Chartplotter - Flushmount v Cradle

coveman

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Hi

I have a new Garmin Echomap plus 65 that I want to mount on my 22ft yacht. I now have to decide whether to flush mount it or mount it in the cradle supplied.

Advantages of flush mounting as far as I can see are that it would look neat with no bulky cradle and as it could be mounted to the side of the companion way door it could be viewed from the cockpit at all times. A major disadvantage however is that it would mean cutting a large hole in my boat! Fine while the gadget is there, but in future if for some reason it failed would I be able to get something the same size - probably not.

Cradle mounting is bulkier but maybe a bracket so that it could be swung out from inside the cabin and viewed in the cockpit would be possible. the other advantage is that it can be viewed in the cabin as well as the cockpit. One disadvantage may be that it would be in the way when using the cockpit door.

I would be interested to hear others views on this.....

Thanks
 
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johnalison

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Chartplotters hadn't been thought of when I had a 22-footer but think that the solution depends a bit on how your cockpit is laid out. Whichever side you flush-mount it, it will be out of reach and possibly out of view when on one tack or other. This means that mounting it as you suggest on a swinging mount may be best. I had a similar mount for the echo sounder on one boat and we lived with it happily for many years, though it is not ideal. The same consideration applies to a bracket mount, unless it is ahead of the companionway, when it will be too far away to be seen easily.

Another possibility might be to do as I do which is to have the plotter inside and a repeater for the data in the cockpit. This isn't a cheap solution though, and another possibility might be to repeat the plotter with a tablet via wifi. If you want it in the cockpit, I think the consideration of neatness and lack of intrusion would tilt me in favour of flush mounting.
 

PaulRainbow

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Mine is flush mounted in a pod at the helm. I wouldn't want to cut that size hole in the boat. If you want it flush mounted i'd use a pod or make a simple box from some ply and either varnish it or paint it white.
 

Aeolus

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Is it feasible to flush mount it into a piece of durable wood (e.g.teak or iroko) and then screw the piece of wood to the external bulkhead? That way you'll only have 4 screw holes and a hole for the cables through the bulkhead, all of which could be reasonably easily filled if you need a different solution in the future.
 

pioneer

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I have resisted the temptation to recess mount any of my instruments on my 22 footer. The "chartplotter" is an android tablet mounted on a music stand holder (made by Hercules) which will be clamped to a purpose built ss pole mounted under the sprayhood. This gives max adjustability to avoid sunlight and be visable from the helm on either tack. The ES and GPS are on a swing out bracket taking up about 1/3 of the companionway width. Downside is if you have rain over the stern then both instruments are obscured by the washboards (currently thinking about clear top washboard.)
 

pvb

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I have a new Garmin Echomap plus 65 that I want to mount on my 22ft yacht. I now have to decide whether to flush mount it or mount it in the cradle supplied.

Before you do anything, I'd suggest you fire up the plotter and investigate the optimum viewing angles (side to side as well as up and down). This should help you to decide, as the last thing you'd want to do is flush-mount it and then find that you couldn't see the screen properly.
 

coveman

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Thanks all - very useful comments( always good to hear other folks methods)

The more I think about it, I am leaning towards using the cradle or pod which can be angled in any direction for a clear view. I must admit I hadn't thought of that problem.
 

chubby

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Before you do anything, I'd suggest you fire up the plotter and investigate the optimum viewing angles (side to side as well as up and down). This should help you to decide, as the last thing you'd want to do is flush-mount it and then find that you couldn't see the screen properly.

+1 to check the viewing angles, the screen is often best at right angles to your eye, which is angled up if standing but might be OK if sitting, depending on your helm position
 

LittleSister

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I had a 5" plotter on a 23 footer that could either be flush mounted or used with the supplied swivel/tilt bracket. I thought the former would look neater, and envisaged mounting it on the forward bulkhead of the cockpit, but was glad I tried it 'temporarily' with the bracket, and ended up sticking with that (literally - it was gaffer-taped 'temporarily' on the cabin top, under the spray hood, and worked so well it stayed that way for years and thousands of miles!).

