Have you ever thought about using your side scan transducer to navigate or anchor ?
OK we have had a new Garmin GPS fitted since visiting the Bunker group & had no old tracks or trails on the new network, did i mention it’s dark ? not that it was an issue as the lightening was pretty bright & it made for quite a show. Fitzroy lagoon entrance during the day with a little tide can get your glute muscle tensed up let alone having 3 individual storms performing a light show river fire would be proud of. I made the choice to seek shelter inside Fitzroy rather that cop a flogging from the approaching storms. (Just spoke to a mate that got belted for 5 hrs before pulling the pick)
Even though the entrance channel is now very well marked it was very reassuring to have a visual reference of how far off to each side of the propeller sat the trip wrecking bombies as we entered the lagoon.
(See Image above)
Once inside the lagoon we needed a place to set the pick without wrapping up a bombie with 10m of chain, as you can see (in the image below) a rather large rock is located under our Port side, without any signs of it on traditional or down view sonar. The way i used the side view as a forward imaging sonar was to place the boat in a tight 360 deg turn giving me 50M plus of clear imaging in a 360 deg area to search for ground to anchor without risk of chain wrap during the night.With the drag alarm set we settled back into watching Harry getting railed on light gear by under water night stalkers.
If you have never thought about doing this with your side imaging, there is probably a few other tricks we could teach you about using your equipment out on the water, drop in and pay the team a visit.
With Brisbane turning on the weather for this Deep Dropping adventure, we couldn’t have asked for a better day. Between Dick Tracey’s decked out electronics and rods supplied by Florless Rods we were onto some winners. From watching the sinker hit the bottom in 400+ meters to catching not one but two Flame Tail Snapper, it was a superb day had by all. Big shout out to Ryan Moody Fishing for the amazing video.
Prior to becoming an Independent Dealer myself, I found the Marine Electronics Industry in SEQ full of smoke, mirrors and misinformation as i attempted to fault find various NMEA & transducer issues over the years. With a trade background in Diesel fitting, along with 25 years experience in the oil & gas industry, I knew the process of fault finding that worked for me way back before the WWW was available, I also had a rough idea what old school customer service should look like. With Dealers failing to meet my expectations as their customer by relying solely on the manufactures product brochures it was disappointing to say the least, I knew this was an industry i could make a difference to the end result & promptly set out to do so.
What I also found during my research was no real connection between the level of knowledge and service provided based solely on the size of the premises & staff levels, most of the Dealers stating we have 30 years of Industry Experience, to me, were running on the same customer service model they put into action back in 1995.
Treating customers with the same level of service you expect to be treated with isn’t that hard when you’re an Independent Dealer. You answer the call, do the quote, install the equipment meaning you know what is going on with every job. Having managed multiple staff in previous businesses has shown me more staff does not always equal better service – having the right staff is how you can maintain high standards of performance & workmanship.
When I kicked off QME 20 knots out of your Furuno 2 kw transducer tacked onto your big Plate Boat was a great outcome. The boys at Riptide and myself pushed the envelope with our first Keel-Mounted Transducer Fairing “cutting it off 8 times from memory” and is now in what I think its’ 4th variation. 44 knots is the speed registered by “Gordo – a Riptide owner Himself” who has taken machining of the billet-block housing the transducers to another platform again.
Chasing the knowledge needed to continue pushing the boundaries of Transducer Performance, I attended Airmar’s Accredited Installer Training at their Technical Support Company Gemeco based in South Carolina in Feb 2017. What an exciting opportunity I thought to myself; the guys making these transducers are going to teach me the finer arts of smoke and mirrors, I may even come home with my own wizard staff. What it did provide me with was the re-affirmation that QME was on the right track with our development of performance.
Arriving back in Australia we quickly secured our current premises based in Brendale and set out pushing that envelope on anything that floated. Off the back of our Plate Boat success, Glass Hulls were our next challenge. We set about making moulds and fairings ranging from full blown glassed in keel moulds to our current high speed collar; which has been sold across the Globe with great success. Just by fitting our collar, performance range has increased by up to 20 knots on some vessels.
