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

  • Prev
Without the optional bow thruster, getting the new Dufour 430 out of the impossibly crowded docks ...
Last September, we had our first encounter with a World Cat 280 DC – X and it was quite impressive! ...
In the February 2020 issue of Canadian Yachting magazine, we featured our review of the Neptunus ...
A luxury sport cruiser like the all new Prestige 420S has it all—lines that are easy on the eyes, a ...
Once again, Cruisers Yachts is leading the market for day boats with their new 42 GLS model that ...
Optimized sailing performance and comfortable living – a sweet ride. The expression that came to ...
This is such an exciting time in boating! While we feel very sorry for people whose health and ...
For many, the 2020 sailing year will be one to go down into the books as “different”. With delayed ...
What perfect timing! Beneteau is has just announced their new Antares 11 model for North America ...
Commodore’s Boats is a full-service shipyard with over 50 years of generational history and ...

CY Virtual Video Boat Tours

Virtual Boat ToursWe all love boats and nothing can break us up! So, what better way to spend our time than looking at interesting boats and going aboard in a virtual ride or tour. We have asked our friends at various dealers and manufacturers to help us assemble a one-stop online resource to experience some of the most interesting boats on the market today. Where the CY Team has done a review, we connect you to that expert viewpoint. If you can’t go boating, you can almost experience the thrill via your screen. Not quite the same, but we hope you enjoy our fine tour collection.

 

Read more about the CY Virtual Boat Tours....................

 

 

 

World Cat 280 DC-XBy Andy Adams

Last September, we had our first encounter with a World Cat 280 DC – X and it was quite impressive!

We know of no other comparable Performance Offshore Luxury Catamaran in the Ontario market, but we expect to see more World Cats in the coming seasons. The test boat was supplied by Central Marine Midland, in Midland, Ontario and they report that they are doing quite well with the World Cat line. Built with vacuum-infused hull construction in North Carolina, the World Cat was designed as a big water boat.

Read More

 

 

 

Dufour 430 Grand LargeBy Peter A. Robson

Without the optional bow thruster, getting the new Dufour 430 out of the impossibly crowded docks at Vancouver’s Granville Island was a challenge, but long-time broker Richard Hargreaves got us out without mishap.

Also aboard was Richard Carrier from One4 Yachts. We’d been watching the Windy app for weeks, waiting for enough wind to put the new Dufour 430 through its paces. Finally, today’s winds were forecast at 15 to 20 knots.

 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
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 ...
Ontario’s best-kept secret, the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic site holds the key to ...
Located on the sunny south shore of the harbour, the Marina is on pilings over the water, offering ...
The approach to the Chemainus Municipal Dock from Stuart Channel is straightforward and is ...
I leaned my head back into the water and floated easily. Having spent my childhood playing in ...
History: right after gym and just before chemistry class. Fifty minutes of naming the prime ...

View of Ganges HarbourText and Photos by Marianne Scott

Salt Spring Island, the largest among the Gulf Islands, has a certain mystique—much of it having to do with locally produced food. It started thousands of years ago when the Coast Salish First Nations used the Island as a summer camp, collecting wild foods while also processing the abundant sea food for winter sustenance.

In the 19th century, five main groups settled here and began farming: Northern Europeans—some of whom had abandoned gold rush dreams; Hawaiians brought here by Vancouver Island’s second governor, James Douglas...

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Stuart Hendrie, a pro photographer sent along this photo of the pirate ship in Jordan Ontario. Many ...
In my lifetime I have been a member of 5 yacht clubs. There were big differences. The one that I ...
Our photo of the week comes from Europe where Ali ten Hove and Mariah Millen are warming up their ...
Last issue we reported that Theodore Tugboat is moving up to Ontario but HelmBoy of Bedford NS sent ...
Heading to Tokyo soon, our 49erFX team of Ali ten Hove and Mariah Millen are up against it; the ...
As anyone who has been near a familiar - to them - part of the lakeshore can attest, water levels ...
As a life-long marine journalist, it has often occurred to me, that it’s a big ...
Here’s a dramatic photo of the Week from Jansin Ozkur. “Walking along the lake Ontario, noticed the ...
At the end of summer 2020, amid all the restrictions, we were able to shoot our film, Generations ...
Last issue, Mike Wheatstone, our Boat Nerd started a conversation about solar power. While many of ...

