Where do I install my transducer?

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

Hey, Barji here, welcome to our first Barji Marine blog post! Since launching in April 2018 the support from our clientele has been amazing. I’m loving all the messages of support, the quality of new enquiry and new projects you have provided me with, even if has meant my fishing gear has a thin layer of dust over it due to a lack of use!!


I appreciate you subscribing to our email list and hope in return I can provide you with some informative content to help you catch more fish! Now back to the blog.


We acknowledge our customers have a thirst for knowledge and generally this is why they use Barji Marine as their first choice for reputable information and advice.


Where should I install my transducer? This is a question we get asked the most. After many years and lots of trial and error we have some tips to share which will help you find the best location for a transducer on your boat.


A #transducer is like your eyes, in fact that’s exactly what they are only they look through water. Just like your eyes, they can only see clearly if there isn’t anything obstructing their view. I will use two examples. The first is headlights on your car. On a clear night they can project light hundreds of meters down the road, however if you are driving through let’s say, heavy rain or fog the distance they can project through it is greatly reduced, sometimes down to meters. A second example would be your TV antenna. You could have the best antenna, on the tallest roof connected to the highest definition TV, if it isn’t pointing in the right direction, the signal and resulting picture quality will be crap.


Just like the two examples above, if the location you install a transducer is in the path of dirty aerated water, it will suffer the same effects as headlights in heavy rain, fog or the incorrectly tuned antenna. So often people blame the fish finder for poor performance when in actual fact, it is the position their transducer was installed letting them down. Regardless what brand electronics you use, be it #Garmin, #Raymarine, #Furuno, #Koden, #JRC, #Lowrance or #Simrad, if you don’t get the transducer installation correct one won’t work any better than the other.


There are a few main culprits when it comes to poor transducer performance. These are, planning strakes, through hull water pick-ups and hull design. Each of these, however mainly the first two create air which when mixed with the water causes aerated water. Transducers cant see through air, they are designed to work in clean water. The problem we face when deciding where to install a transducer is a lack of space either in the bilge are or on the transom. Sometimes we have no choice where they are installed and we hope for the best, this is the least favourable situation, especially when we are drilling 90mm holes through the hull!


I recommend before people settle on a mounting location they grab a mate and a white board marker and take the boat for a spin. If you can, remove as many items from your transom (water pick-ups, other transducers etc) that might prevent you finding or seeing clear water (within reason). Find a nice day, with nice flat water. Get your boat up to planning or cruising speed. Now get your mate to hold the boat at a steady pace and heading. Whilst the boat is underway, look over the back of the transom and search for the ‘clean, clear’ water. Water that is clean will be darker in color, the water flow off the hull will be smooth. Dirty water will be aerated, it will look lighter in color, you may even notice the dirty water come and go, jets of aerated water, there one second, gone the next, so pay close attention!! Take your white board marker and make small marks on your transom where the clean water starts and finishes. That way when you get back on the trailer you can clearly find the areas you noticed the differences in water quality.

The area in-between those marks is where you want to install your new transducer, this will give it the best chance of performing as you require!! This bit of time spent finding the ‘sweet spot’ is well worth the effort!



An example of clean and dirty water and where the best locations might be for a transducer



Generally we would deem any transducer that reads bottom well at your boats cruising speed to be a successful installation. Naturally if it will hold bottom at full speed then even better! The higher the speed your transducer will read bottom at the better it will perform at slower speeds.


Another piece of advice we can offer you is if you are replacing a transducer, and that transducer read well in that position, don’t go searching for another position, use that spot, chances are you nailed it the first time. Where this can change is if you upgrade from a littler, lower power transducer to a large transducer, eg a small 250watt transducer to a large #Airmar 1kw transducer. The water flow past these two vary greatly. If you find after installing a new larger trans in the spot a smaller trans ran well in and it struggles, you might need to consider moving it around a bit, or invest in a high speed fairing to help achieve more even water flow over the transducer and get it deeper into the water.


Being able to hold bottom and mark bait whilst at cruising speed is a good result

Poor transducer performance is one of the most annoying things to suffer from, especially after spending thousands of dollars on electronics upgrades. Get it right and I guarantee not only will your boating experience be better you will catch more fish!


If you would like to talk to us about your transducer or have Barji Marine recommend a new transducer and installation, please get in touch with us. info@barjimarine.com.au or phone Barji directly on 0411549342 for a one on one chat.


Our next blog post will focus on the different ways and settings you can use with your electronics to get the best out of your transducers, however we welcome your topic suggestions for future blog posts.


We hope you learnt something from this blog post and look forward to your feedback. Cheers the Barji Marine team.



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