I’m looking at building a side scan sonar mapping boat. Its going to be carrying a Helix 7 SI unit on board for the scanning. Ideally I would like to make this as light as possible so that I can hike it into some mountain lakes. My first idea is to use a body board as those seem to work well. But most of the ones i’ve seen used enclosed underwater thrusters that seem very vulnerable to sucking in junk from the water and clogging. These jets have a grate on the front and shouldn’t be as prone to clogging. Has anyone tried using one of these jets for a sonar boat?
My other concern is that for side scan you ideally want to keep the sonar unit pretty straight on its scan. And i’m worried that a smaller boat may be more prone to wobble due to water conditions/wind/or gps interference. Has anyone had experience with sonar and found a bigger/heavier boat to be preferable? One of the small childrens youth kayak would be my next option but that will be too heavy to hike.
Its progressing slowly. I ended up going back to thrusters though I changed from skid steering to having the thrusters close together on a post with a rudder behind each thruster. I feel like this will give me finer control than the skid steering option which I felt was difficult to trim and jerky to steer. This also gives me more consistent speed as thrust doesn’t have to decrease to turn like it does with skid steer. Finally this is some redundancy. I have been struggling with burning motors, they are rated for 6s but they don’t seem to like the high voltage. I’ve burnt two motors now so i’m going to go down to 4s. But the positive about this design was the other day I ran a complete mission on one motor without realizing one had failed. The rudders were able to account for the offset of thrust. With skid steer I would have been stuck in the lake spinning.