Simrad has expanded its array of fishing-finding omni-sonar devices with the Simrad SY50, a new, smaller device that will bring traditional big-boat sonar features to smaller coastal fishing vessels.

Much like its larger predecessors, the compact SY50 has 256 channels for receiving and transmitting, including single-ping and FM transmission and a sensor for pitch and roll compensation. A frequency range of 54 to 60 kHz, adjustable at 0.5kHz, allows for surveying as deep as 2,000 meters, while omnidirectional sonar beams sweep the water from plus-10 degrees to minus 60 degrees around the vessel.

According to Mads Diedrik Dahl, the vice president of fishery sales for Kongsberg Maritime, which owns Simrad, all this comes at a price point that is viable for smaller operations.

“It’s very satisfying for us to offer such high-end functionality on such a compact sonar, and at such an affordable price,” Dahl said.

And it is not just the affordability that makes it an option for smaller vessels. The compact unit also fits on boats with limited space. Simrad shrunk the sonar down by packing all the transceiver electronics into the transducer, eliminating the need for a cabinet dedicated to transceivers.

This is not just a space saver; it also cuts back on static from the sonar and makes for easier installation. Installation is further simplified with a single Ethernet cable that strings together the small operating panel on the bridge with the computer, hull unit, and power source.

The unit can be run on DC power, another reason it is viable for smaller boats that often do not have 3-phase power systems.

No fan and no moving parts makes the computer uniquely suited to the marine environment, and the sonar runs Simrad’s proven, easy-to-process Winson software, which is available in nearly 20 languages.

“We wanted to issue a product that would provide new possibilities for budget-conscious crew on fishing vessels who have traditionally tended to miss out on more sophisticated sonar features, and with the SY50 we think we’ve achieved that goal,” Dahl said.

Brian Hagenbuch is National Fisherman's products editor, a contributing editor to SeafoodSource and a Bristol Bay fisherman. He is based in Seattle.

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