Selecting transducer

 hi guys, 

I've recently picked up a new (2nd hand) boat (cruise craft 685).

i am planning to install a furuno 587 and new transducer. I am reluctant to cut holes in the hull so was thinking a 1kw in hull transducer or transom mount. Typically I working in 15 to 50 m but may venture out to a couple of hundred in the future.

 I know there is lots of info in the forum on similar topics but they don't quite cover what I am asking.

is there a big difference in transom mount versus in hull versus thru hull with regard to performance and reading?has anyone installed an in hull transducer with a 585/587 and how does it go (depth, clarity etc)?

is in hull better than transom mount?

any other advice?


reece's picture

Posts: 522

Date Joined: 10/07/08

In hull you will loose sum

Mon, 2014-12-01 23:13

In hull you will loose sum strength of the transducer. Wet faced is the go! If you go through hull wet faced you have to put a pretty big hole in your hull an that turns a lot of guys off. If your not planning on going over 300m a TM260 is the way to go


Any one free to help me pull my drum lines tomorrow? 

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Date Joined: 30/12/08

is in hull better than transom mount IMO no

Mon, 2014-12-01 23:19

You might find that thru hull is best followed by transom mount then in hull with the same kw.. a 1kw which will easly reach those depths in any combo. You won't go wrong with a Airman TM260 1kw transom mount matched up to your 587. If you are budget minded and need to save money just go with the standard .6kw that comes with your should be all you need in up to 200m. Tailor Marine are selling the TM260 for about $1400 ATM with mounting bracket.

Posts: 167

Date Joined: 02/11/09

Don't be scared to drill

Tue, 2014-12-02 09:10

Don't be scared to drill holes in your hull, a 1KW through hull will give serperior performance to a transom mount. Purely because it will have cleaner water flow over it. Get it done properly and theres nothing that can go wrong. Just make sure you dont put it behind running strakers. They say a trailer roller can rest on it but id probaly try and make sure it clears your trailer too.



Willlo's picture

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Date Joined: 07/10/11

 I run an in hull 1kw with a

Tue, 2014-12-02 10:08

 I run an in hull 1kw with a wetbox ,works great .i have never noticed loosing much power by shooting through the hull.I can sound while doing 30 + knots in shallow up to say 40mtrs then i slow a bit as i get deeper.One thing you will lose is a temp reading unless you leave the older sounder connected and use that for temp.The other thing you have to get right is the seal around the bottom of the wetbox, make sure its glassed in with no leaks. A bonus over the transom mount style is once its in you wont ever have to adjust it as it cant get knocked by anything ie trailer ,bottom or the scum that haunt the carparks.

p.m. me if you have any more questions.





 Call Sign - BZ785

Haynes Hunter Prowler CC


Perfish's picture

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Date Joined: 15/11/11


Tue, 2014-12-02 11:01

 Get hold of JohnF - he's got a lot of good advice on this and has installed in his Whaler ........... and we've all seen the results 


Man with line in water catches fish!

You only get what you always got if you only do what you've always done!

808hazmat's picture

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Date Joined: 22/11/14

...depends on application

Tue, 2014-12-02 12:45

 What type of fishing are you doing?  Are you looking for bottom detail or wide area searching?  Consider beamwidth as well to get the performance you want from the transducer.  Main thin with the transducers seems to be getting it installed CORRECTLY.

Wet face such as thru hull flush mounts (ie SS264 pair) PRO: wet face resolution, minimal hassle getting it tuned, no hang up on trailers, run it at any speed (if installed correctly, but pretty easy to install correct).   The SS264 has show killer results with the 587 (search this site) and depending on your fishing style can be tailed with the wide or narrow pair.  If you don't need fine bottom detail take a look at the wide pair...will help get better coverage at the depths you are currently interested with.  CON: got to commit to drilling a hole...really no big deal.  50kHz transducer is wide 25deg beam...might not be the best for really deep work...but people make it work with sonar tuning.

 Wet face such as the B260, CM260 or PM260 can be mounted on a pole or custom transom bracket.  PRO: if on a pole and going slower (ie trolling speed or slower) can get well below any turbulance and minimize any interferance.  CM260 even has  better Q values than the SS265 and TM260 (look at airmar site).  CON: more hassle to install

Wet face like the TM260 PRO: has a record of performance (if installed, but may take more fooling than a flush mount), has the nice narrow 6deg 200kHz and 19deg 50kHz for great bottom detail and focused signal (down deep, like 250m plus), is easy to install (but may take some tuning).  CON: might take tuning the height and angle to work just right, drill holes in transom (do you have a wood core?)

