Marine Electronics Forum - flush mounting electronics
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12-14-2002, 02:25 PM
can anyone offer some advise on flush mounting electronics in a center console. i have an open area inside of the center console (down by the steering wheel) and an above head electronics box. i am planning on putting my fishfinder, gps and radar screens down low and my vhf and stereo up top. i would like to flush mount everything. where is a good place to procure materials for doing this? what is a good material? i have to fabricate everything. and i would like to be able to lock the lower area from the outside. any advise and or photos are appreciated.
Whoops .... I had posted something that was wrong.
Find Birdman, he has done some very nice mounting and should be able to give you some very good advice. Also, on the main board here there was a question a couple of days ago that asked to see pictures of folks dash panels, go take a look at it to see some very very sweet mounts, some flush and some not.
As a side note try to do this, put the things that are visual where you can see them and the audio stuff anywhere else. The one exception to this, and its a very important exception, make sure your radio is mounted where you can clearly see what channel you are on. It is not one single bit uncommon to find yourself wondering what is wrong with your radio (cause you can't raise a single soul although you can see 500 boats) because you have bumped the radio and are on the wrong channel.
I flush mounted a Garmin GPS using Starboard. Available at West Marine and many other places. Easy to work with and available in a number of colors and sizes. Your profile doesn't have your e-mail. If you are interested, I can send you some pictures, via email, of my GPS which is also removable in about 30 seconds.
And of course, what Thom said. He's right most of the time, except maybe when it comes to color GPS. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
12-14-2002, 07:51 PM
Bennie...I used starboard, also. If you'ld like to give me your e-mail, I'll send you some pictures; the only way to go is flush mount. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
12-15-2002, 09:37 AM
my email is [email protected]
12-15-2002, 10:59 AM
I used starboard,easy to work with,easy clean up.no maintinence.Most electronics especialy LCD type are waterproof to a degree.Most insurance companys cover flush mounted electronics.Big plus is your not removeing them all the time,less problems with wires wiggling loose.Heres a picture of my dash on my bridge.
12-15-2002, 07:55 PM
Thanks Thom, but I think mine was a bit more straight forward than this one. I just had to plan, cut the holes and mount with hardware.
But the best advice I can offer is this, plan the hell out of it. Then, plan the whole thing again!! Yep, told ya, see all the things ya forgot the first time?? And don't worry, you'll forgot other things along the way, that's just part of the fun!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
I first cut out peices of cardboard the sizes of my components (fishfinder, chartplotter, radio...). Note the size of the components, NOT the size of the needed holes(which is much smaller)!! And laid them out in the planning stage until I had them in a good place, and everything fit. Then I ran the wires for the main components (radome feed wire, GPS antenna wire, FF ducer wire...). This way, before wasting time cutting holes or fabricating anything, you make sure the wires reach and/or you can get to where you think they can. Ya never know, you may find the GPS antenna cable can't reach where ya thought it would. Then, trace the templates from the flush mount kits from each unit (assuming you bought the kits?) onto where you will cut. Cut with a zip saw. In your case, it also sounds like you have to fabricate some faceplates?
Post a picture of what the console looks like now if ya can.
First thing I noticed, you said you wanted to put FF low. I'd put the FF above, so you can see from the stern when your fishing. You don't need to see radar/chartplotter while fishing, so they can go low. Those are the types of things you should think about.
Here's mine finished:
Here what it looks like with the hoels cut:
Birdman, Capt of
12-16-2002, 06:11 AM
Here's two photos of a Grady center console:
Console photo 1 (http://users.rcn.com/sanner.nai/boat/console2.jpg)
Console photo 2 (http://users.rcn.com/sanner.nai/boat/console3.jpg)
The GPS and fish finder are flush mounted to a thin, 1/8" thick panel. It's not starboard, looks like formica with a thin white venier. There's a compartment behind the panel. There are six small blocks attached (epoxy?) near the top and bottom of the compartment opening as screw blocks. You can see the three lower mounting screws in the second picture. There is a hinged, locking plexiglass cover, but it's not secure and could be easily broken by someone intent on getting the electronics. It's really there for cover from weather, not as a secure space.
The stereo is actually inside the console with the porta potti. The small oval pad in the lower left of the second photo is a stereo remote control. Speakers are mounted in the inner hull surface, port and starboard of the console (you can see them in the background). The stereo was factory installed.
All of this makes me wonder: have any of you had problems with water damage on "flush mounted" electronics? I mean as opposed to those mounted in enclosures such as an electronics box? I'm putting a new boat together and am trying to figure out where I want to mount everything. My previous boat had a mostly enclosed flybridge. This one will be basic center console.
Remember the Roar!
12-16-2002, 09:26 AM
Nope. Funny, that's the first thing everyone says to me, "Doesn't water get on those things?"
Yep. But hey, it's a boat and the electronics are "Water Proof" or "Water Resistant" to marine specs. And the marine specs state something crazy like: "The unit must be able to handle 10 gallons of water per minute to be sprayed onto it for a time frame of 30 minutes..". Thats not the exact wording but it is something wacky like that(I'm sure somebody will correct me with the correct wording below! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif ), anyway, the point is, a little spray or rain aint gonna hurt nuttin. I had a small "helm cover" made out of canvas which covers just my helm gauges and electronics. Keeps them out of the sun and weather when not in use and the morring cover is not on the boat. So they rarely get wet anyway unless I'm driving in the rain which is also rare.
Birdman, Capt of
12-17-2002, 08:29 AM
dont any one worry about leaveing a couple of thousand dollors of electronics on a center console in full view.Maybe its me but i take mine with me .
12-17-2002, 04:55 PM
Out of site out of mind,Insurance would take care if stolen.If you lived in a bad area then I would not even think about flush mounting.I dont know how many times your insurance company would want to replace them.JMO
I flush mounted mine but the whole plate is removable in about 30 seconds. I can also cover with the cover of the e-box if I leave the GPS on board. Once I put the cover on, it looks like there is no GPS.
12-18-2002, 08:00 PM
You don't have to use a sub plate. You can just cut up the fiberglass. See:
12-19-2002, 02:14 PM
Cause the digital DV camera on it 24-7 recording 1 months worth of data would bust em!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
Also, I installed a hasp lock on my flip up console. so without the key, ya can't open the console. Can't open the console? Then ya can't steal the electronics. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
Lastly, every boat in my marina has 1000's of potatoes worth of electronicitoes. Nobody ever gets anyting stolen. Guess video camera's help? /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
Birdman, Capt of