In addition to the sunlight/reflection issue a few have mentioned, the readability of the screen fell off fairly sharply if you weren't viewing from right angles to the screen. I found I wanted it facing in slightly different directions, depending on whether I was standing at the tiller, or seated at the front of the cockpit while under engine and on autopilot. If instead of just watching the current location map, I wanted to operate it close up to review/enter a course, or change settings, etc., I could tilt the plotter up for the clearest view and easiest operation of the controls. In retrospect it would have been a terrible mistake to have flush mounted it on our boat (though it is a different story if you have a fixed conning position and/or instrument pod.

I wouldn't bother, either, with trying to make a bracket that will serve both in the cabin and in the cockpit. Just have another lead (and bracket, perhaps) inside the cabin, and unplug it to move it. I initially planned to do this, but found I rarely wanted to use it in the cabin. (I did unplug it to put it away when the boat was not in use, to avoid getting it nicked, or excessive exposure to the weather.)
 

PaulRainbow

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Just to add, bearing in mind the comments regarding viewing from below................

"Owning" a Garmin chart allows you to use that chart on all of your devices. So, if you have an android or iOS phone or tablet you can install the Garmin Acitive Captain App' and use the charts from the Echomaps built in charts on that device/s. For instance, you could buy a cheap tablet and have a 10" screen down below for passage planning/navigation (providing said device has GPS data. It's easy enough to plan a passage using the app on a tablet, then synching the route to the Echomap. It's equally simple to use the tablet as a stand alone, backup chart plotter, subject again to GPS data.
 

zoidberg

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I noticed on some French hi-end raceboats some flexible mounts which are multi-angle adjustable and can be bent to suitable shapes and re-bent. I couldn't find the relevant YouTube vids, but the items are something like these....

46802169974_c003d4b94b_z.jpg


and

46802169724_5ce8d8cce3.jpg



I'd really like to get a couple for installation on my own boat. Perhaps someone can point to those seeming-robust French mounts....
 

Spirit (of Glenans)

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IMHO flexible/pivoting mounts are fine at the chart table, but in the cockpit they would be vulnerable to being damaged by being used as a hand hold by inexperienced crew .
Personally, I am intending to fit a B&G Vulcan 7-inch, the flush mount for which fortunately seems to be a perfect fit for the OEM GRP slightly recessed instrument panel on the starboard side of the cockpit of my Dufour Classic 30.
 
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DJE

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Just installed a new chartplotter and I was keen to have a rotating cradle mount so that it could adjust to face whichever corner the helmsman was sitting in. I was talked out of that solution by an experienced installer for the reasons given above - liable to damage or to move when you don't want it to in rough conditions. But was also worried that frequent disconnection of the cables (to take the plotter below when leaving the boat) can lead to corrosion in the plugs left on deck and possible damage to the pins.
 

pvb

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Just installed a new chartplotter and I was keen to have a rotating cradle mount so that it could adjust to face whichever corner the helmsman was sitting in. I was talked out of that solution by an experienced installer for the reasons given above - liable to damage or to move when you don't want it to in rough conditions. But was also worried that frequent disconnection of the cables (to take the plotter below when leaving the boat) can lead to corrosion in the plugs left on deck and possible damage to the pins.

I had a Raymarine C120 plotter mounted under the sprayhood on my last boat. Always unplugged it and stored it below when I left the boat. I put the plug ends of the cables in a plastic bag with a rubber band around it. No corrosion issues in around 10 years of doing this.
 

LadyInBed

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This is my swinging arm arrangement, using three hinges it doesn't obstruct the hatchway and sits flush inside and out or you can angle it.
The RADAR was too much hassle to do the same with but it doesn't get used too often, so not a problem. The top hinge allows a good viewing angle when I'm stood behind the wheel.

Chart Plotter small.jpg
 
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