Last Updated on July 26, 2022 by Donnell Henderson
As any serious fisherman knows, having a top fish finder on your boat can make all the difference when it comes to a successful day out on the water.
Installing a fish finder on your fishing boat can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’ve never done it before, but with a little bit of know-how, and the right tools, it can be a breeze.
Whether you’re a first-time boat owner or a fishing enthusiast, you may be wondering how to install a fish finder. All you need is a few hours (check out the Garmin Striker 4). some basic tools, and a little bit of patience. You may already have a fish finder, or you may be thinking about purchasing your first one. Either way, it’s important to know how to properly install it on your boat.
The most common type of fish finder is a transom-mount fish finder. This type of fish finder mounts to the back, or transom, of the boat. Most transom-mount fish finders come with all the necessary hardware and instructions for installation.
While there are many different types and models of fish finders on the market, they all generally work in the same way. They use sonar to detect fish in the water, and then show you where they are on a display screen.
Most fish finders come with transducers, which are mounted on the boat and send out sonic waves. These waves bounce off of the fish and are then received by the transducer, which translates them into electrical signals.
The fish finder then uses these signals to create a sonar image of what is below the surface of the water on its display screen.
Now that you know what a fish finder is and how it works, it’s time to learn how to install it on your boat. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of installing a fish finder on a fishing boat, step by step.
Table of Contents
- Tools Required
- Step-by-Step Installation Guide
Before you begin, it’s important to have a few things on hand:
Transducer and Power Cables
This is the part of the fish finder that usually comes with the fish finder itself. It is mounted on the boat and sends out sonic waves, which bounce off of the fish and are then received by the transducer.
This is a special mount that is used to attach the transducer to the back, and is used to hold the transducer in place.
This is a mount that attaches the fish finder to the boat. It is usually made of metal or plastic and has a base that is bolted to the deck of the boat.
You will need a power drill to make mounting holes for the mounting screws. Be sure to have a variety of drill bits on hand, as you will need different sizes for different materials.
Screwdriver and Mounting screws
You will need Phillips-head Screwdriver to tighten or loosen the mounting screws that hold the fish finder and Transducer in place.
Along with that, you may need some other tools like a Tape measure, Pencil or marker, Wire cutters, etc.
And of course, you’ll need a fish finder! There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to fish finders, so be sure to do your research and choose the one that is right for you and your fishing needs.
Now that you have all of the necessary tools and materials, you’re ready to get started.
Step-by-Step Installation Guide
1. Installing the Binnacle Mount
The very first thing you need to do is decide the location where you want to install the Binnacle mount. It is very important to choose a place from where you can easily operate the fish finder. You will also need to take into consideration the wiring when choosing the location.
Ideally, it should be installed near the helm of the boat. This will make it easier for you to see the display screen and operate the fish finder whether you’ve got a small boat or a big schooner.
Once you have decided on the location, Now you need to use a tape measure to mark four drilling holes using a pencil or marker at the corners of the square base of the mount.
Now it’s time to drill the mounting holes. Be sure to use the appropriate drill bit for the material of your boat.
After drilling the holes, Now insert the bolts through the holes and then tighten them using a Phillips-head screwdriver.
2. Adjusting the Fish Finder Unit
Once the mount is installed, you can now proceed to install the fish finder unit itself.
Now it’s time to install the fish finder unit itself. Begin by attaching the unit to the Binnacle mount using the provided screws and attach it to the Binnacle mount.
After attaching the fish finder, you can now adjust the angle of the fish finder unit. Set it at an angle where you can easily see the display screen while you are sitting or standing.
3. Installing the Transom Mount and Transducer
Now it’s time to install the Transom mount. The transom mount is usually included with the fish finder, and it’s what you will use to attach the transducer to the back of the boat.
There are a few things to keep in mind when installing a transom mount and transducer. First, it’s important to select a location that will allow the transducer to be firmly attached to the hull.
The transducer needs to be mounted in an area where it will not come into contact with the hull of the boat or any other objects, as this can damage it. It also needs to be mounted in an area where it will have a clear view of the water.
So, a good location for the transducer is on the back of the boat, near the waterline.
Some people opt to install the transducer on the stern, just above the waterline. This can be a good option, but it’s important to make sure that the transducer is mounted level and not tilted up or down.
Another option is to install the transducer on the keel, just below the waterline. This can provide good protection for the transducer, but it’s important to make sure that there is enough clearance between the bottom of the boat and the transducer.
