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The most common and useful electronic device aboard large boats is undoubtedly the depthfinder—it keeps them from running aground. With most small boats you can often see the bottom before you hit it, and if you do run aground you can usually shove off with an oar or get out and push, as I did in in Florida Bay during the Everglades Challenge (see my story in this issue). There are times where water depth is an important piece of information for small boats, particularly when anchoring in coves where a rising tide can diminish the scope of your anchor rode and a falling tide can set you on the rocks in the middle of the night. Knowing the depth can also help you find good fishing holes. The H22FX HawkEye Handheld Sonar System by NorCross Marine gives us a way to determine depth up to 200’ quickly and accurately.No bigger than a flashlight, the H22FX is small enough to fit just about anywhere. Simply add four AA batteries and the unit is ready to go with a flip of a switch. All you have to do is place the front of the device in the water and get a reading on its backlit LCD screen. The sounder floats and is rated waterproof to 3'.

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