Dry face like the M260: PRO: works for some depending on hull, has shown results, for your depth may not matter that much, easy non-destructive installation.  CON:  sound return is muffled by the hull so you may not get all you want after investing in a more sensitive 1kW transducer.

Guess it all comes down to money, time and putting a hole in your boat ;)  Hope this helps a little.

On mine I pole mounted a B265LM since I want to do deep work at 350-450m.  SS264 or TM260 would work nice I'm sure.  Even the 600w as mentioned would get it done since you are pretty shallow for now.  P66 for now and TM260 later?...

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Date Joined: 24/04/11


Tue, 2014-12-02 18:23

Thanks 808hazmat. Some good info I had to digest there.
I will be looking at the B164 after discussing with Taylor Marine as well....and think it is a decision between this and a TM260.

Cruise Control's picture

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Date Joined: 03/11/10

Definitely go through hull. I

Tue, 2014-12-02 12:59

Definitely go through hull. I have the 685 CC and whilst it was a big step to accept cutting holes in the hull, I have not regretted it. See here for my install   and see here for an example of the clear tracking, holding a clear picture in 111 meters at 25 knots and that was on a HDS

There are several forum members with 685's or similar and most have gone through hull. You can install yourself or pay for it. I paid as I was too chicken to make the cut, cost was $200 for 2 x transducers by Shane at Hayway. Good value at that price.


808hazmat's picture

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Date Joined: 22/11/14

Which 200kHz?

Tue, 2014-12-02 14:11

Cruise Control,  which 200kHz are you running?  The narrow (6deg) or wide (25deg)?  Nice shots at depth! 

Cruise Control's picture

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200KHz = 6 deg50KHz = 25

Tue, 2014-12-02 15:23

200KHz = 6 deg

50KHz = 25 deg

Buy units from the US, half the price of Oz sellers. They come with mix and match cable to suit your head unit. I swapped over to a Furuno and picked up a new cable for $90. I still have the HDS cable so I can swap over whenever. The HDS shines in 50m or less, the Furuno, deeper.

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Date Joined: 24/04/11


Tue, 2014-12-02 18:21

Thanks for the information guys.

At the moment I don't work any deeper than 100m or so (typically 15 to 50), but in the future I would like the ability to go deeper. I think I would rather install it properly now than have to come back and change it in 1, 2 or 3 years time...but maybe some more though to the P66 as 808hazmat suggested. The tight ass in me likes this solution.

I spoke with Taylor Marine today, he suggested a B164. This is a cheaper solution to the 2 x SS264 transducers.
Is the performance similar? I assume it must be reduced performance somewhat but probably saves $1000.
The 200kHz is at 6 degrees while the 50kHz is at 22 degrees. This sounds pretty narrow for the 200, especially since this is all I would use in less than 100m of water, but is similar to what Cruise Control has with his dual SS164's.

From what I am reading and hearing, for me it a choice between a B164 or a TM260.

I also got a price from a local supplier, they were $3200 for a 587 with TM260. This seems pretty steep so I will check out the interweb thingo. As with most of us, I would prefer to buy local if they are competitive on price.

Thanks for all the info.
Cruise control, I loved the sounder shots you had.

marble's picture

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A glass boat now :-) your

Tue, 2014-12-02 19:23

A glass boat now :-) your back will love you


PMY 25 Centre Console DF300 Suzuki

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Tue, 2014-12-02 21:32

Missus gets a new kid.
I get a new boat.

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Date Joined: 30/12/08

You can try suppliers like Northern Marine in the US

Tue, 2014-12-02 19:39

 They are cheaper but the Aus $ is down against the greenback and take account that if customs get hold of it you will be paying the bluggers $48 just for releasing it on top of %10 gst after filling in a page or 2 proving to them what you paid for it.

 A 587 can be purchased for around 1450 Aussie $ add $119 for post add $27 for express $1200 Aussie for a TM260..Nearly $2800.. if you can get this outfit here for $3200 I would recommend to take this option.

 Also if you buy from the US you may find people like Tailor Marine & others won't want to much to much to do with it.. Like if and when you want an upgrade via them.... Hope this helps

JohnF's picture

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Thru hull wet faced (b260),

Tue, 2014-12-02 19:52

Thru hull wet faced (b260), thru hull wet faced (SS264), shoot thru (M260), thru hull wrt faced (B164), transom (TM260) in that order of performance.