National Invasive Species Awareness WeekThis week, Feb. 22-26, is National Invasive Species Awareness Week and the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) released an animated video to raise awareness about the threat Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) pose to the boating industry and what manufacturers can do to limit the spread.

AIS can damage ecosystems and negatively impact fishing and the future of the boating lifestyle. Boat access to many aquatic resources has been limited due to AIS concerns and AIS infestation can result in serious damage to boats and their components. Invasive plant life can foul propellers,

Read More

A Freedom Boat Club StafferAs a life-long marine journalist, it has often occurred to me, that it’s a big leap to lay out the cash, (especially for those with no previous boating experience), to try it out. How does someone even know that they will like boating it if they haven’t tried it? 

Well, joining a boat club, or a yacht club that has boats available for members to use, can get you started without the big financial commitment and with the support of the club’s education and resources. Try before you buy.


Read More

Marine Products

  • Prev
Most SUVs drive about equal but the Subaru Ascent is just that little bit different or quirky ...
Exchanging business clothes for bare feet, Ann and her husband, Steve Manley, founder of PORTS ...
From streaming a repair video to downloading weather data, there are countless reasons to have ...
With 10 diameters from 11" to 30", there's a Schmitt & Ongaro Marine stainless steel Destroyer ...
The Grengine UltraLite and an ultra-portable folding 80-Watt solar panel. Combine the versatility ...
Have unwanted residue from removing stickers, decals, tapes, labels or adhesives? Release ...
When people think of boats, they imagine clean, white and glistening. Cleaning fiberglass hulls ...
Many boat soaps rely on chemicals so harsh, they end up stripping wax from your boat and are toxic ...
Called the "king of waxes," Carnauba is renowned for its ability to provide a long-lasting shine in ...
For anyone with a limited amount of dash or bulkhead area, but a desire for high-quality sound, ...

News

  • Prev
If your flares have a manufacture date of 2017 or earlier they have or will expire this year. You ...
At the end of May in lovely Ravenna, Italy, the launch ceremony of the new RSY 38m EXP took place ...
You can celebrate the Bluenose for ten cents on a dime or for as much as $1,000+ with the Canadian ...
Let’s make it very clear – everyone is feeling the pain of the never-endemic but the authorities – ...
The CBC reported on May 6th that the top member of the U.S. Senate, Chuck Schumer from New York, ...
MarineMax recently announced the acquisition of American boatbuilder KCS International, Inc., ...
Photographer Tom van Oossanen was on hand to capture the astonishing scenes as Project 817, a ...
Finally after a few years without funding I can talk about why Squadrons should offer Recreational ...
Following the April 9th eruption of the La Soufrière volcano, popular cruising destination St. ...
Mention the name Jeanneau and sleek-looking sailboats immediately come to mind but the Jeanneau ...

Boating RegulationLet’s make it very clear – everyone is feeling the pain of the never-endemic but the authorities – health officers and legislators – should really take another look at boating.  While the rules vary from BC to the Maritimes, basically no-one is allowed to do much with their boats.

If you follow the rules in Ontario right now, you cannot even go see your boat on land, let alone launch it unless there’s an ‘essential’ reason. While big cruisers are obviously only available to some of the population, the same could be said of cottages and chalets; those vacation facilities are full of people. Cottage rentals are booked solid for months. But propose taking your boat for a trip to a remote island and you’re breaking the law.  

Read More

 

 

Thousand Islands BridgePhoto copyright shutterstock

The CBC reported on May 6th that the top member of the U.S. Senate, Chuck Schumer from New York, has written a letter to members of the Biden administration making several demands regarding the border. According to the CBC story, Schumer has asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for four things.

The first is a detailed Canada-U.S. plan — to be released as soon as possible — explaining what rules and health-related benchmarks will guide the return to non-essential travel. 

Read More

 

 

Courtesy Vessel ChecksBy John Gullick, Manager of Government and Special Programs, April 21 2021

Finally after a few years without funding I can talk about why Squadrons should offer Recreational Vessel Courtesy Checks (RVCCs). We have now received funding from Transport Canada for the next three years.

Many Squadron Officers continue to talk about how their Squadron’s course participation, and hence membership, is down and continuing to drop. Well the opportunity is back to be able to talk directly with boaters, especially new boaters who have come o recreational boating in very large numbers over last season and the current season.

Read More