How to Put a Depth Finder on a Bayliner

by Eric Cedric

Depth finders, also called fish finders, use sonar waves to provide information on the water underneath a boat. Bayliner makes a series of pleasure boats--deck boats, bowriders, cuddies and cabin cruisers. Installing a depth finder onto any of these boats requires mounting a transducer, display unit and wiring the device to a marine DC battery. The positioning of the transducer is key to the successful use of the marine electronic device.

Coat the back of the transducer with the marine epoxy. Place the transducer under the Bayliner hull, away from the engine and propeller, and under the water completely. Placing the transducer too close to the engine or prop leads to electronic noise on the display screen as a result of the cavitation--water bubbles--made by the engine and propeller.

Drill hole mounts for the depth finder's display screen somewhere near the boat's steering wheel and deck. Bolt the display unit's mounting bracket onto these holes.

Plug the depth finder wires into the appropriate plugs on the display unit. Each depth finder is different, so consult your user manual for proper wire placement.

Run the cables and wires from the display unit to the Bayliner's DC battery. Attach the red cable/wire to the red terminal on the battery and the black wires to the black terminal. If there is a white grounding wire, screw it to the ground terminal on the DC battery. If there is no ground screw, attach the ground to the black/negative terminal.

Zip-tie the wires to the side of the boat to prevent tripping or tearing of the wires.

Items you will need

  • Marine epoxy
  • Power drill
  • Screwdrivers
  • Zip ties

About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.