As our Clientele base grew so did the need for brand expansion, we are now certified to sell and install BEP, Czone, Furuno, Fusion, Garmin, LoneStar Marine, Minn Kota, Ocean LED and Seastar Optimus just to name a few. The Accreditation’s and Certification’s QME now hold in Advanced NMEA and Airmar ACI Accreditation puts QME in the upper echelon for the Marine Electronics Service Industry in Queensland. Our Clientele now range from 7.5′ Tinnies to 75’ Luxury Yachts cruising the globe.
The same boat Dealers that have seen QME as a threat in the past. Are now using our Advanced Level of Knowledge and Understanding on Performance to enhance the experience of their own Clientele; from new fit ups to trouble shooting technical issues that we specialize in.
New Boat Fit Ups
Close to 50% of our Clientele would now be for New Boat fit-outs; being a fisherman myself along with using what we fit daily, gives us what I feel is, without a doubt, a competitive edge over our opposition. We don’t have last years MFD model in our boat and then proceed to tell you what the marketing team prints out. We use our own pictures of Fish, our actual screen shots and settings, right down to what bait we used on the day, we want to ensure that what we are selling you will work.
Time-poor Boat Owners needing to catch fish to justify next year’s Budget to The Minister for Finance are our base Clientele. Our standards of Waterproof Terminals, No Copper Wire and Switch Panels seem to be met with discontent from time to time, although mainly only from the person who fitted the sub-standard products we are replacing. I find that customers when given the choice to use quality components will pick them every time. Why well-established Dealers still use copper cable and cheap battery switches in $200k+ boats amazes me, they’re bad enough in a cheap run-about for the bay.
Wiring in new boats
Seriously, this needs to be regulated before someone is seriously hurt due to under-rated wiring on Installations. Rather than calculate the total load on the system to ensure sufficient system design requirements are met, years of bad practices are being passed down and used on Installations.
Now, I know you do not run a return line to the primary side of a fuel filter; same as you don’t connect Fish Finders and GPS units to overloaded fuse blocks already exceeding their maximum capacity; or place a GPS antenna in the path of a Radar beam but the amount of times we see this would surprise you. And, unfortunately all this done by Firms well established in the Industry and bragging about their years of service.
We provide a Personalized Service often beyond the reach of our larger competitors. Starting on a first name basis, the conversation with our customers’ begin with ‘What area do you Fish?’ ‘What depth are you fishing at?’, followed by ‘What is your target species?’ and a relationship is formed long before a deal is put to paper.
We now find ourselves providing Marine Electronic components to numerous local boat builders at the same price they can buy directly themselves. But with the added reassurance of having QME back them with any technical requirements, from internal settings to complete fit outs if they find themselves running behind schedule. Lets face it boat builders make money building boats, not pulling wires and spending hours reading manuals to work out network configuration and sea trials.
There are boat builders out there that will not sell you a boat unless they supply everything down to the spare fuses. Whilst others will provide the customer with the package they want.
Which one has the better business model? Only time will answer that one.
In my experience the latter builder has a happier customer and a better opportunity to resell another vessel in a few years’ time.
If you are unsure of what’s going on under your panel covers, or just don’t have a clue what a battery shunt looks like, don’t worry we can put your mind at rest. Drop in for a check over, Battery Test or even a software update to ensure your best chance of that next brag pic this season.
When you are buying a new electronics package for you boat what is the number 1 consideration ?
Price, brand, what your mate has or to catch more Fish ?
Lets face it modern day Fish Finders can be installed by anyone with a credit card and access to Google, Red wire to positive then the Black to negative that’s about it, time hit the water for a new PB!
What about the thingy under the boat, what one do you need ? Blowing a 100mm hole through the hull of your boat is painless if you say it quickly. But the salesman said I need this one is a common statement we get when asked to install packages bought on special at a boat show.
Let’s face it you are contemplating or have bought a new sounder it is to catch more Fish, would you book in for a heart bypass at the dentist to fix the tooth ache in your rear molar.
