Rhode Island-based Far Sounder produces a range of forward-looking sonar for large vessels with ranges of up to 1,000m at operational speeds of up to 25 knots. The company’s latest model has a smaller transducer with a 350m detection range that’s suitable for craft of 18-40m length.
The sonar map can be overlaid on CMAP professional S56/63 series charts in a similar fashion to the way we’re accustomed to overlaying radar on a chart. The downside, however, is that the transducer is still large for a sailing yacht – it measures 160mm x 200mm (6.4in x 8in) and needs to be at least 1m below the surface.
Could this system be used by racing yachts such as IMOCA 60s to give advanced warning of a potential collision with whales or shipping containers? CEO Cheryl Zimmerman says the standard product could certainly do this for targets that are a couple of metres below the water.
She told me Far Sounder has been approached by race teams to “discuss some of the issues they are experiencing” and is “very excited” about the prospect of developing custom products with alarms to alert solo sailors. Read more...