It’s also important to avoid mounting the transducer too close to the propeller or boat’s engine, as this can interfere with the signals, which will result in an inaccurate reading.
Ultimately, it’s important to experiment and find what works best for your boat.
Now, you need to measure the width of the transom using a tape measure. Once you have the measurement, mark two holes on either side of the transom using a pencil or marker.
These will be the holes that you drill for the mounting screws. It’s important to make sure that the holes are spaced evenly so that the transom mount will be level.
Next, you need to drill the holes using a power drill and the appropriate drill bit. Once all the holes are drilled, it’s time to install the transom mount.
Start by threading the mounting screws through the holes in the transom mount. Then, carefully screw them into the holes that you drilled in the transom.
Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to tighten or loosen the screws, as needed. Once the transom mount is secure, you can attach the transducer.
Start by threading the power cable through the hole in the transom mount. Then, carefully attach the transducer to the mount using the provided mounting screws.
Again, use a Phillips-head screwdriver to tighten or loosen the screws, as needed. Do it carefully so you will not strip the threads.
4. Installing the Fuse and Battery
Next, you need to install the fuse and battery. Make sure you do this right or your fish finder won’t be much use. . The fuse holder is included with the power cable, and it’s what you will use to protect the fish finder unit from electrical surges.
To avoid any potential damage to your fish finder unit, it’s important to install a fuse between the battery and the power cable.
This will protect the fish finder unit in case of a short circuit. Most fish finder units come with an inline fuse, which you can install by following the instructions in the owner’s manual.
If your fish finder unit doesn’t come with an inline fuse, you can purchase one from a local electronics store.
To install the fuse holder, first identify the positive and negative wires on the power cable. The positive wire is usually red, while the negative wire is usually black.
Once you have identified the transducer wire, start by stripping away a small section of the outer sheathing from the power cable using a utility knife.
Now connect the positive wire to the terminal on the fuse holder labeled “Pos” and the negative wire to the terminal labeled “Neg.”
Then, insert the provided fuse into the fuse holder. Make sure that the fuse is inserted in the correct direction. Once the fuse is in place, you can screw on the cap to secure it.
After the inline fuse is installed, you can route the power cable to the battery. Start by connecting the positive (red) wire to the positive terminal of the battery. Make sure that all connections are secure and free of any debris or corrosion.
5. Routing the Power Cables
Now that the power cable is connected to the battery, you need to route it to the location of the fish finder unit.
It’s important to make sure that the power cable is not routed near any moving parts or engine, as this can cause interference.
Also, make sure that the power cable is not routed near any sources of heat,
Then, carefully route the power cable along the length of the boat, taking care not to damage it on any sharp edges. It’s important to leave enough slack in the power cable so that you can move the fish finder unit without having to disconnect it from the power source.
Once the power cable is routed, you can now connect it to the fish finder unit. Start by threading the power cable through the hole in the back of the fish finder unit.
If you’re routing the power cable through a hole in the hull, it’s important to use a waterproof sealant or marine-grade electrical tape to seal the hole.
This will prevent water from entering the hull and damaging the fish finder unit. Once the power cable is routed to the location of the fish finder unit, you can connect it to the unit.
Most fish finder units have a power input jack on the back of the unit. Simply connect the power cable to this jack and you’re all set.
6. Test Run
Now that the fish finder unit is installed and connected to a transducer and a power source, it’s time to give it a test run.
Start by turning on the unit and then slowly moving it through the water. You should see the transducer sending out pulses of sound waves, which will be reflected back from any objects in the water.
These reflections will be displayed on the screen of the fish finder unit, giving you a real-time view of what’s beneath the surface.
Now that you know how to install a fish finder unit, you can start using it to find fish in any body of water.
If you don’t see anything on the screen, it’s possible that the power cable is not properly connected or the transducer is not properly installed.
Try troubleshooting these issues and if you’re still having problems, feel free to contact the manufacturer of your fish finder unit for assistance.
In conclusion, following these steps will ensure a successful installation of your fish finder unit. This will allow you to find fish in any body of water, as well as provide you with information on the depth, contour, and bottom structure of the area you are fishing in. With a little practice, you’ll be an expert at using your fish finder unit in no time.
Remember to always practice safe boating and fishing practices and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using your fish finder unit.
Thanks for reading and happy fishing!