May 13, 2021
Transducers - the existing transducer

A Transducer is a device that is installed below the waterline that provides underwater data to a display at the helm. This data is usually in the form of depth and speed – but in more advanced systems can also provide sonar, fish-finding and side or forward views.

An installation, upgrade or replacement can trigger the need to make an install – but I’ve noted that a replacement (especially to a larger or more sophisticated unit) tends to be the most daunting.

 



Transducersusing a reciprocating saw to remove the existing sleeve

Recently, I worked with a client who was upgrading to a new system on a 1980’s era Catalina, and was replacing a transducer with a 2” diameter through-hull to a 3” diameter through-hull. To compound the problem, the transducer had been leaking (very lightly) throughout the 2020 season. So, the job involved removing the existing 2” transducer, cleaning up the mounting location and determining the cause of the leak (and repairing, as necessary), enlarging the hole to accommodate the new 3” diameter transducer, and installing it.

Transducers

 

a view from inside the boat of the existing transducer

The existing transducer was a removable type – the data sending unit could be removed (and replaced with a plug), with a sleeve being the permanently installed portion. Access from inside the boat was cramped and restricted, and none of the existing components were going to be replaced. In this case, in the interest of ease and time, I removed the through-hull sleeve by cutting in with a reciprocating saw and using a mallet to slide it out.

Next, I cleaned the area: removing sealants, dirt, grime and excess material to allow the surface to be fresh and ideal for installing the new unit.

Because the diameter of the new transducer was larger than the original, the mounting hole had to be enlarged. I used a hole-saw to create a 3” diameter template out of white oak. I transferred the dimensions onto the hull, and used a Dremmel tool to cut out to the correct size. I checked the fit a number of times as the hole was being enlarged to ensure that just enough material was removed to accommodate the new unit.

Transducersthe original transducer removed

A dry fit is very important. Before using any sealants or making a mess, I fit the unit, and ensure that the backing plate was the correct thickness, and that the tightening nut fits and tightens appropriately. Finally, the orientation is important (which side faces the bow, or points to the keel) and can affect proper operation.

Transducers

 

 

 

 

 

enlarging the through-hill hole to accommodate the new, wider transducer

During the dry-fit, I applied tape to the outside of the hull, so that any sealant the is squeezed out while mounting the transducer won’t make a mess. The ideal finished product will be water-tight, sealed, and will have clean lines.

Application of sealant comes next – and it’s main purpose is to ensure that the tightened transducer will be water-tight. To that end, the right sealant should be chosen (a sealant designed for below-the-waterline applications), and applying it in the right quantity in the right location. I used 3M 5200, and applied a generous bead of sealant around the inner lip of the transducer, and fitted it into the mounting hole. I confirmed the orientation, and ensured that the tape guide was placed currently. I then moved inside the boat, and completed the work from there.

More sealant was added to the area between the threads and the mounting hole, filling any gaps. I applied a layer of sealant along the underside of the white oak backing plate, and fitted it, screwing on the tightening nut. I did not apply any sealant to the threads of the transducer.

I tightened the nut by hand as far as I could, and then used channel-lock pliers to tighten it. As I was tightening, I ensured that the transducer stayed straight, that threads were lined up correctly, and that sealant was squeezing out of the tightened areas (indicating that the sealant is filling the area, and able to do its job).

Transducersa guide for the new hole, which wil also serve as a new backing plate for the new transducer

I used a dry cloth to clean of excess sealant. Its easier to use products like acetone to clean away excess, but I shy away from solvents near transducers and plastic, for fear of causing damage. I returned to the outside of the boat at this point, and checked to make sure that the sealant had squeezed out well. I removed the tape and cleaned up the lines.

The owner asked to run the wires and make connections to the multi-function display on his own – so my portion of the job ended here.

Transducersthe final result

Removal, installation and re-sealing can be daunting, especially some of the unknowns of what may be lurking beneath a tightening nut or a backing plate. The great news: most of the issues associated with through-hulls and transducers can be fixed in a straightforward way. But, if you’re unsure or nervous, contact a marine tech to consult or complete the work on your behalf.

Andrew McDonald is the owner of Lakeside Marine Services – a boat repair/maintenance firm based in Toronto. Andrew has worked in the marine industry for 12 years and is a graduate of the Georgian College ‘Mechanical Techniques - Marine Engine Mechanic’ program.

Questions or comments for Andrew? Email him directly via: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Related Articles

Wednesday, 09 August 2017 02:52

The moment we all dread. It’s a warm sunny day and you’re out for a cruise. Suddenly the boat shudders beneath you, pings, dings and clangs are heard and you realize that you’ve hit something...

Wednesday, 11 October 2017 05:00

If you walk the aisles at a boat show, visit a marine store, or stop in at a repair shop, you’ll likely be inundated with digital displays, vivid touch-screens, NMEA compatible devices, and...

Wednesday, 08 November 2017 04:38

Water has a funny way of making its way into a boat: through through-hulls, stuffing boxes, leaks, hatches, windows and portholes 

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 06:10

The moment we all dread. It’s a warm sunny day and you’re out for a cruise. Suddenly the boat shudders beneath you, pings, dings and clangs are heard and you realize that you’ve hit something...

Wednesday, 10 May 2017 00:43

Question: Can I buy generic automotive parts or products for my boat, or should they specify ‘marine’?