TM260 can work well sometimes, bit lots have trouble when there is a bit of chop.

The B260 in performance fairings the best 1kw by far, but way too big on a boat under 30ft. Get out the hole saw dude.


Boston Whaler 235 Conquest......getting the flogging it was built for.

Posts: 574

Date Joined: 24/04/11


Wed, 2014-12-03 12:50

Thanks JohnF,

I found a link on the Airmar website that does a comparison of sensitivity.
It compares the transducer performance to a P66. You have probably seen this already.
It says the Tm260 is 50x better performance at 50kHz and 13x better performance at 200kHz. (I'm not sure how they measure "performance").
The SS164 is only 6x at 50, and 2x at 200.

There was no comparison for the SS264.
The TM260 also allows het use of Accufish and Bottom discrimination.

Why do you say the SS164 is better?
I would assume because it is thru hull and less likely to damage (cray ropes etc), but is there another reason. On paper the TM260 looks the better transducer.
Im also considering a single 200kHz 22264 for now with the option of installing the 50 later. By the sounds of it, this will get me somewhere around 100-150m which will be fine for most of what I plan on doing in the short/medium term.

Posts: 1535

Date Joined: 30/12/08

I like the following for the 587

Tue, 2014-12-02 23:40

 1. The best is the B260..if ya want to cut a hole in your hull 

 2. Tm260 Just make sure it is mounted correctly on the starboard side of your boat with outboard motor only so it is free from so called prop wash. And you most likely will need to stuff around a little to get it right. Both these  two are wet faced which is what you want

 With these two tranny's you can take addvantage of the 587's bottom discrimination and accufish feature. 

 Unfortunatly the M260 wont work with these new features of the 587 because of distortion due to refraction by the hull.



808hazmat's picture

Posts: 5

Date Joined: 22/11/14

expansion idea

Wed, 2014-12-03 01:15

TM260 might be the most cost effective solution for a 1kW since you get the performance of a wet face.  Only thing is be prepared to play with it to get the position right.  Not a big deal.

Another option could be to use the SS264 series and add as you need them.  Since you are pretty shallow a single SS264 wide in 200kHz might work good.  You could then add on a SS264 50kHz and then if you really need it a SB264 switchbox and SS264 narrow 200kHz for details.

P66 works and get you on the water to play...1kW transducer will have better sensitivity.  Not just because it pushes out 1kW, but because it is a bigger receiver for the return signal.  Some have mounted a 2kW on the smaller FCV units, this is what they are doing.  Putting a more sensitive receiver on the sounder.

Comes down to budget I guess.  Take a look on The Hull Truth for Semperfishing's site.  He has some prices to compare.

If anything from playing this transducer game like you are I learned you get what you pay for when it comes to transducers.


Cruise Control's picture

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Date Joined: 03/11/10

I got the pair from US via

Wed, 2014-12-03 13:58

I got the pair from US via Bonzer Imports for $1700 (or thereabouts) delivered including the cable to the head unit. He broke into two packages and shipped via two different couriers so as to avoid GST and customs issues. Prices will have changed now with the rate fluctuations but you will still get a cheaper transducer in the US. at the time I think I was quoted around $3.2k in OZ. 

With the SS264 pairs, one of the units, I think the 200KHz comes with a plug in for the 50KHz which only comes with a pigtail cable. Just plug one into the other and away you go with just one cable and no switch box. Buy the head unit in OZ to avoid warranty issues

Agree with 808hazmat, you get what you pay for with a transducer.

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Date Joined: 24/04/11


Wed, 2014-12-03 21:35

Hi Cruise Control, 1 last question if I may.
with the ss264, 200khz unit, why did you select 6 degrees? This is obviously for shallow water, so at 6degrees, you wont actually be reading a lot of the bottom.
I see this seems to be the most popular setup, but I would have though wide beam on the 200 and narrower beam on the 50. maybe I am misunderstanding some basic concept....

Also does accufish/bottom discrimination work?

Actually I think that's 2 question by I don't do maths strong.


Cruise Control's picture

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Date Joined: 03/11/10

Mainly I wanted bottom detail

Thu, 2014-12-04 15:02

Mainly I wanted bottom detail not necessary a wider view. Most of my 200Khz work is in 80 - 120. Shallow stuff I usually run the HDS off a skimmer. As regards the Accufish and bottom discrimination, yes it works on the SS264 just make sure you pick the right transducer. Off the top of my head I cant recall which one but its easy enough to find. However, this is more of a gimmick, I dont use it.