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Help - VHF installation

Old 06-02-2019, 10:47 AM
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Default Help - VHF installation

First fiberglass boat here, so Im new to this and somewhat nervous about it. I want to flush mount my vhf in the helm of my CC(Sportsman 212, ICOM IC-M506), and also install the 8 antenna on my hardtop. Im looking for any and all advice as I have no idea what Im doing.

Whats the best way to cut the hole where the vhf will go? Im thinking a dremel but open to ideas. Also whats the best way to mount the antenna for maximum support. The idea of an 8 antenna flexing the fiberglass on the T-top in open water is concerning.

Sorry for the boneheaded questions, just nervous and not very handy with all this

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Old 06-02-2019, 12:58 PM
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Dash cutout:
mark it out with tape to protect the existing gel coat.
Use the supplied template.
Drill corners.
connect the holes.
You can always make the hole bigger, hard to make it smaller.
Fiberglass sands quickly.
Anytime youre starting a cut or drill, run the bit/saw in reverse to avoid gouging up or spalling the gelcoat.
Have a buddy with a shop vac vacuum up the dust as you make it.

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Old 06-02-2019, 01:03 PM
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There are 4' fiberglass and 3' steel whip antennas. I have a 4' Shakespeare. It's more than sufficient for near coastal use.

And just noticed in the pic that my dock mate has the same antenna on a 27' Sailfish CC. That guy goes pretty far offshore.

Last edited by RickC137; 06-02-2019 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 06-02-2019, 01:07 PM
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Lay down painters tape to cover an area larger than the expected hole. Then draw your template on the tape. Then use a Roto-Zip to cut the hole. Think of it as a Dremel on steroids. As with any power tool, make some test cuts in scrap material so you get used to its torque. For the antenna, the mount needs to be through-bolted with either a backing plate or large washers to spread the strain. If your hardtop is hollow, you may have to cut an access hole in the inside layer so that the backing plate or washers don't squeeze the two layers together. Seal any drilled holes with 4400 or some such, particularly if the hardtop is hollow or cored.
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Old 06-02-2019, 01:10 PM
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not sure why I'm chiming in here, I'm currently doing the same thing as you are but mine will be on a soft top

years ago I mounted a tower to a ski/wakeboarding boat, I used 5200 to attach aluminum plates to the under side of the gunwales. never moved or cracked the fiberglass
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:47 AM
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Thanks for all the info everyone. We got the hole cut out now Im arguing with my dad that it needs to be bigger so the rubber seal is sitting flush on the helm... Hes saying its right where it needs to be.

To me common sense would say hes out of his damn mind. Right?

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Old 06-03-2019, 10:11 AM
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Yeah I'd personally cut that out a bit bigger.
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:57 PM
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Just sand it a little larger.
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Old 06-05-2019, 05:51 AM
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The gasket is meant to sit flush against the gel coat. It's purpose is to keep water out. As seen in the pic, the gasket is not a water tight seal and will allow water/moisture in. Make the hole a little can also use a file.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:48 AM
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bigger hole
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