Every boat owner knows how damaging it is when you drill holes in a boat. Water infiltration will cause transom rot, damaged foam cores, and lead to unstable vessels in the long term. No matter how carefully you seal the holes, eventually, they will fail due to the pressure established when the boat runs. In the past, installing a transducer on a boat without drilling wasn’t an option, but that’s no longer the case.
With the introduction of Stern Savers, you will never have to drill below the waterline again. Basically, it’s a board that can be adhered to the boat. Then, you only need to drill a hole in the board to attach the transducer. The best part is that a Stern Saver can withstand the harshest marine conditions and stay glued for a prolonged period of time.
Dive in for a step-by-step guide on how to mount a transducer without drilling using a Stern Saver mounting system!
Table of Contents
What You Will Need
1. A Stern Saver glue-on transducer mounting system
You can easily buy a Stern Saver kit on Amazon or marine retailers like West Marine, Bass Pro Shop’s, and Tackle Warehouse. The price is around $50. A kit includes:
- One Starboard made from high-density polyethylene (PE).
- One adhesive syringe. For the highest epoxying power, the brand uses a two-part adhesive.
- One mounting spike.
- One mounting template.
- Sandpaper, rubber gloves, and alcohol pads.
This all-in-one system will save you a lot of time. Stern Savers come in two sizes: mini and original. The mini ones’ dimension is 3.5″ x 2.5″ x 0.75″; they are recommended for smaller and lighter transducers.
2. A hand drill
You need a hand drill to make holes on the Starboard to attach the transducer.
3. Your transducer
Last but not least, grab your transducer. Depending on its size, select the mini or original Stern Saver.
Steps to Mount a Transducer Without Drilling
Step 1: Install the Stern Saver
No drill transducer mounting is ever easier. The Stern Saver installation process will take you less than ten minutes.
- Firstly, determine the position in you want to place the transducer. Read the manufacturer’s guide to know exactly where. Normally, it should be close to the centerline at the stern area. You need to place the transducer low enough for it to be in the water at all times.
- Once you’ve got the location, use some tape to stick the mounting template on. It is the frame of the Starboard. Only put tape around the template’s upper edges, you will need to flip it up to clean and sand down the area.
- Now, flip the template up and wipe the area using the alcohol pads that come in the kit. This is to get rid of contaminants, so wipe in straight lines and don’t use circular motions. Put on rubber gloves to protect your skin.
- Then, sand down the area using the piece of sandpaper in the kit. If you are working with a painted aluminum boat, sand until the surface is bare aluminum. This will help the Starboard adhere more strongly. Don’t sand out of the frame, it will leave ugly scratches on your vessel. When you are done, use another alcohol pad to clean up the sanded area thoroughly.
- The template has a one-inch hole in the middle. It is for the mounting spike. Peel the backing off and stick the spike to the boat through the template hole.
- After that, break the seal on the adhesive syringe and start filling the six wells (four wells if you opt for the mini ones) on the back of the Stern Saver with glue. Dispense until each one is filled a bit over the brim. Be careful not to get adhesive on your arms or gloves.
- Finally, place the Stern Saver on; the spike should go through the middle hole. Press firmly, wipe off any excess around the edges, and remove the template. You can use some tape to make sure the Stern Saver stays in place while the glue is drying, but it’s not necessary.
After about 12 hours, you have a transducer mounting plate with no drill on the stern.
Step 2: Drill holes in the board
Depending on the type of transducer you have, you might want to drill one or two holes to mount it. Again, read the product instructions. Mark the holes before drilling to enhance precision.
Step 3: Secure the transducer
Now, all is set. Go ahead and secure the transducer onto the Stern Saver using some stainless steel screws. Tighten them carefully. Keep in mind that if the system loosens when you’re boating, you may have to go under the water to find the transducer.
When appropriately installed, a Stern Saver can offer years of reliable use. Now, you can enjoy the next grand adventure without constantly checking and worrying about the transducer mounting system. Plus, the procedure is relatively straightforward.
We hope you’ve gathered enough information on how to mount a transducer without drilling. Please feel free to leave questions should you have any. We are more than glad to help our fellow boat owners. See you then!
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