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Big Boat Sonar Evolves

Whether a new marine electronics dealer or a seasoned professional, we walked away with information to share with our customers.

It was standing room only at a National Marine Electronics Association educational session about sonars. Professionals from around the world came to learn about the latest equipment and trends. Presenters included: Furuno, the most popular sonar in sportfishing; Kongsberg Maritime (Simrad Norway — not the same as Navico’s Simrad brand) spoke about their new Simrad SY50 Omni sonar; Koden, a longtime Japanese commercial fishing equipment manufacturer discussed their products; and Atlantic Marine Electronics (AME), a subsidiary of Viking Yachts, shared their experience from installing over 100 sportfish sonars.

We learned a lot during that round table seminar. Whether a new marine electronics dealer or a seasoned professional, we walked away with information to share with our customers. Here are some of the highlights.

Sonar Panel

Furuno continues to offer the most popular Omni style sonar installed in sportfishing boats. The term Omni refers to the ability of the sonar to scan the water in a 360-degree circle without moving parts inside the sound dome and essentially producing a live view of the water under the boat. Furuno’s Omni model, the CSH8LMK2, is an eight-inch diameter sonar and comes in two travel lengths: 400mm and 600mm. The 400mm is typically used for installations where the tank (fiberglass tube) is installed in the keel. The 600mm travel is for installation where the tank is located off center of the keel and therefore needs to extend farther into the water so that the sonar signal is not blocked by the keel.

How much room do you need for a Furuno CSH8LMK2 Omni? For a 400mm sonar, the tank (fiberglass tube) has a recommended minimum length of 24 inches and the 600mm tank has a minimum recommended length of 32 inches. The hoist is the main component inside the boat and is mounted to the top of the tank flange. It has a minimum recommended height of 30 inches for a 400mm tank and 36 inches for 600mm tanks. Additional clearance is desired, especially to access the manual hoist raising fitting.

The CSH8LMK2 is sold as a complete package, including a motion stabilizer with an optional handheld remote. This sonar is available in one frequency, 85 kHz, which works well for sportfishing. While today’s CSH8LMK2 is hard to beat, it’s rumored that Furuno is already working on the next generation of Omni sonars.

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