Opinion on bottom machine for lobster boat

Discussion in 'Marine Electrical / Electronics' started by Skeetsdad, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. Skeetsdad

    Skeetsdad Senior Member

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    My son is the proud owner of a not so new 33 Webbers Cove. Finally took the leap from stern man to owner/captain. He's a lobsterman and he will fish state waters out of the South Shore. He's one of the hardest working guys I know and I'm really proud of him. I wanted to help him out with a new bottom machine as the one on the boat is pretty much gone and he's too proud to ask for help. Id put a new ducer in. I'm not opposed to a used machine in good condition. Any of you guys have a suggestion? I'm a desk jockey all week and the quintessential "googan" on weekends so I could use some advice.
     
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  2. Fishco

    Fishco Member

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    Can't go wrong with Furuno. Look at the FCV-588 and get a bottom discriminating tranducer. This will assist in determining the most probable bottom composition, especially if lobstering. And if deep water is a rare trip, stick with a 600 watt tranducer with a wide beam. You will hard pressed to find a 1kw transducer that will have anything larger than a 20 degree cone, and in shallow water, you'd only be viewing a very small area of the bottom. Look at some of the online charts with regards to bottom coverage based on cone angle and depth. There are many options and brands out there so you might want to ask your son what he really wants in a sounder. It is a significant investment in money, installation time, and a good size hole in your boat. Do it right, do it once, and no regrets. Good luck!
     
  3. NickGarrott

    NickGarrott Member

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    If he is just lobstering with it I suggest getting a narrow beam, high frequency transducer. The narrow beam will give more detail about what is directly under the boat, and the higher the frequency the more resolution. If paired with a furuno you can get bottom composition also. If it's going to be an all purpose radar/charts/bottom machine I might stray away from Furuno just based on expense.
     
  4. Wharf Rat

    Wharf Rat Captain

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    Congrats to your son! I agree with Fishco, I'd look at Furuno FCV 628 or 588 if going new, FCV587/585/582L will also do the job if you can find them used. Those are the meat and potato machines for making a living, they'll last. However, I would disagree with going with a 600w transducer vs 1Kw (if a 1KW is even affordable/can fit in the boat), as that narrower angle on the high frequency side provides a higher concentration of the pulse for better bottom discrimination. You can always switch to Low Freq. with a 1kW, and get close to 20 degrees of coverage if looking for a wider area. Think of it like a flood light/spotlight combo - Flood is low frequency; wider beam, not as bright; spot light is narrower, brighter. The B260 transducer paired with the FCV588 is what we've rigged a ton of lobster boats with, it's really the gold standard. That said, as you do some research, whatever model you go with, try to keep it simple, don't get caught up in any of the special 'DownView' 'SIdeView' Super-Duper All-In-One systems that are all on the market today.
     
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  5. Fishco

    Fishco Member

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    Looks like I'm learning a thing or two off this post as well. Never thought the higher resolution of a 1 KW transducer would still be more beneficial at shallow depths than bottom coverage (wider cone angle) but it does make sense. I try to help out where I can but Nick and Wharf Rat obviously have more experience than I with electronics. I do like a wide angle transducer for watching baits behind the boat at depth but heck, I have taken Wharf Rat's advice with VHF antennas, so I would follow suit here as well. Appreciate how all share the best info they have on this site and allow for members to educate themselves without fault for opinion.
     
  6. steveinak

    steveinak Captain

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    might look at the hondex machines a lot of the mainers seem to use them.
     
  7. duckhunter

    duckhunter Senior Member

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    Congrats to your son, that's very cool! He's got to feel good (and maybe a little nervous) about taking that big step from crew to Captain.

    Nice of you to give him a hand with his new business. The bottom machine is a great gift, and every time he fires it up he'll think of his old man.

    I don't know anything about commercial marine electronics, but absolutely agree with Wharf Rat that simpler is better. There's a lot to be said for an intuitive machine that does one thing really well.

    Post some pics of his new boat if you've got them, and congrats again!
     
  8. Wharf Rat

    Wharf Rat Captain

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    Ay FishCo, You're absolutely right that the narrow angle of that 1kW HF can be useless for people looking to mark bait or targets closer to the surface outboard where you're fishing in less than 100' of water (the Wide angle 270W/275W's were designed for exactly that reason), but the B260 specifically has 7 dedicated elements for the Low Freq. side, a 600W transducer has a single element for both, with the LF/HF transmission angles of 45° and 12° respectively. The LF on the 260 is 19°, and because of the multiple elements (each element is an individual transceiver) it's able to produce a much higher quality return vs. a 600W's LF. So for people who are looking to mark targets holding close to the bottom (fluke, blackfish), or for a trap fisherman, being able to see the the bottom echo to establish its contour and composition, the 1kW B260 is perfect; but when fishing for pelagics you'd have to get used to using the LF as as much as the HF, like the flood/spotlight reference I used; think LF for search mode, HF for destroy.

    That said, for most people fishing for stripers and most pelagics in the upper part of the water column or in shallower water, the a 600W transducer with a quality sounder will still always do the job, but it's all relative to what you're fishing for at the end of the day. The idea is to TRY and put the maximum energy on the target to obtain the strongest echo, but if the target is out of the transmission cone, no echo, and a weak echo is better than none. The tough part is when you have someone who wants to mark tile AND tuna, or fish both inshore and and the canyon with one system, that's when you have to start getting creative!
     
  9. Skeetsdad

    Skeetsdad Senior Member

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    IMG_8966.JPG Thanks for all the help guys. Wharf Rat, as usual you are a huge help. I bought the system Duxbait posted for his buddy. It has the B265 transducer. MFD is in almost new condition and the ducer came with a new fairing block. Even though he fishes by loran lines he could use a GPS as well so this unit serves both purposes. Hopefully some reliable electronics will ease his nerves as he's starting out. Thanks again everyone and hats off to you commercial guys. Tough work.
     
  10. Fishco

    Fishco Member

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    Appreciate that explanation. So many variables to consider.
     

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