A fish finder can be an outstanding tool for anglers to locate fish quickly and efficiently. A fish finder allows you to get detailed information underneath the water regarding temperature, depth, etc. It also indicates the number of fish, fish’s school, kinds, etc. So, installing a fish finder to your pontoon boat will enhance your angling experience even more enjoyable and relaxing. It cannot be very clear for many people to understand how to install a fishfinder on a pontoon boat.
Installing a fish finder on a pontoon boat is no different in the process than on a traditional craft. As we all know, a pontoon is different and unique in features, configuration, functioning, quality, etc. Some of the pontoons nowadays even come with a built-in fish finder and GPS for user’s convenience. But if you are planning to buy one, make sure the fish finder’s compatibility matches with your pontoon’s configuration.
Different reviews suggest different techniques that confuse the people, especially the beginners, to get panicked about installing depth finder on their boats. Neither the pontoons nor the fish finder is cheap that you can keep changing. That is why you need to care equally in choosing the right product and proper installation to remain carefree for the long term. Whether it is your first time placing a fish finder on a boat or for a pontoon boat, it is clear to have many questions regarding how to mount a fishfinder on a pontoon boat.
In this guide, I have tried to add all the details with an explanation for you to understand the installation process quickly. I have tried to focus on the most confusing area and narrow it down in detail. It is easy to understand for anyone without any previous experience on how to install a depth finder on a pontoon boat.
Though every fish finder comes with the installation instruction you require to follow, you will need additional kits and tools to install it properly. You might even have to buy extra cables or wirings for connecting them to power and so many. After you have bought your desired fish finder, you need to have other kits to install it properly, like screwdrivers, power drills, connectors, bolts or nuts, etc. Most of the tools like nuts, connectors come with the fish finder kit. But if it does not, you will have to buy them separately according to the depth finder’s specific instruction or manual.
How to Install a Fishfinder on a Pontoon Boat:
Before you mount the fish finder, you must have a fair knowledge about where to install it. It requires you to be careful about the placing of the monitor and transducer in a suitable place.
Step 1 – Transducer installation:
You can’t mount a fish finder without a transducer. It is the most crucial part of the fish finder, which serves as the engine to the car. The transducer uses sound waves to generate all the information on the monitor to generate every detail you see on the monitor. It sends the sound waves to the boat. Now you can guess how crucial it is to find the right place for installing the transducer. Otherwise, your fish finder will be nothing but a decoration accessory for your boat.
Mounting the transducer is not tricky at all. The transducer shows the water condition underneath the boat using sonar technology. It needs to receive and send the data signal properly to feature all the data you required in the monitor screen. That is why you can’t go wrong with its placement.
Usually, the boat’s rear back tube’s bottom bracket is the preferable area for transducer placement. While placing the transducer on the pontoon, make sure to adjust it in a way that makes its’ angling with water in a parallel way under the water.
Another thing you must be careful of is the distance of the transducer. It becomes difficult for the anglers to get specific details of the fish’s location if it’s too far. It also restricts the bass anglers to stand while standing.
Too many wires might seem messy. If the distance from the transducer to the monitor is too much, you will need longer wires. You can take down the short road by placing the monitor and the transducer on a similar side of your pontoon. Moreover, making an extra place for the wirings might cause weak signals, create obstacles for your depth sounder. The distance can weaken the signal, which causes misinterpretation of the data.
But if you require additional wires, you can buy them separately. But it is recommended to keep it in a minimal length to avoid interference with other electrical units, including refrigeration, pumping feature, etc.
The standard and most commonly chosen for transducer placement is the starboard of the pontoons. It allows easy connection of the monitor and the transducer requiring fewer cords. The transducer places underneath the right toon of the boat.
Image Credit – Betterboat.com
Step 2 – The mounting transducer in the right angle:
Mounting the transducer on the pontoon is not difficult once you have figured out the right spot and have all the necessary measurements. You will have to drill holes with the drilling machine according to the specific measurement for proper placement. Be careful while drilling as a simple slip out might puncture your pontoon’s tube. After drilling in two spots into the tube’s rear bracket, you can place them through the holes and assemble the transducer mount attaching it with stainless steel nuts, bolts, and the washer.
