Elec­tron­ics

Room for More JIM HENDRICKS

Saltwater Sportsman - - Table Of Contents / Departments - By Jim Hendricks

The so­lu­tion dawned on me when I glanced up­ward at a cross­bar in the hard­top frame above the helm. It was there that I de­cided to se­cure a small box fash­ioned from King Star­board marine lum­ber in which I could in­stall the 4.3inch square gauge. Prob­lem solved.

A key el­e­ment for in­stalling the box was an Ed­son Hor­i­zon­tal Rail Ac­ces­sory Mount — a ro­bust, el­e­gantly sim­ple, stain­less-style mount­ing sys­tem that lends it­self to all kinds of op­tions for adding new elec­tronic dis­plays and an­ten­nas. In this case, it al­lowed me to eas­ily se­cure the box to the cross­bar.

But that isn’t the only op­tion. There are many ways to make room for new elec­tron­ics, from pod and pedestal mounts, to over­head com­part­ments and black-box so­lu­tions that let you use ex­ist­ing dis­plays for ad­di­tional func­tions.

Pod Cast

If you can spare a small space on a hor­i­zon­tal or slightly an­gled sur­face at the helm, you can add a rel­a­tively large dis­play us­ing a pod-mount­ing sys­tem. Ocean Equip­ment’s Pow­er­pod 5200 Gen3 se­ries (about $530), for ex­am­ple, re­quires only an 8⅛-inch-di­am­e­ter foot­print, yet it ac­com­mo­dates flush-mounted elec­tronic dis­plays as big as the Garmin 7412.

An­other choice is the PYI Seav­iew Power Pod se­ries. The model POW-3-UC (about $300) needs only a 4-inch-di­am­e­ter foot­print, and it ac­com­mo­dates mod­els as large as the Ray­ma­rine e125 flush-mounted in the pod face.

Bases for both brands pivot and ar­tic­u­late fore and aft as well as side to side, mak­ing the an­gle of the dis­plays ad­justable for op­ti­mal view­ing. The backs of the dis­plays, fully en­closed by the plas­tic pods and sealed to pre­vent water in­tru­sion, are a big ben­e­fit on a boat with an ex­posed helm.

On a Pedestal

Pod sys­tems el­e­vate the mount­ing box from 3 to 4 inches above the in­stal­la­tion sur­face, but that might not be suf­fi­cient to clear other elements at the helm. In this case, you might con­sider a pedestal mount. One of the most ex­treme is Ocean Equip­ment’s Pedestal­pod (about $380). It re­quires a 5-inch-di­am­e­ter foot­print but han­dles up to 12-inch dis­plays in a sealed pod atop a 20-inch-tall pow­der-coated alu­minum pedestal tube that’s an­gled at 45 de­grees.

If you want less el­e­va­tion, con­sider a RAM Mounts pedestal-mount­ing so­lu­tion (about $50) for marine elec­tron­ics. RAM uses its fa­mous ball-and-socket sys­tem for easy ad­just­ment and re­moval of elec­tron­ics, and the pedestal bases re­quire only a 2½-inch-di­am­e­ter foot­print. RAM also of­fers plates that let you bracket-mount a dis­play atop the pedestal arm. Arms come in 3- and 6-inch lengths, with ex­ten­sions and swivel arms avail­able.

RAM also of­fers mount­ing sys­tems for your boat for mo­bile de­vices like tablets and smart­phones.

On Rails

A wide range of rail-mount so­lu­tions for marine elec­tron­ics are avail­able through brands such as Ed­son, RAM, Scanstrut, Seav­iew and West Marine.

Ed­son of­fers not only the Hor­i­zon­tal Rail Ac­ces­sory Mount but also Clamp-on Ac­ces­sory Mounts, with base ad­justa­bil­ity to suit ver­ti­cal or an­gled rails. There are 3- and 7-inch

Re­cently, I wanted to add an­other marine elec­tron­ics dis­play, a su­per­sen­si­tive sea-sur­face-tem­per­a­ture gauge, to my helm sta­tion. But there was a prob­lem: I had no space left. Just about ev­ery square inch was oc­cu­pied by a dis­play, gauge, or switch panel.

OVER­HEAD: Ocean Equip­ment’s SK129 stan­chion kit mounts over­head.

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