Reminders for fitting marine electronics
Raymarine's product support team highlight some of the important things to remember when fitting marine electronics
Avoid fitting Depth and Speed transducers behind hull skin fittings; bubbles and disruption caused by fittings and props etc. can give false readings especially on depth units.
These ideally should be mounted vertical, and for sailing boats in particular they should be fitted as close to the centerline and ahead of the keel as possible.
This sounds obvious but mount transducers where they will be below the waterline on all points of sailing and motoring and in all sea conditions. It’s not unheard of for the transducer to be placed where they come out of the water when a boat is pitching, rolling or planning, this causing loss of Depth readings.
Paddle wheel speed transducers need to be accessible from inside the boat so that they can be removed and cleaned, and they must be mounted parallel to the water flow, with the arrow facing forward.
Fit facing forward and in clear air and make sure the cable is well clamped at the top of the mast. If the whole weight of the cable is hanging on the plug it will cause connection damage.
Don’t run transducer cables close to AC power, fluorescent tubes, generators or alternators. The cables are screened, but can pick up interference if closer than 9” (25cm). If the cables are cut or extended the screen should be maintained.
Check the manufacturer’s notes before shortening transducer cables – Avoid cutting, shortening or lengthening Depth Transducer cables. Some circuits, typically depth sounders, utilise the set length of cable as part of the tuning.
Position the fluxgate compass at least 3’ (90cm) away from large amounts of iron, steel, engines or generators. Be more careful with positioning close to permanent magnetism, such as speakers and electrical motors. Ideally the fluxgate should be fitted on the boat’s centre of pitch and roll, if this cannot be achieved a good stable position should be selected clear of any magnetic interference.