You may already have the latest model of fish finders on your board. If not, you may like to have one. Right? No matter if you’re a diehard rod, like to cruise on weekends, or a casual angler, replacing or installing is a task you must learn sooner or later.
A new fish finder installation may be a little intimidating for the beginners but if you have an idea on the working mechanism of a fish finder and have the right tools, the installation is an easy DIY job for you.
This guide covers how to install a fishfinder in a few steps. So, if you’re new to this, stop being overwhelmed and keep your eyes glued to see what’s beneath your boat!
Tools and Supplies Needed
- Fish tape
- Cable ties & wraps
- Unit mounts
- Heat guns
- Fuse kit
- Cordless drill with drill bits
How to Install a Fishfinder: 4 Steps
Step 1: The Binnacle Mount Installation
Finding the best location is necessary before starting the mounting job. The fishfinder should remain as close as possible to the helm center because of getting the best viewing angle. The height of the unit must be in between the shoulder and waist. Do not try to mount it in an overhead location that can lead you to crane your head back when using it. This may cause neck strain. Also, the location should allow you to turn the unit or tilt without having to hit the windshield or any other affixed things.
Ensure enough room to protrude wires and bolts and the underneath area is obstruction-free by inspecting the helm station from the underside or backside. After choosing the location, mark the mounting location using the binnacle template. You can also include the fishfinder. Now it’s time to drill the mounting holes with your power drill.
Now the unit’s wires require an entry/exit point. Right? Check the console if there is any hole for other gear installation and can be re-used before you start drilling one out. If you didn’t find any, make a hole directly behind the binnacle mount that must be large enough for the unit’s wires. Ensure enough clearance by putting the fishfinder and the mount temporarily in place. By doing so, keep the wires safe from chafing and rubbing against edges.
After being done drilling all the holes, apply silicone sealant around each hole, put the binnacle in an accurate place, and run the bolts through the holes. Secure the helm with the bolts using locking nuts.
Step 2: The Power Leads Running
The power leads may or may not require to be shortened or lengthen considering the supplied wires length. If you need to increase their length, choose the right color-coding and tinned copper wire according to the gauges recommended by manufacturers. The crimped barrel connectors should be used in wire-to-wire connection and do not try to cut the in-line fuse included by the manufacturers.
Now the power leads should be pushed through the exit hole down that you’ve drilled. Ensure enough freedom for the plug to be attached to the unit. Now the wire should run to the fuse block of the helm. Use tie-wraps every 18 inches to secure the wires. For the fuse blocks that include male spade terminals, female crimped connectors should be crimped. And for the screw-type terminals, use right sized ring connectors. During the installation process, keep the terminal ends disconnected.
Step 3: Transducer Mounting
Before starting the actual installation process, finding the right location is vital. Search for a deep area on the hull. If the water flow gets disturbed, turbulence can be created which may affect the performance of the fishfinder.
After finding the suitable spot, adjust the transducer position by holding it against the transom until it holds 1/8- inch horizontally below the hull’s running surface. Now use a pencil to mark the mounting hole’s location and run the wires to the dash. If your boat contains an old fishfinder that has a transom mount transducer, you can use the old wires to draw a new one. If not, start from the beginning.
After pulling and routing the wires into the hole, the extra lines if there have any, should be coiled and secured with cushioned clamps.
Now it’s time to drill pilot holes on the transom according to the markings you’ve made. Coat the holes and screws using a 3M 5200 sealant. Remember- hold the bracket in place when screwing and use enough sealant.
Step 4: Task Finalizing
Well, now it’s time to finalize the wiring connection. Before that, hold on for a while to seal off the holes to protect the wires lies inside the helm. Before finalizing the wiring connections, make sure that the battery is switched off. Now, after connecting the power leads, the transducer and power wires should be plugged into the fishfinder’s back.
It’s time for a test run. Right? Well, but you have to give some time to dry the 5200 sealants you used to seal the mounting holes. In some cases, it may take up to 7 days to dry.
Some transom mounts can provide the best output at a very high speed. If you can maintain a standard reading at 30mph speed, consider you’ve done a great job!
Hopefully, everything’s working perfectly and you’ve learned how to install a fishfinder. It’s now time to gather your rod and baits and head out for a whole new experience. Do not forget to get a waterproof cover for that unit. Happy fishing!