Furuno 600L - tweaking/first time setup




I recently bought my first boat and am experiencing some issues with the sounder/FF it came with, the FCV-600L.

I have a transom mount transducer (Furuno 525ST-PWD). Both were installed by the prior owner. Upon taking the boat out for my first spins, I noticed that when I'm in motion, I have no depth measurements and no FF data. When I slow down a bit (at trolling speeds), I get the bottom but with interference.

I've read that this can be due to transducer location, but the prior owner was very diligent with the boat and I doubt he'd have left the issue this long without correcting it (he was practically militant with everything else). I checked to see if somehow the unit was dislodged during transit, but it seems to be mounted very solidly and wouldn't budge an inch. There was some growth there, which I managed to clean off (it's only been in the water two weeks).

My next step would be to reset the settings to factory default. I read the manual, but although it describes in great detail how to change each of the settings, there isn't much in terms of what recommended settings to use in any particular situation. I realize this is more on me than the unit, which is probably intended for a more advanced/sophisticated audience. Is there any way to know how I should set up the unit for my particular use (fishing in ocean waters no deeper than 60', 15-40 for the most part)?

Are there any beginner resources that Furuno offers, or are available third-party, to help overcome the learning curve?

Thanks for your email. What you are describing is most likely turbulence because it is speed related. The only thing that is changing is the water flow over the transducer at different speeds. Sadly there are really no sounder settings that can compensate for bubbles flowing over the face of a transducer. Below is an example of what turbuelnce can look like.
Most of the time, turbulence shows up as bottom gaps on the lower frequency first. If it is really bad it will take out the higher frequency also. Trasom mounted transducers are more prone to being affected by turbulence than other mounting styles. Sometimes readjusting the transducer depth and angle may improve its performance. Also using 200Khz when traveling may help.

Thanks for the reply Snips. Sounds like there's not much I can do, other than to move the transducer or go with a through-hull unit over the transom mount.

Do you know if Furuno has any simplified documentation or training resources anywhere? Or is it simply a matter of getting to know the unit and figuring it out? I've been through the manual for that unit a few times, and still a little hazy on some of the terminology used (like short echo tail versus long echo tail).
Reading the manual can leave you scratching your head sometimes. One thing that might help is using the sounders DEMO mode, page IV in the operators manual. Here you can adjust the Gain, Clutter and other settings while your boat at the dock to see how they can affect the picture.