Are you a seasoned diver who wants to look for treasure underwater? If you are, then you know the struggle in looking for a reliable underwater metal detector that is both durable and easy to use. Obviously, you’re looking for something that you can easily carry while making sure that the material is robust enough to withstand pressure and depth.
In reality, not a lot of manufacturers create waterproof detectors especially since it’s not the most popular sport out there. Fortunately, the internationally-acclaimed Garrett has its underwater metal detector. But is the Sea Hunter Mark II trustworthy?
Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II - A HobbyKraze review
Garrett is a well-known brand that offers all sorts of metal detectors, so it’s not surprising for it to produce one that you can use underwater. The Sea Hunter Mark II is the only waterproof device you can use for diving, but it’s not the only one that works in saltwater.
The Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II uses pulse induction (PI) technology instead of a very low frequency (VLF). This means that the Sea Hunter Mark II uses a single coil for the transmitter and the receiver. Do you see the single coil wrapped around the shaft? That’s the one that passes and transports the current to and from the control box. Moreover, PI technology creates echoes when the device sounds after it detects a metal object.
In general, the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II is used specifically for treasure hunting underwater. It has features designed to cancel the effects of saltwater on metals and it’s also built to be buoyant, so there’s no danger in sinking with the device.
1. Full Waterproofing
The Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II wouldn’t be for diving if it weren’t fully waterproofed. From the search coil to the control box, everything is waterproof and sealed making it suitable for a dive underwater. The battery has its casing inside the box adding another level of safety from water ingress.
The waterproofing doesn’t stop with the metal detector itself. The headphones that come with the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II is also fully submergible up to 200 feet. For a pair of waterproof headphones, this is pretty durable.
2. Pulse Induction Technology
As mentioned earlier, the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II uses PI technology. What does that mean for a scuba diver? If you will notice, the more saltwater is in the surroundings, the more noise the metal detector creates. That’s because it detects both conductive and non-conductive mineralization.
With the PI technology, you don’t have to worry about the effects of saltwater. If the detector makes a sound, it’s because it detects real metal in the ground. This way, you have fewer false alarms and more treasures discovered.
3. 22 Frequencies
Are you a meticulous treasure hunter? If so, then you’ll love the 22 frequencies that go with the Sea Hunter Mark II. It operates at 7.5 kHz, too. Although it’s not as high as the other land-based metal detectors, it gives you the accuracy you’re looking for when coupled with the pulse induction technology. You can manually adjust the frequency by twisting the knob until you find the right one that gives you the best depth and sensitivity.
4. Adjustable control box placement
One of the simplest yet best features of the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II is the adjustable control box placement. It can be placed on your hips or the top of the shaft. If you’re on land, it would be best to place the control box on the device because it helps you use it easily. Did you know that you can have it on top or at the bottom of the shaft? Depending on your preference, you can have above your arm or right below it.
And if you’re scuba diving? You place it on your hips. The Sea Hunter Mark II has a belt where you can attach the control box. This will make it easier to move underwater knowing that it won’t be too heavy to carry using one arm.
5. Versatile configurations
The focus on comfort and movement doesn’t stop with the control box. You can also adjust the metal detector to a full length, long, short, or hip mount configuration. These configurations help you test which is the best set up for you in terms of movement and comfort. Depending on where you’re going to hunt for treasure, you might find the hip mount to be more ideal than the usual full length. Of course, that’s for you to figure out.
6. Two Discrimination Modes
There are two discrimination modes available for the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II – standard trash discrimination and discrete trash elimination. How are they different?
The standard trash discrimination mode is the default mode of the Sea Hunter Mark II. In fact, most PI-run metal detectors have this to ensure that it detects all types of metals. If you want to eliminate bottle caps and tin cans, then you can increase the elimination level.
On the other hand, discreet trash elimination is ideal for areas where there’s a lot of trash. Take note, though, that when you shift to this mode, you still have to readjust the elimination level to match your preferences. However, if you increase the elimination level, there’s a chance that you might miss less conductive metals.
7. Adjustable Knob Controls
Ever wonder why the control box has knobs instead of buttons? This is because knobs are better at sealing off the water that might seep into the control box. The adjustable knob controls prove that Garrett takes their design seriously especially for its waterproof detector models.
There are only a few knobs on the control box that adjust for elimination, mode, and threshold. If you easily get confused with these features, the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II makes sure that they are properly labeled and arranged.
