HISTORY of Jetski Fish Finders.
Firstly when I say Fish Finder I actually mean Fish Finder / Sonar GPS Chart Plotter, or whatever you may call your particular Marine Electronics device. A "Fish Finder" as we will call it from now is probably not on the list of a "Must Haves" when you first purchase your Jetski or at least you are probably thinking that you have to purchase the lowest cost you can get away with as it probably will not make much difference anyway. You could not be further from the truth! From my own personal experience once you have a fish finder and it is taken away it will be like driving a car down a dark road with no lights. Yes its that important to me. Actually more important to me is the Chart Plotter as you can always ask a mate to supply you some GPS marks. The different types of fish you target may demand a better quality, or different type of fish finder, but more of that later.
When purchasing a new Fish Finder beyond 2024 these are a few of the questions to ask yourself......
Screen size. Is it important? Yes it definitely is important. The bigger the better, however a 7 inch is perfect. A 5 inch unit was OK until the new landscape format units came out and now 7 inch is the one to go for as long as your budget allows. A few guys have fitted 9 inch units and they are amazing, however you must reinforce the mounting point on your Jetski.
Do you need a Map Card? Units now come with a basic GPS to get you to your favourite fishing spot and back again. For some people that's OK. The benefit of course is that you do not have a door to open to access a memory card which could take in water. We do of course have a Fish Finder Cover to solve that issue Check them out here..... Flexible Covers If you do choose not to have a Map Card to be honest you would be missing out on so much! No transferring of Waypoints quickly. No back up of your Waypoints & Trails. No Map detail like 1 ft contours. NO area maps to find reefs and drop offs quickly.
Should I buy a Map Card...Yes that's my answer. Its like buying a TV with no programs and making your own content. No thanks I want to fish! The newer cards now have 1ft contours that gives you incredible reef details so you can do more fishing. Give me a shout if you want to know more about Map Cards.
Where will you mount the unit? Gone are the days where you could bolt your Head Unit onto the front hood. It just doesn't work and your unit will not last for very long due to the vibration and bouncing about. We make Custom Mounts from Stainless Steel and also supply RAM mounts
Lowrance offer a range of three choices of Fish Finders. Firstly the 2020 HOOK2 range HOOK2 RANGE which is now only available in a 4 inch version and to be honest I would not recommend it for a Jetski at all! For the budget conscious buyers and anyone who just wants the basics and would rather be fishing than playing with electronics I would recommend the New 2020 Hook Reveal range especially the 7 inch version. The second range is the Elite TI range ELITE TI2 RANGE which is an in between range and perfect for a Jetski however Lowrance have stopped making a 5 inch unit in that range. And finally the creme de la creme of Fish Finders the HDS Live range. HDS LIVE RANGE That's what I have and if its affordable to you I would suggest you get a 7 inch HDS Live. The display is amazing bright and clear. Two card slots which is invaluable if you want to map with your unit.
There are basically two ways to mount a Transducer onto a Jetski. Internally and externally. Prior to 2014 the installation of choice was to mount an Airmar P79 inside the hull. This type of transducer is filled with antifreeze or light oil and worked extremely well if fitted correctly! The benefit of fitting an in hull transducer is that when beaching and trailering / de trailering the transducer is protected. The downside is that you need to fit an external temperature transmitter. With the arrival of HDI and Chirp technology it has become essential to mount your Transducer externally. 2019 seen the arrival of Side Scan and huge Transducers which now gives us the capability of 120 metres side view from your vessel. In reality I have found that 30 to 40 metres side view in the Ocean is perfect on a very calm day! These new Transducers are definitely a challenge on a Jetski as beaching and de trailering can be a problem, so great care must be taken. I would definitely say use a Beach roller. In my opinion however the benefits outweigh the negatives.
If you would like the best Transducer for normal Broadband Sonar you cant beat a TM150 External Transducer. If you want Side Scan go for a Lowrance 3 in 1 Transducer but be warned they are huge! Here are some of the Transducers available. Transducers If you do not see yours listed or need help just contact me. Mick.
MOUNTING THE HEAD UNITS
Mounting the Head Unit of your Fish Finder can be a challenge on your Jetski so we either use a custom made mounting or a Ram Mounting. We also supply Flexible Covers for all units to protect your Fish Finder in the surf zone and rough weather.
Remember as you add Marine Electronics, Pumps etc. it is extremely important that you add a Dual Battery setup to your Jetski. Here is the Jetski Dual Battery parts Link to Dual Battery Kits If you would like installation help or us to fit your Dual Battery give me a shout. Mick.