Finally, an economical forward-looking sonar
The big snag with conventional echo sounders and fishfinders is that they tell you about what was underneath the boat a second or so ago, not what will be underneath it a few seconds in the future. The FLS 2D is one of two newly introduced products from Echopilot, a British company that has been producing forward-looking sonars for nearly 20 years.
Priced at a surprisingly modest $999, the FLS 2D’s most striking aspect is that Echopilot has moved away from its usual military-looking gray livery in favor of a high-gloss, piano-black-and-polished-chrome confection that is intended to fit in with the helm consoles of modern performance boats. The principal change is the adoption of a seven-inch color screen on which the different colors represent different echo strengths, with the strongest echoes—generally the hardest substances—showing up as dark red.
If detail is more important to you, check out the latest FLS 3D, a black-box unit that uses a very wide beam of ultrasound to “floodlight” a broad swath of the seabed ahead, 30 degrees on either side of the centerline. It then assimilates all the information from the returning echoes into a three-dimensional graphic image that can be output to any of a wide range of compatible displays from other manufacturers. It’s priced at around $7,999.
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This article originally appeared in the August 2011 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.