Echo-sounding equipment for 16m Bottom/midwater longliner


New member
Hello all !

First of all thank you for accepting me into your forum. Its makes for very interesting reading !

I work a line/longline fishing vessel in Europe with an under 10m (-33ft) boat. I am moving up to a 16m (52ft) boat to be able to work further offshore, out to the slope of the continental shelf. The boat requires a total electronics refit.

In my current boat I use TimeZero software, connected to a Furuno radar for overlay, DFF1UHD sounder for fishfinding, bottom definition and accufish, a DFF3D multibeam sonar coupled to an SC33 satellite compass for bottom structure mapping. I am satisfied with the installation and very used to maxsea software as I have used it since I've started skippering. As a result I will install Maxsea/Nobeltec TimeZero software. I am used to Furuno products and Furuno products are compatible with TimeZero so I will privelige this brand for most equipment.

Fishing Operations :

5 months of the year is spent targeting conger on rough ground and gravel beds. This fishery starts in deeper water (100-120m) and follows the conger into shallower water (as little as 15m). During this fishery multibeam sonars are not used for finding fish but are instead used for building 2d maps of bottom structure and for creating maps of bottom discrimination.

2 months of the year are spent targeting turbot and brill on sandbanks, generally in 100-120m depth, occasionally in Shallower water, minimum of 50m depth. To my knowledge, sounders are ineffective at detecting these bottom hugging species, so once again multi beam sonars are used to define the area of sand dunes which provide the most potential before shooting longlines. Again creating maps of bottom structure and bottom discrimination is the priority.

5 months of the year is spent longlining for hake. This fishery typically takes place in 140-350m depth but on some occasions gear can be shot in water up to 500m depth. During this season fishing takes place in muddy bottom and on the slope of the continental shelf. Fish detection is of paramount importance and the ability to size and identify fish is a plus, multibeam sonar also in operation in this fishery.

In parallel to the pre-mentioned activities, during spells of good weather, less longline gear is shot to allow the vessel to engage in line fishing for White Pollock and Atlantic Wreckfish/Stone Bass on wrecks. The gear is either towed or drifted over the wreck. The white pollock is usually targeted in 80 - 170m of water (mean depth of 120m). Wreckfish are caught between 150 and 500m depth. Sounder is used to verify if a mark is worth working on and is used to estimate size and species, Multibeam is used to map wrecks to avoid snagging lines and ideally to overlay fish marks on navigation software to guarantee precise positioning of vessel.

List of electronics required :

Fishfinder- ability to detect fish down to 500m. Chirp/tunable and accufish or fish sizing would be an advantage. FCV-1900B would be the obvious options. I think FCV-1900G might be overkill but may go for it if the price difference is not too great.I would like to be able to do everything I can do with a DFF1UHD (except for ground dicrimination, this being provided by multibeam backscatter) and more, but far deeper.

Is there any advantage to adding a DFF1UHD/BBDS1 or other ground discrimination sounder to complement mutibeam backscatter ? Would there be any other advantage to fitting another complimentary sounder (FCV-1150/DFF3/DFF1-UHD)

By fitting a FCV-1900B with a Airmar CM599LHG, how deep could I use the accufish option ?

I imagine the 599LM or 599LHW would present no advantage for the fishing operations I have described ? The HW capacity 599LHW would be made redundant by Multibeam ?

Multibeam Sonar- would probably install WASSP F3 or F3X with backscatter. Do the fishing operations described above require an F3X or would an F3 suffice ?

Current Doppler- This would be a supplementary option dependent on total budget. I would like to be able to see the bottom, mid-water and surface currents strength and direction. Ideally I would be able to create my own current maps. I don't think TimeZero is capable of creating such maps but I think OLEX is capable of doing so, in which case I might install OLEX as well.

Satellite Compass- What are the advantages of SC-70 over SC-33 ?

Radar- What X-band radar would you recommend for my refit ? I would like to be able to overlay on to TimeZero and have ARPA.

Screens- I use NEOVO screens on my current vessel. These are fine for most applications but I am not satisfied with the quality of the image for echosounding. What screens would you recommend for sounder image ?

Thank you for taking the time to read my request ! Hopefully, with your help I should get it just right !



Deep Blue

Staff member

Using a FCV-1900B with the CM599LHG is a very nice setup to go for deeper fish detection, and there are many fishing vessels within the North Pacific Fishing Fleet currently using the FCV1900B with great success for fishing tuna, salmon, cod, halibut, pollock, and hake. Or can also use the FCV-1150 and utilize that unit's network port into TimeZero.

However, having a WASSP F3X will provide you exactly what you are looking for in the way of fish detection, backscatter, and bottom mapping. The F3X's bottom mapping maximum depth of 1722ft (525m) and a maxium Sounder Depth of 1968ft (600m). The F3 falls a little short of those depths, so going with the F3X (More power) is a better fit for your type of fishing needs. The WASSP's bottom hardness can be utilized through Nobeltec's TimeZero with a required WASSP license and TimeZero module.

The difference between the SC-70 and the SC-33 is that the SC-70 provides a NMEA0183 data format, and comes with a 4"3 Color Display. Where the SC-33 is strictly a NMEA 2000 device. Both the unit's Antennas are pretty much the same, and for any WASSP System, you'll need to be connected to a Satellite Compass.

For a radar sensor, I would seriously consider using the DRS12A-NXT (100 watts) or the DRS25A-NXT (200 watts) and it should be equipped with the 6' Open Array. Both units are Solid-State Doppler Radars, with Target Analyzer and Fast Target Tracking. Nice features for use with any Light Commercial Fishing Vessel, and these units will also integrate into TimeZero.

I recommending using Furuno's MU152, MU150HD, or MU190HD for any monitors. All these monitors are designed to provide Furuno Products with the correct resolution.

-Deep Blue :)