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  1. #1
    Lieutenant Junior Grade
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    Default Where to set depth finder alarms?

    I just installed a depth finder and it has high/low water alarms I can set. Just wondering where most would set the low water alarm? 5 ft? 8 ft? I have a 19' bowrider I/O alpha one of that matters. The depth probe is in the rear (bilge). Thx.

  2. #2
    Admiral tommays's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to set depth finder alarms?

    There is to much shallow water here to worry about it


    But i would find out how close it is to real depth , many time mine will read 1 ft when there is 3 or more

    Tommays

  3. #3
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
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    Default Re: Where to set depth finder alarms?

    When do you feel like you should be alarmed? Haha. I personally set mine to 2 ft.

  4. #4
    Petty Officer 1st Class tnduc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to set depth finder alarms?

    What is your draft? I would add a few feet to whatever your draft is and set the alarm there.

  5. #5
    Lieutenant bekosh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to set depth finder alarms?

    Quote Originally Posted by tmh View Post
    I just installed a depth finder and it has high/low water alarms I can set. Just wondering where most would set the low water alarm? 5 ft? 8 ft? I have a 19' bowrider I/O alpha one of that matters. The depth probe is in the rear (bilge). Thx.
    It depends on where you boat. Some places 10ft is considered shallow. Where I boat on Lake Winnebago, anything over 5ft is deep water. If I set mine to 8 ft it would be going off all the time. I set mine for 3 ft. At idle that is just when the drive will start to hit if it is down all the way. If I'm on plane that tells me to put the hammer down and keep going.
    Quote Originally Posted by tommays View Post
    But i would find out how close it is to real depth , many time mine will read 1 ft when there is 3 or more
    Tommays
    Sounds like you don't have your keel offset set. It's reading the depth from the transponder not the water surface.
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  6. #6
    Chief Petty Officer thurps's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to set depth finder alarms?

    Shallow water alarms in my opinion are only good for fishing depths. In the ocean and lakes around here the water depth will be 40' then 6 in. By the time your alarm sounds, your dragging the bottom. Nothing like charts and knolage of your waters.
    The fishin' is always good. Sometimes the catchin' is better.

  7. #7
    Chief Petty Officer
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    Oakland, MD and Tierra Verde, FL
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    Default Re: Where to set depth finder alarms?

    I set mine at 4 ft. My draft is 2 1/2. Mainly use it when we are anchored and I'm either reading, fishing or planning on sleeping. That way, if the anchor looses its bite and we drift, it will get my attention. Otherwise, like has been said, it's area knowledge and experience.

  8. #8
    Lieutenant Commander WAVENBYE2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to set depth finder alarms?

    If it is a matter of the boat floating adrift while you sleep, look at what it is when your bow/stern snugged up and secure and then set it 2-3ft. deeper than what your current depth is. Mine is set on the stern also just so I don't run my stern aground while beaching. The lake that i go to goes from 0-100ft. with in 15 feet from shore in most areas.

    1991 Bayliner Capri 2050CX,4.3L V6,Mercarb 2bbl,Alpha 1
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  9. #9
    Lieutenant Commander bassboy1's Avatar
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    Cartersville, Georgia
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    Default Re: Where to set depth finder alarms?

    I don't generally set alarms. My boat drafts 1 foot below the sounder (bout 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 from surface) and when it gets to 3 feet, then I watch it, and if it starts getting shallower, I drop to idle, at about 1 1/2 I make a judgment call as to keep going or stop and pull out the paddle. BTW, my boat won't plane, so slowing down actually decreases my draft as the nose goes back down, and the back comes up a bit.

    Two weeks ago, when we were in NC, we were in a rowboat lake, and the water temp was higher than normal, so we tried to find deep water to find trout. We set the alarm for 15, and I rowed back and forth to find the channel. Keep in mind this lake is closer to a square mile, and we had a bit of trouble finding deep water. At areas we thought were closer than ten, we were reading three. i put in about 2 miles of rowing that day. And of course the wind changed directions when we decided to head back to the ramp, so I had a head wind and white caps BOTH WAYS. Wat da he!!?
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  10. #10
    Supreme Mariner Silvertip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to set depth finder alarms?

    Thurps is right. With the transducer in the rear and running at speed, you are aground before the sounder can alarm you. Some reefs and shelves are nearly vertical so in an instant you can go from 40 or more feet to inches. I've had the be-jeepers scared out of me in the middle of a very large lake in just that scenario. I'm watching the locator go from 20 - 90 feet so I'm fat dumb and happy cruising at 30+ across the lake. I look around a bit and when I glance back at the locator I'm in 6 feet of water and the bottom is coming up fast. At four feet I cross the ledge and in a heartbeat I'm back in deeper water. If you are fishing you should be watching the contour anyway so the depth alarms are just an annoyance in my view..

  11. #11
    Admiral dingbat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to set depth finder alarms?

    My alarm is set at 3.5 feet which is the point where Iím just about ready to hit bottom with the motor.

    I boat in tidal water so the depth of the dredged channel (4í MLW) coming out of the marina can vary as much as a couple of feet at any given time.

    You can get a good indication of the depth by looking at the height of the water on the pilings but the channel does shoal from time to time and itís nice to get that audible reminder if Iím occupied with other tasks while idling out the inlet.

    As noted above alarms are useless for running at speed. A good chart plotter is the only solution for that problem, of course, assuming that the body of water you're running is even charted.

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