How to Install Fish Finders on Pleasure Boats

How to Install Fish Finders on Pleasure Boats
What can possibly go better with pleasure boating than pleasure fishing? You can choose to either go where the wind takes you and fish there, or you can go the technological route and install a fish finder on your pleasure craft. Installing a fish finder isn't as difficult as you might think. Here are a few simple steps to help you get on the water and fishing in no time.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • 1/4-inch drill bit
  • 5/32-inch drill bit
  • Electric drill
  • Safety goggles
  • Polyurethane caulk and gun
  • Crimping tool
  • Phillips head screwdriver
Step 1
Mount the Transducer. First mount the transducer mounting plate on the transom (the surface that forms the stern of a vessel), just below the line of the water. You need to be sure to steer clear of anything within the bones of the boat that can cause interference.

Using the mounting plate as a guide, use a marker to mark where the drill holes will go. Once the holes are marked you can set the mounting plate aside and drill the holes using a one-quarter inch drill bit.
Step 2
Once the holes are drilled, apply an appropriate amount of caulk (preferably polyurethane) to the transducer mounting plate and the mounting screws (packaged with the transducer). After caulking, place the transducer on its mount and screw down firmly making sure to wipe up any excess caulk.

You will want to make determine which direction to aim the transducer by doing a test run to see if you are over or under running the transducer's signal. Aim your transducer accordingly.
Step 3
Set up the wiring for the Fish Finder. With the transducer in place, using the 5/32-inch drill bit drill a hole completely through the hull on the transom above the transducer and waterline. Push the wire through the hole and up to where you will be mounting your console. Make sure to tack this wire out of major walkways so that it isn't cause for tripping.

Measure the distance between the main battery bank, the console and the transducer. Cut 12 gauge wire into lengths long enough to reach from the boat's battery bank to the transducer and console, and then connect the appropriate wires to the negative and positive terminals. Once you've connected the wire to the battery, twist it to create an anti-EMF (electromagnetic field) so that it doesn't interfere with the other instruments. Tack the wires in place with staples or electrical tape.
Step 4
Mount the console. Mark the screw holes in the dash by using the bracket as a guide. Drill the holes. Once the holes are pre-drilled, you can screw the bracket down, tightly, making sure to not overdo it.
Step 5
Once the bracket is mounted, wire the console using the wiring you did in step three. Once everything is mounted and wire correctly, your fish finder should come on and be ready for testing.

Tips & Warnings

A friend may be needed to help you hold the wire and hand you supplies as you need them.

Article Written By Kelsey Childress

Kelsey Childress runs a freelance creative business called Awen Creative that specializes in SEO Web content, social media marketing and blogging. She has been writing for online and in-print publications for over six years, and has a bachelor's degree in English literature and creative writing from Kansas State University.

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