Monday, September 13, 2010

Fish Finder Install in the Mad River Passage 14 Canoe

After tons of reading and searching, a free fish finder (laying around in my Dad's garage - thanks Pops!), some online shopping, I am now a proud owner of a Mad River canoe outfitted with a fish finder with the transducer mounted inside the canoe. 

Things you will need:
1. Fish Finder with transducer and a mount for the display unit
2. Marine Goop, or similar marine silicone based sealant
3. Battery holder for 8 AA batteries
4. 9volt snap to connect the battery holder to the power leads of the fish finder
5. Tools (whatever you need to make it happen)

The install was quick.  The marine silicone had to cure for 24 hours, but the actual install was quick.  It did take a lot of planning and reading on my part.  I was undecided on the best place to put the stupid thing.  I fish solo most of the time and that placement was easy.  I do fish with 2 in the canoe sometimes, so my install needed to move the display unit around a bit to make that work. I decided to leave a bit of extra cable to mount the display towards the back when I have 2 in the boat.  When I am solo, I sit in the middle seat and the display goes right behind the front seat.

1. Get your materials.

battery for fish finder install on mad river canoe
8 AA Battery Holder

9volt Battery Snap Lead
Marine Goop 
Find A Fish Finder On Amazon

2. Wire up your power and make sure the fish finder is going to work.  My unit worked on 8 AA's for 5 hours this last trip.  I didn't turn it off once!  You are going to need a dry bag or something to keep your batteries dry while on the water.

Battery Holder from Amazon
9volt Snap from Amazon

transducer thru-hull in the Mad River Canoe.
3.  Install the transducer in your canoe.   I installed the transducer under the middle seat of the canoe.  This was the best place for me because it is out of the way and that part of the canoe always touches the water.  This installation is called thru-hull.  The signal shoots through the canoe.  Sonar doesn't work through air.  It has to make contact with water.  That is why you have to use the silicone.  I gooped the marine sealant all over the bottom of the transducer and placed the transducer on the canoe.  Rock it back and forth a bit and let it set for 24 hours. Make sure you put a lot of sealant on there.  The transducer needs to sit on a cushion of the sealant.  No air bubbles in the sealant.  

Fish Finder in Mad River Canoe
4.  Place your display.  You will have to figure out a place for your display.  That means drilling a hole in your canoe.  Pick your spot wisely.  It shouldn't be in the way of fishing, paddling, or feet!  Think this one through.  Figure out all the options and pick the one that works best with you. 

5.  Run your wires.  Keep them out of the way of your feet.  You are also going to have to travel with the canoe. "batten down the hatches!"  You don't want 15ft of fish finder cable flying out behind your car driving down the road!  I used zip strips.

I was very skeptical of this kind of installation.  I didn't think it was going to work, but it did. Works like a champ.  The install is portable (except for the transducer).  Easy to install.  I didn't want the transducer outside of the canoe.  It would get caught up and damaged while loading up the boat and traveling.  I also didn't want a clamp on model.  that would get in the way of paddling and fishing.  It would also slow the boat down.  I highly recommend this thru-hull fish finder installation on a Mad River Passage 14 canoe.

Hope this helps.  Be creative and cheap!  Do what works best for you.

Check out the specs, costs and reviews of the Mad River Canoe.


  1. This an amazing blog.

  2. I always wanted to try this. Now I know what I need and what to do. I am sure that my fishing will going to be so easy and great. I can' wait in catching big fish.

  3. well explained.. thanks for sharing your thoughts..
    Fish finder

  4. Very helpful. I just picked up a Mad River Adventure 14 and am considering a fish finder for it. The drill battery is a great idea.

    1. I am glad I could help! We love our Mad River Canoe. Send some pictures of your finished installation when you get it done.

  5. This is very important factor to install fish finder on your boat. thanks for sharing this post. Get more tips visit here.

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