Qme removes the stress of making your sounder work away to give you more time Fishing long after the boat show specials have finished.
If you are considering a new Electronics package drop in or give us a call, we are the only Accredited Airmar Installer in Brisbane. We sell and install the industry leading brands of Marine Electronics, so if you are keen to spend more time Fishing give us call let us take the trouble out of getting it right.
Ever wondered if there was a reason why you could see Fish on your sounder screen and couldn’t buy a bite ?
I have about seen just about every mistake that can be made when it comes to incorrectly mounting a transducer, from sealing washers on the wrong side of hull filling the hull with water to the transducer facing the wrong way giving you starboard only side scan and nothing under your boat.
Lets just imagine the planets have aligned and your install went by the book, do you know what the foot print of your Transducer is in 100M of water ?
In 50M of water a standard 6deg narrow beam places a 5M circular foot print under your boat, in 100m it shows a 10M circle, now this has been & was our main beam angle option for High freq out of the box transducers over the past 20 years.
Step up to the plate 25 deg Wide Beam, in 50M water depth wide beam gives you an impressive coverage of 22m in diameter, in 100m of water 44m is the footprint you get to see, now while this may not seam much to some, 44m is a long distance away from a rock holding fish, the lump on your screen could be 44m to port, starboard or ahead of you. Apart from the size of the vermon you catch how can you tell where the hell the rock is ?
How I do It.
Triangulation is commonly used in maritime navigation & is how i pin point a rock using wide beam, mark the lump or show as it appears on the screen then turn hard 90deg port and then turn 180 back on your track and mark the lump again as it appears on screen. Do the same out to opposite side of original mark and you should have three separate marks, Drop a point in between THATS your ROCK!
While this may seam a pain in the arse you are actually covering 5 times the ground with the wide beam over a narrow beam, whats the down side? Excessive Noise, clutter & interference.
As your beam opens up so does the requirement to process additional information, Simrad seam to really struggle with this as they appear to be very sensitive to noise in my experience.
So why chose wide beam to travel at speed ? To be honest i personally think it has come from somebody that doesn’t have to make it work, just to start a new millennium style trend. (unless you purposely set out to look for new ground with gain backed off)
I personally run wide beam chirp & are fortunate that it can read at 40knts without clutter or interference due the heavy Evolution hull along with big flat planning board, then we have customers with lighter hulls that have had wide beam fitted by Bubba’s marine electronics and cant read at 10 knts, to rectify many poor placement issues we have changed out 200Hz Wide transducers for narrow models with great success, along with fitment of our high performance transducer collars have also increased readings by up to 20knts above current readings.
What can you do ?
If you have a High or Low Wide chirp transducer mounted that struggles to read at speed consider changing out your wide for a narrow beam, if you mainly use low beam for deep water or trolling so the interference is minimal so a wide is normally ok. QME is an Accredited Airmar Installer & authorized warranty agent, we have the latest Airmar testing equipment & lead the industry in High speed Transducer performance. Drop in and see us for the latest in Garmin & Furuno Marine electronics in Brisbane.
Without a doubt (Which transducer?) would be a question i get asked at least a dozen times a week.
what depth do you fish?
what is your target species?
where do you see your electronics package down the track?
I work on the 75% rule, if you fish 3/4 of your trips under 80m why spend $2k on a 2kw transducer when a $400 600w will do it with ease.
Another common misconseption is a 1kw transducer will read better at speed than a 600w, gaps in the bottom layer of picture is air, clutter on screen is noise either introduced by electrical or mechanical interference.
Where to mount it for best reading? Unfortunately what works on one boat may not work on the next. I recently was involved in a fitup to a brand new hull that had seen the transom mount transducer screwed on 4 diffrent positions by the dealer, all positions worked on same hull in different length variations.
Working with our local boat building industry and many passionate boat owners i get to see more working setups than ones that don’t, the ones that don’t is where QME leads the way in custom inhull and transom mount transducer fairings.
If you chasing advice on getting performance at speed drop us a line or give us a call about visiting our showroom and Marine Electronics Installation centre at Brendale.