Garrett Sea Hunter Mark IIPrice: $750
Based on 38 reviews
Avg. Durability: 5.00
Avg. Ease of use: 4.43
Good, solid machine
The detector is a no nonsense, solid and well built unit that does what a PI should. . . punch down deep for the gold (and iron trash).
Don't think about a PI if your area is thick with iron junk as you can be digging every few meters or so. It is best suited for open and clean sites or where mineralization is a problem.
The big coil is quite hard to pinpoint with (especially in murky water or in the surf) but is covers a greater area for sure.
The only minor problem so far is the armcuff loosens very quickly. I cured this but replacing with and adding stainless steel bolts with wing-nuts. It is now rock-solid.
Run in Standard Trash and use the Elimination very carefully. . . no more than about 1-2 to help knock out the response from salt water.
The audio can be a bit much sometimes, especially if you are digging plenty of targets. I use a neoprene headband to help block some of the audio volume.
I choose to ignore all double-beeps and some signals that sound harsh, or have a tinny sound to them. Good signals that must be dug include all coins, pulltabs, bottlecaps and some iron targets such as washers. I have an ear for PI's as I have used many of the years and you will develop a certain level of "discrimination" from your brain but not the machine.
Good signals are crisp and symmetrical and always repeatable. To my hearing they appear to start and finish with a pleasing "click/pip" sound, whereas most irregular shaped junk iron will form a brash sound and will cover a larger signal area relative to it's size.
I really like this detector and the headphones are much more comfortable than those attached to my White's detector. All in all, a very simple to use machine with set and forget controls.
I would buy another without hesitation.
Tony from Perth, Australia
Hunter keeps on finding
through as always.. We hit the water with our new dive suits, and the hunters did all the hard work for us... NO matter what the minelab hot shots keep on talking about... The Garrett seahunter IS by far the best around for the California beach and parks,
all have a Great Holiday Season as we will be sending in our S.H 2's for update and be ready for 2012..Take care bill and the team.
Bill, rene,gary,brad and 745 team from Valley and total CA. coast
Garret sea hunter hk 11
A VLF Detector is only good for coins.
Barefootin68 from Florida / Bahamas
PI good for salt or fresh water
Joe from Ca
Tony from Oregon
Aaron has it exactly right
Anonymous from Palmetto, FL, USA
Great machine... Know what you are doing
The SHM11 is a machine for diggers. Period. If you don't like to dig nails, or bottle caps, or fish hooks, sinkers, etc... Don't get this machine, but you will miss the pleasant surprises that come from hearing a very faint, sometimes almost imperceptible tone, taking a scoop, getting louder, another scoop, blowing your ears out , and BAM! A nice gold ring in the scoop that the VLF guys went right over.
There is a phenomenon with PI detectors that causes them to detect objects deeper in salt water and wet salt sand than in air alone, so air tests are not accurate. Because it is a PI machine, iron reads as a good conductor, so there is NO WAY you can discriminate iron, and any amount of an attempt at discrimination will cost you depth.
This is what you have to do... Run on zero discrimination on standard mode and forget discreet mode, It costs you depth. There will be a natural wavering of the tone, and in highly mineralized sand you will get a false signal if you touch the coil to the sand, but you will get a slight, or loud, sharp, REPEATABLE increase in volume when you go over a target.
No matter what Garrett tells you, or anyone tells you, you can NOT eliminate an aluminum pop top and still pick up a gold ring. It is the science of metal, not my opinion.
Gold is lower in conductivity than aluminum and the size an karat amount will determine how hard it is to detect. Gold is a POOR conductor. It is used in electronics for it's high corrosion resistance, not conductivity. You may get lucky and pick up large, thick men's rings with disc. set higher, but you will miss a lot.
If you live on the Texas Gulf coast where there are lots of nails and junk in the water, you either dig until you are sore, or try a VLF detector that will discriminate iron. High trash areas will be frustrating and discouraging.
Here is a good way to find out if you will find gold rings... No nickels dug, No pull tabs dug = No gold rings dug. It is that simple. As far as quality of the machine... It is built like a tank. Very durable and leak proof.
The volume is loud because it is a DIVING detector. Divers need the loud volume to hear targets over their bubbles. As far as Garrett goes, I don't think anyone can dispute that their customer service is the best in the business. If you have a problem, just call them and they will make it right by you, without fail.
Brand bashing is irresponsible and I have tried a lot of the leading brands. They all have pros and cons, features that I liked, and some I disliked. No machine is perfect for all applications. It is unreasonable to think anyone can build a machine that is, because it is impossible. Detecting successfully is a science, you don't learn it all in a week, a year, or ever. It is a never-ending learning process.
If you do decide on the Sea Hunter... Read some books, turn your disc. down to zero, be persistent, learn your machine, slow down and enjoy being outside and getting some exercise. You will be rewarded over time...
I hope I helped some of you with facts I learned the hard way and from men who knew a lot more than I.
Aaron from Maui, HI USA
Good for ocean, bad for dirty beaches
I'm not sure about all PI machines, but this one has no discrimination. The same sound for penny, for nail, for beer`s cup, for everything. The difference is-if the item is big-the signal stronger.
I try to use this unit with max. position for discrim.-some beer cups `gone`. But another trash-no. The good news is-this unit works great in salt water and salt wet sand. No leaks, no noise, the sensitivity is fine.(My coil is 8") Just one problem-no golden rings! But I still hope!
Nicolas from Hollywood, FL
Sea hunter 2
Other than that it has been good. I haven't seen any difference between standard and discreet modes.
Paul from North California
Bill is at it Again ! Floating coil problem solved so far
As to Magnets, well I will pass on the steel ones when in the water. Use the soft ones.
The old G.I. pistol belt(s) & Combat Suspenders well they can last two / three good years IF you rinse and air dry them, salt water is mean..
Sure the coil weighs a lot, but the finds are worth the added muscle power. the water can be tricky at times so that lifevest is a MUST. for me at least. even IF you can swim, be SAFE and buy one...water goggles i use, snorkle well lately not as much.. The colder months will be on the way so i plan on getting a new set of Neoprene full sole Chest Waders... as my old pair has seen better days..B.T. W. all total this week is 7 silver rings 6 mens & 1 ladies Plus one 14kt nugget style mens gold ring out in the water.((( NO we did NOT find the DIAMOND rings etc that everybody else keeps on telling us they have found, but never seem to show us ))).. and the usual coins, keys and junk !!
Not bad for the week, but could have done better.. if it was not so darn HOT !!! I've got a TAN over my TAN !!!! good for me and the partners we have the senior citizen parking pass.. now if they just had a beer bar pass !!
We use Gary's Mobil Home head up North first then beachcomb all the way back down to San Diego
Well all have fun and keep on doing what you like.. to us the mark2 P.I. detectors do a darn good job.. and the price is right, we have seen the NEW white's P.I. in action, but will stick with what we KNOW is producing finds for us.. to each his own..
Take care and stay safe..
Bill, gary, brad , rene the 745 team @^@ from Southern California San Diego to Santa Barbera now days