Every fish finder comes with easier details for anyone to mount the transducer successfully. If you know how to use a drill machine, how to use the screwdrivers, connect nuts and bolts, this should be nothing for you, really!! All you must be calm and have steady, stable control while drilling to place the transducer in the right location.
Step 3 – Placing the monitor in the right spot:
Mounting the fishfinder’s monitor to the right place is a crucial task. You can get all the details, charts, and water conditions from the monitor’s screen. That is why you must place it in a manner where you can get clear visibility and easier access.
Different specs of monitors are available in the market. It comes with an LCD screen in various sizes with multiple unique features, configurations, and different color markings or pointers for showing different sets of data (number of fish or fish school, type of fish, location, obstacles, etc.). Some of the monitors use higher technology and enable touch screen features convenient for users in most ways.
As I already have mentioned before, the pontoons are not the same when it comes to size, features, design, etc. Not all the pontoon boats come with enough room to install other equipment in the boat. That is why it requires special consideration to find the right place for the monitor installation without any further complicated issues.
If you are unsure about the placing, it is better to look for installing monitors’ recommended areas. You can check this in different reviews, or you can directly ask your dealer for professional suggestions.
Before buying a monitor, consider suitable places for mounting the monitor. Most of the angler’s preferred site for mounting the monitor is on the helm of the boat. It ensures better access and enhanced visibility. Choose your monitor after considering all the facts and measuring specific requirements for placing the monitor.
While screwing and drilling, be cautious about not damaging any part of the helm or wires or gauges. It is better to choose a bit small monitor for your fishfinder if there is limited space.
Step 4 – Mounting the monitor:
As easy and clear as the instructions and the process is for installing transducer using fewer attachments, monitor installation is not. Finding the right place to monitor is a huge task itself. You have a whole lot to consider before even purchasing the monitor.
Another crucial thing that demands most of your concentration on placing the monitor right is its complicated installation process. As you must drill through the consoles’ fiberglass, you must remain extra cautious while doing that.
After choosing the place on your console to mount the monitor, place the bracket on the chosen area. For enhanced accuracy, mark that place. It ensures precise drilling at the same point you want it to be. If you are not careful enough of your drilling speed, you might break the console’s fiberglass.
Using rubber or silicone washers is always a good idea to protect the fiberglass. It remains between the fiberglass of the console and the mount, reducing shaking. Another convenient idea is not to drill entirely at one time. You can drill small holes through the mount to gradually make it one-fourth inches.
After drilling according to the measurement properly, attach the bracket with washer, bolts, and nuts to the boat’s console. You can also use silicon to protect the holes.
Finally, for the ultimate connection through the transducer and the monitor, you will have to drill an additional hole in the bottom bracket. This extra hole is used as the connector of the transducer cord and the power cable.
Step 5 – Connecting to the power source:
It is entirely up to you what kind of power source you want to use for your fishfinder. You can connect your depth finder in two ways.
Powering up the fish finder through the fuse box is easier as it is almost like connecting the power plugs. Many of the pontoon boats have extra plugs in their fuse box that you can connect with anything to power up. It simplifies and quickens the fish finder installation to a great extent.
But if you don’t have one, you can always rely on batteries. These batteries are rechargeable, can last longer. These batteries need to be connected through electric cables. So if you don’t have any cable left and no extra slots in the fuse box, you will have to buy the line and connect it with batteries. But if you don’t have enough knowledge about this, you should get professional help to ensure the proper depth sounder installation of your pontoon boat.
Few Video Tutorial –
Video Credit – Pitch n Snow R Turnnow
Video Credit – Float Tube Fanatics & Fish Finder Mounts
After you have done all the steps mentioned above, all you must do is recheck if anything is left to do. For example: connecting any wirings to the monitor or its bracket, tightening it, securing the transducer’s plugging, etc. After you have cross-checked the entire list of your task, assemble your boat in your preferred way, and you are ready to go out and enjoy fishing.
There is no doubt why people get so worried and confused about installing a fish finder on their pontoon boats. Hopefully, this guide will help you understand how to install a fish finder on a pontoon boat efficiently. No matter whichever brand of fish finder and pontoon you choose, make sure to properly go through the manufacturer’s instructions.