November 21, 2017
While we’ve been sightseeing and enjoying all the wonderful restaurants in Noumea, we’ve also been busy with boat projects, too. Our Simrad NSE8 chartplotters have been a problem for a while. On the way to New Caledonia from Vanuatu, we couldn’t get the inside one to boot and the outside one was getting more and more sluggish.
When we were here earlier this year, we talked to Thomas at Altomarine about our issues. He’s the Navico dealer here (Simrad, Lowrance and B&G). While our Simrad units were well out of warranty, some of the issues we were having were known to Simrad and he was able to get them to offer us a greatly reduced price for replacement units. Since they don’t make our NSE chartplotters any longer, we got their newest tech – NSS EVO3 units. And since that newest tech supports forward looking sonar, we added that as well. That entailed a transducer change so we had to haul out briefly.
We managed to get the old transducers drilled out and the new ones installed in an hour. The cost at the yard here was minimal and the staff was extremely skilled and professional.
The transducer in the center of the hull, the one that sticks down a bit, is the new forward looking sonar. We kept our old transducer as well as it has a boat speed paddle wheel. We moved that off to the side a bit where we had a blank from a previous instrument package.
“Why are they blue?”
Good question. That just happens to be the color of the brushfull of bottom paint we managed to beg and borrow from another boat on the hard. We hope the fish don’t mind the lack of color coordination.
We got out for a very short cruise to some of the islands and reefs near Noumea. This turned out to be a great test of our sonar. In the above picture, we were anchored in 12 feet of water with coral and rocks all around us. The sonar gave me great confidence traveling in this skinny water.
For us, there are always those dark patches of water up ahead that we don’t know about. Can we pass over it? Is it grass, or is it a rock? I was able to drive right over one of those because the sonar showed the water above the dark patch was more than deep enough for us. -Rich
Here are some links with more details about what we installed…
P.S. Simrad really came through and Thomas at Altomarine in Noumea is great!
Despite the age of our NSE units, Simrad really stepped up in offering us a very large discount on new units. They really stand behind their products. Thanks Simrad!
Thomas at Altomarine is one of the best marine electronics guys I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. He went out of his way to make this deal happen for us and supported us all through the process. Thanks Thomas!