Tuesday, 11 July 2017 07:16

For most of us – this is the time to make the most of the boating season – launch and set up are done. Systems have been recommissioned. Let the fun begin!

Boat Reviews

Video Gallery

 

 

Beneteau Oceanis Yacht 54By Zuzana Prochazka

Beneteau saw an opportunity to add a little thrill to any cruising adventure, so they took the hull of the First 53 racer (introduced just last year), and with a few fashionable changes, created the Oceanis Yacht 54, the new entry-level of Beneteau’s swanky Oceanis Yacht line. The result is a performance cruiser that sails like a witch and looks like a grande dame.

Design

Roberto Biscontini is the naval architect and Lorenzo Argento created the details of the exterior and interior design. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
Over the course of four days in September 1864, representatives from Prince Edward Island, Nova ...
The new owners of L’Orignal Marina offer boaters a new destination. Located in a charming ...
Commemorating 100 (+1) years of through-navigation on the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic ...
On Friday, April 2 at 7 pm ET on TVO and streaming anytime after that on tvo.org and the TVO ...
Salt Spring Island, the largest among the Gulf Islands, has a certain mystique—much of it having to ...
Located in Lake Huron, the internationally significant Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater ...
In Part I, Sheryl Shard ended the story at June and the start of Hurricane Season when they were ...
You likely aren’t quite ready to travel yet, but we have our fingers crossed that we can all fly ...

Riverest MarinaThe new owners of L’Orignal Marina offer boaters a new destination. Located in a charming francophone village in Eastern Ontario, this joined marina and restaurant venue is the ambitious initiative of long-time entrepreneur André Chabot and biologist Alexandra Quester, both residents of L’Orignal.

The purchase of the L’Orignal Marina was made official in November 2020. The new year was barely underway when all 50 available slips were already reserved. No wonder the addition of member and visitor slips is already planned for the 2022 season – the 2021 count is up to 62 power and sail already. At the moment, the Riverest Marina offers boaters a stop where they can launch their boat...

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Photograph taken on Sept 15 while drifting home after the last Wednesday evening race at Collins ...
On the afternoon of Sunday, October 3, fourteen exceptional sailors were inducted into the Canadian ...
My husband and I purchased this beauty in Gananoque two weeks ago and boated it from there across ...
Last issue we featured a story about the engagement proposal aboard Via-Mara, a 1969 Trojan 42 Aft ...
With thanks to Sail Canada, here’s a collection of photos that are Olympic quality. Clearly our ...
Wow. That was a lot of fun reading the collection of boat names that came in from all over the ...
No individual had a greater impact on the modern sport of sailing than Bruce Kirby. Known and ...
Just off The Ocean Race European Tour, Daniel is setting his sights on competing in The Ocean Race ...
After being our fearless leader and publisher since CYOB kicked off, Greg Nicoll, handed over the ...
Swim Drink Fish is spearheading the Vancouver Plastic Cleanup by installing, maintaining, and ...

Marine Products

  • Prev
Dockmate®, manufacturer of advanced wireless remote controls for yachts, has announced expanded ...
PORTS Guides are The Essential Boating Companion and Look Great in Gift Wrap!    
Updated features and benefits offer next level of product excellence by integrating innovative ...
AkzoNobel Yacht Coatings has introduced a new, easier to apply topside system with two new products ...
Whether for news, weather or just to watch the game, onboard television reception is important. But ...
Kanvaslight® was specifically engineered for a long life in a salty, sun-drenched environment. The ...
Watermakers take ocean water and create perfect drinking water using reverse osmosis. A Schenker ...
If you’re headed out for a weekend afloat or on a week-long cruise you often must park your vehicle ...
Ten years ago, St. Margaret’s Bay (Halifax), Nova Scotia-based SailTimer Inc. made the first ...
Between the odor and working in confined spaces, replacing an onboard sanitation line is never a ...

News

  • Prev
According to digital news outlet www.insuaga.com, a new, full-service and modern Port Credit marina ...
The Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame and the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston are pleased ...
Paul Tennyson adapted from the reinforced plastics business to form Canadian Sailcraft in 1963. ...
Canadian sailors Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance from Chester NS won the bronze medal at the ...
Royal Canadian Yacht Club’s Defiant completed a six-race sweep of the Cup for Canada over Zing, the ...
On September 6, Groupe Beneteau laid out its course to develop new boating experiences, new ...
Last Friday, the first ever Canada’s Celebration of Sailing honoured the season for Sailing in ...
Boating Ontario is very proud to have Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety jump on ...
Montreal-based Vision Marine Technologies, Inc. is headed to the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout to ...
Summer is in full swing with Canadians enjoying time outside and on the water. So, while enjoying ...

Mia and Caleb's EngagementOn July 23 last year, CYOB published a piece on a beautifully restored 1967 Trojan 42 Motor Yacht in Oromocto NB. (That piece was also expanded in CY magazine later in the year.)

One of our Canadian Yachting contributors, Denise Miller, had shared the article on my social media and a young man reached out and asked if she could connect him with the owners of the boat, Dave and Barb. Denise leapt into action and Dave and Barb were thrilled. They concocted a plan that the young lady, Mia, thought she was coming to model for a sales brochure for Dave to do charter tours.

Read More