from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A depth finder that uses sound waves to determine the depth of water.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

fathom (“nautical length measurement used for depth”) +‎ -meter


  • The fathometer was the only operable piece of equipmentdespite having stopped working briefly right after the attackbut the depth finder could do little to guide the injured Liberty.

    The Attack on the Liberty

  • The ships fathometer, which for a while only functioned on the hundred-fathom scale, revealed the Liberty entering shallow waters.

    The Attack on the Liberty

  • A fathometer and a compass were bolted to the overhead.

    Fire and Ice

  • She was cranky that night, steaming the Kattegat with her sonar and fathometer down.

    The Heirs of Babylon

  • Swanson nodded, pursed his lips, and walked away to examine the ice fathometer.

    Ice Station Zebra

  • All he would have to do is drop down, come under us here, start a grid search with his ice fathometer, and it would be only minutes before he located the relatively thin ice out in that lead there.

    Ice Station Zebra

  • Since there's no desperate hurry, I'd rather wait till we got the ice fathometer operating again, make an accurate survey of this lead then fire a torpedo up through the middle.

    Ice Station Zebra

  • Our downward eye is the fathometer, or echo-sounder, which tells us just how deep the water below our keel is and as we have about five thousand feet of water below our keel at this particular spot, we're hardly likely to bump into underwater projections and its use right now is purely a formality.

    Ice Station Zebra

  • Farther aft, a man at the surface fathometer was reading out ice-thickness figures in a quiet, unemotional voice.

    Ice Station Zebra

  • We settled gradually, in a maddeningly deliberate slow motion, the fathometer needle hardly appearing to move.

    Fear is the Key


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  • fathom that!

    September 4, 2010

  • "Then there was the fathometer, an instrument that constantly reminded the navigator of the depth of the water over which he was sailing. Tonight the water was deep. In fact the Indianapolis had just passed a few miles north of the Challenger Deep—the deepest spot in any ocean of the world."

    —Thomas Helm, Ordeal by Sea: The Tragedy of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, 1963 (New York: Signet, 2001), 35

    November 14, 2008