If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

Why the new fangled gadgets?  Is it out with the old and in with the new?  Why change what is working?

That’s the point, it doesn’t work.  The speed display is unreadable.  The depth goes off scale and displays 00 for up to a full minute if it reads to0 shallow or to0 deep.

Just some thoughts about replacing the 1979 depth sounder that was in the boat when we bought her.  It was state of the art, fancy, in the late ’70’s.  The Combi by International Marine Instruments.  The company is no longer in business.

Old school display, notice the speed readout. We don't know what the counter in the top center was counting.

We saw 01 for about 2 seconds, then 00, then grounded on a sandbar once.  The display was calibrated to the waterline, we should have touched bottom at 5 feet (our draft is 4′ 11″).  This was the final straw.  We needed a new depth sounder.  It is time to take our boat to the digital age.

We started looking at fish finder depth sounders.  This class is not expensive and the transducers can shoot through the hull.  This means we would not waste 2 days and more money on a haul out as well as pay a yard to do the work we can do.  A really odd thing happened on the day we went to Rodgers Marine Electronics to view the show room.  Usually we obsess and research forever on a purchase like this.  This day we talked to the salesman, asked a few questions, and took less that half an hour to decide on the Garmin 441s.  This unit is a step up from the fish finder class.  It is a GPS, chart plotter, and depth sounder.  Playing in the showroom we found it has an anchor alarm, low voltage alarm, and . . . . many more features.

Yes, we only wanted a basic depth sounder,  well for a few bucks more. . . . .

We got one unit to replace the hand held GPS (speed), the Iphone (anchor alarm, and chart plotter), and the old depth sounder.  This will clean up the mess on the cabin bulkhead for sure.  No more power cables routed into the cabin, no more suction mounted hand held mounts.

The install was straight forward.  Take out the old and put in the new.

The old:

Top of the line, all the best boats sail with this rig.

Transducers, one speed and one depth. Port side front of keel.

some old wire and black boxes, the transducers were left in to reduce leaks.

Some prep work required.

The new:

Bench testing. (or playing with it!) I know everyone has one of these high tech power supplies.

The transducer mount. (toilet wax ring) We know it's nautical, it has an anchor on the package!

mounted transducer. The best solution to the time and money equation.

The display and trim. (trim covers that nasty hole in the cabin)

in the slip with the depth.


There are a couple of holes in the interior to touch up, but the bulk of the project is done.  The list is slowly getting shorter.

We are happy to have updated to the digital age!


One thought on “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

  1. The counter in the top center was counting nautical miles! My first job before getting a BSEE was as a tech at IMI in North Billerica MA (great memories!!)

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