partially installed, except for the transducer. Like Home Wood, I'm quite hesitant to drill through a perfectly good, non-leaky aluminum hull. I'm planning on trying to attach the transducer with some "3M 5600" adhesive/sealant.

I saw where my cousin used some on his boat. Man, that stuff is tough!
I hope my plan will work.
 

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Biggest trick when screwing into aluminum is to use small bolts w/nuts rather than screws. Stainless of course. You can tighten bolts and know they wil stay tight. Screws can work loose in aluminum and leak, especially with something like a transducer that vibrates and can be "bumped" occasionally.
I will also mention that you want to use the nylock nuts if you use bolts. Given the amount of vibration an aluminum boat will endure in general, the nylock nuts tend to stay tight when tightened.

-E

PS Sundrop - It floats! It floats! No visible leaks!:D
 
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