Thursday, February 21, 2008

Seeing is Believing

Depthsounders are great tools when looking for bottom structure, drop offs, or bait when fishing. One hurdle that sounders have always had is that when you're running a vessel at speed the return image from the sonar often seemed cluttered (at best) or altogether unreadable, either due to the transducer's capability or interference from the sounder's own signal, which was often driven with a lot of power to penetrate deep water.

That was the case until Lowrance showed me its new broadband depthsounder technology at the Miami Boat Show last week. The picture you see here was taken off Miami while we were running a 330 Wold Cat with twin outboards. There are two notable features about this image: First, that it was taken via a transom-mount transducer. Second, the detail is amazing, especially considering the boat's speed. She was doing nearly 30 mph. Fish beware, there is no place to hide. Lowrance says that it has had success receiving clean images from depths up to 5,000 feet (traveling at 17 knots) by using more robust through-hull transducers. Lowrance should have this technology in retailers hands in about a month.

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