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malibuvlx02

After market depth finder recommendations?

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malibuvlx02

I have a 2002 Malibu VLX and unfortunately there was not a stock depth finder that was installed. I'm looking to buy an after market depth finder. I'm looking for suggestions with people who has bought one that would work good for my boat? Thanks in advance for any advice.

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oldjeep

I put a Hawkeye depth sounder in my last boat (Bayliner runabout) and my only advice is to make sure to get one that you have to drill the sounder into the hull rather than trying to use ones that just glue to the inside of the hull. I found that the shoot through just had too many issues getting good readings and this was through a relatively thin hull.

Depth finder is one of those things that seems like a great idea until you realize that the sounder is typically mounted back near the prop, so it is already too late when you see the depth ;)

Doesn't even look like they are selling the shoot through any more - this was 10 year ago

http://www.hawkeyeelectronics.com/boat-depth-finder/

Edited by oldjeep

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SFD

I installed a small 3D fish finder just below the dash. Gives me a 3D view of the floor, depth, speed and water temp. this is thru a paddle wheel and sensor on the transom below the swim platform on a 95 Sunsetter, works great and is nice to have the 3D view of the floor and all of the readouts as a back up in addition to the factory ones in the dash.

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TBrush01SSVLX

I put a Hummingbird 650 in mine. They come with a transducer that has to be mounted to back of the hull but I called them and found that they will exchange the transducer for one that mounts inside the hull like the OEM model so no holes to drill. I mounted the gauge by drilling a hole in the crescent-shaped dash panel where the stock one would have been.

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minnmarker

Has anyone taken out the stock transducer and put an aftermarket one in the same hole?

Process? Difficulty? Success?

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greg2vlx

I put a Faria in mine with an in hull transducer (not thru hull) and it works great...had it in there for about 4 years now. NO issues with it giving accurate readings.

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robbennett

Anyone use a transom mount transducer on a wake boat? I'm wondering if it would do anything funky to the wake. There's a new Hawkeye version with water thermometer for around $100 on ebay and amazon.

Also if you do use the glue down version there has to be absolutely no bubbles in the glue or it won't work right.

Edited by robbennett

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cowwboy

I doubt it would affect the wake anymore then the old style pittot tube speedometers. But might look kind of out of place.

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minnmarker

Tell me to stop if you have reason to think I'll really screw something up!

Here's the plan:

The current transducer is glued into the hull. The hole in the fiberglass on the outside is 1.75" diameter and I think about 1.5" on the inside surface. I plan to leave the current transducer in place while using a 2" carbide grit hole saw (no teeth to rip the gel coat) to drill a 2" hole around it and then mount a new aftermarket thru hull transducer - which are all a standard 2" diameter. If the tranducer craps out after a few years I can just throw another one in there. Both Humminbird and HawkEye make units that measure depth and water temp. tbrush gave me some good instructions on mounting the gauge in the crescent panel on the side of the dash.

Other options eliminated:

After reading up on this site, talking to the Malibu dealer, trying to contact Gemeco/Medallion and Airmar, I decided that throwing money at trying to fix the stock system was just not a good idea.

Why not just put in a "glue on?" Because they are less accurate and locating it while leaving the stock one there would make for very crowded space in the V-drive, raw water intake, ballast water intake, and transducer area - and no water temp reading.

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minnmarker

Bump. Anyone ever drill out the stock transducer?

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robbennett

Replacing depth finder is on my list. I plan to do it if the boat doesn't sell soon. I haven't considered drilling it out but may do that depending on space. I would like to leave everything in place for the factory one in case the next owner wants to get it going again.

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minnmarker

Replacing depth finder is on my list. I plan to do it if the boat doesn't sell soon. I haven't considered drilling it out but may do that depending on space. I would like to leave everything in place for the factory one in case the next owner wants to get it going again.

This thread is why I gave up on getting the stock system to work. There are better systems out there for < $200.

http://www.themalibucrew.com/forums/index.php?/topic/51206-depth-finder/

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minnmarker

Just picked up one of these. Seems like the best bang for your buck.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001UFAAJ0?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

Have you installed it yet? Where did you put the gauge? How does it work?

I just ordered one last week and got it and then tested it before installing it. Unfortunately it would not read depth but the air and water temperature sensors worked. I sent it back after talking to Hawkeye customer support. Ordered a replacement and will be testing it before I cut any holes in the boat. If it works as advertised it does look like a nice unit. One concern was that it extends about 1/8 inch below the hull which might be a problem with the bunks on the trailer if put in the same place as the stock transducer. I measured and there is about 4 or 5 inches between the unit and the center bunks. It should be ok. Plan to put the gauge in the crescent panel besides the other instruments.

Edited by minnmarker

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robbennett

Have you installed it yet? Where did you put the gauge? How does it work?

I just ordered one last week and got it and then tested it before installing it. Unfortunately it would not read depth but the air and water temperature sensors worked. I sent it back after talking to Hawkeye customer support. Ordered a replacement and will be testing it before I cut any holes in the boat. If it works as advertised it does look like a nice unit. One concern was that it extends about 1/8 inch below the hull which might be a problem with the bunks on the trailer if put in the same place as the stock transducer. I measured and there is about 4 or 5 inches between the unit and the center bunks. It should be ok. Plan to put the gauge in the crescent panel besides the other instruments.

Thanks for the heads up. I'll make sure and test it before I install it. It should arrive today. How did you test it?

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minnmarker

Thanks for the heads up. I'll make sure and test it before I install it. It should arrive today. How did you test it?

Just connect the transducer to the gauge, connect the gauge to 12 volt power and hang the transducer over the side where it will have a clear view of the bottom at least 3 feet deep and at least a foot to the side of the boat or dock and clear of any posts etc.. Keep the top of the transducer out of the water as I'm not sure if it can handle water in the hole where the cable exits. Check the gauge for depth and temperature readings. If they seem right then you're good to go. My temps were fine but the depth just showed - - -

All that was on their web site for trouble shooting AFTER the install. Based on Amazon ratings feedback I figured I would confirm function before drilling any holes! Customer support guy at Hawkeye chuckled when I said I did the troubleshoot before install.

If you install yours in the next few days please post how the hole drilling went. I'm concerned about whether the "epoxy" or whatever is in the stock transducer hole is sturdy enough to keep the arbor bit in the hole saw centered. If not I'll probabaly epoxy a small piece of thin hardwood over the hole to keep the arbor bit from drifting.

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