8. 8 Audio Threshold
Lastly, the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II has 8 audio thresholds. These audio differences will make your treasure-hunting experience a lot easier by letting you know if what you found is deeper in the ground or just a few centimeters underneath it. If it has a louder sound then it’s just beneath the top layer of soil, but if it has a fainter sound, then you might have to dig a little deeper.
Pros - What We Like!
Are you still having second thoughts on the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II? Here are all the advantages you get to enjoy when you invest in it.
There’s a notion that if it’s from a reputable company, it’s expensive. This is far from the truth, especially for Garrett. The company is known to manufacture value-for-money metal detectors. The Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II is one of them. At an affordable price, you get a detector that won’t fail you when you’re already underwater.
Meant for diving
It’s one thing for a metal detector to be waterproof, it’s a totally different thing if you can use it on your dives. Anything can be waterproof just as long as they use the right material, but with the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II, it takes into account the pressure that can be felt underwater.
Plus, the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II makes sure that everything – from the design to the weight – is easy to use when you’re in your scuba gear.
Adjustable machine placing
Another benefit of the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II is its adjustable machine placing. You can place it in three different ways. If you’re going scuba diving, placing it on the hips will make it a lot easier for you to use it. It also doesn’t interfere with your diving gear when you place it in that area. If you’re on land, you can put it back on the shaft or still keep it on your hips. Either way, you can explore the most comfortable positioning.
Long battery life
Planning to go for a long dive? The Sea Hunter Mark II can keep up with you on that. On a fully charged battery, it can last up to 22 hours fully submerged. Although it’s highly unlikely for you to stay that long in the water, you don’t have to worry about replacing the battery every time you go out for a hunt.
The Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II also has a feature to check if your battery is working well. Since the 8 AA alkaline batteries you need aren’t rechargeable, a beeping sound will tell you if it’s in the best, good, and worst condition. The three beeps will mean that it’s fully charged while one beep will tell you that the batteries have to be replaced.
Endorsed by the late, great Robert Marx
Did you know that the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II was endorsed by the late expert treasure diver Robert Marx? If you didn’t, then now you know that this metal detector is not just your usual device. For it to be endorsed by a famous treasure hunter shows that the Sea Hunter Mark II is a serious device that is trustworthy and reliable.
Cons - What We Are Not Huge fans Of!
Of course, the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II isn’t perfect. It still has a few things that need to be improved. Here are some.
Only has a 1-year warranty
Compared to a lot of metal detectors, the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II only has a 1-year limited warranty. It doesn’t repair or replace certain parts, so this might be a reason for hesitation for some buyers. While the odds of you getting a defective unit is low, you’ll never know when a part would show its defects.
Not for beginners
Even if you’re a diver but you haven’t tried treasure hunting, then the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II won’t be a good fit for your needs. This particular metal detector requires experience when used underwater. Needless to say, only seasoned treasure divers can make the most out of the Sea Hunter Mark II. Sure, you can use it for hunting on land, but you could easily buy a cheaper model than this.
No ground balance
The Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II doesn’t have any ground balance whether automatic or manual. The reason behind this is that you’ll be using it in the water anyway, so there’s no need for ground balance. However, what Garrett didn’t consider is that it could double as a land metal detector. It would be better if it had ground balance on top of the underwater features.
Tips in Using the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II
Don’t know how to operate the Sea Hunter Mark II? Here are some tips to get you started.
Tip #1: Attach all knobs properly.
As with any waterproof device, you have to ensure that all detachable parts are attached properly. This is very important in the battery compartment. To know if you’ve sealed it right, make sure that the line on the lid is aligned with the tick mark on top of the control box.
Tip #2: Always try it out on land first.
Even if you’re excited to dive, you have to check if the metal detector is working on land. This will help you adjust the settings from the very beginning. If it’s your first time using a metal detector, then you can use this as your practice period to check your comfortability in handling the metal detector.
Tip #3: Secure it to your waist.
When you go diving, make sure that the control box is wrapped around your waist and not on your arm. Why? It provides more stability when you go underwater. It’s also the ideal spot for you to easily get access to the knobs.
Verdict - Final Thoughts!
Is the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II worth it? Yes. Is it durable? Yes. Is it accurate? Yes. Overall, this metal detector is the ideal underwater device for treasure hunting. It was designed with the user experience in mind from the knobs to the weight. You won’t find anything like this in the market.