Ask an expert: how do I fix the defective electronics on my boat?

by Editorial Staff | July 19, 2022
Jeff Gussy Gustafson

Q: The electronics on my boat don’t seem to be working as well as they should, nor is the picture sharp. Do you have any tips to help me clear it up?

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A: Fishing and hunting guide, tournament angler, and outdoor writer Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson responds: This issue is most likely a result of your units not receiving adequate voltage. There is also a chance that your transducer is not mounted properly. It should be aiming straight towards the bottom when your boat is in the water. If that’s not the problem, the rigging on your boat should be examined.

First, make sure your electrical connections are tight. If they are, try running individual wires directly to each unit instead of going through a power point on the boat. Companies offer wiring harnesses that run directly from the unit to a battery — these are becoming very popular among the pro anglers I compete against.

Big-screen electronics

Finally, if you are running multiple big-screen electronics units and you are wearing down a single cranking battery during a day of fishing, you could run two deep-cycle batteries in parallel to function as your cranking and accessory battery. This gives your batteries a much longer life span. I’ve set my boat up this way this year and consistently get 13-14 volts going to my electronics throughout the day.

To rig two batteries in parallel, you get two batteries of the same size and run a jumper cable from the red post on battery one to the red post on battery two. Do the same to connect the two black terminals. I now have no concerns about killing my batteries and my electronics have never looked better.

Jeff “Gussy” Gustafon from Kenora, grew up on the shores of Lake of the Woods and is a fishing and hunting guide, tournament angler, and outdoor writer. He competes on the Bassmaster Elite Series in the US, the highest level in professional bass fishing. Contact Gussy at:

Originally published in the July 2021 issue of Ontario OUT of DOORS magazine.

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