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Any advice for installing VHF and GPS antenna on T-Top?

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Any advice for installing VHF and GPS antenna on T-Top?

Old 09-25-2008, 02:36 PM
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Default Any advice for installing VHF and GPS antenna on T-Top?

just got the new boat and need to install the VHF antenna and GPS on the T-Top. Any first timer advice for drilling into the aluminum and through the canvas top? Do I need to do anything to the canvas after poking the hole through to prevent it from fraying or whatever? Thru-bolt everything?
Just want to make sure i do it right the first time. thanks!
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: Any advice for installing VHF and GPS antenna on T-Top?

Paint the Canvas with a 5 min epoxy and it will not unravel on you...just paint the area you will be drilling through.

John
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Old 09-25-2008, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Any advice for installing VHF and GPS antenna on T-Top?

how about the drilling of the aluminum t-top? thru bolt everything or screw it in?
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Old 09-25-2008, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: Any advice for installing VHF and GPS antenna on T-Top?

You may want to use a rail mount instead, at least for the VHF. That makes it easier to access the antenna to bring it up and down. You can use the same thing for your GPS as well, just clamps around the rail, they make metal and plastic, adjustable and non-adjustable.

http://www.buy.com/prod/shakespeare-...208408678.html

(link just for illustration puposes)
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Old 09-25-2008, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: Any advice for installing VHF and GPS antenna on T-Top?

Thru bolt & drill all holes 1/32 over, use plastic washers so you do not get to much electrolyses. (sp)

The washers and stainless can be found at Lowes if you have one near you... Much cheaper than a "Marine Supply"

John
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Old 09-25-2008, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: Any advice for installing VHF and GPS antenna on T-Top?

yeah, i actually have the rail mount for my gps from my previous boat. i most likely will use it, but i'd prefer to not use the rail mount for the vhf just because i think the standard mount looks cleaner.
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Old 09-25-2008, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Any advice for installing VHF and GPS antenna on T-Top?

You can also burn the canvas with a soldering iron to prevent fraying. Worked fine on my t top
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Old 09-25-2008, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Any advice for installing VHF and GPS antenna on T-Top?

dang, no Lowes in Key West. but we have a Home Depot!
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: Any advice for installing VHF and GPS antenna on T-Top?

fmoore - 9/25/2008 9:10 PM

You can also burn the canvas with a soldering iron to prevent fraying. Worked fine on my t top

Ditto. Works all the time and very easy to do.
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:28 AM
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Default Re: Any advice for installing VHF and GPS antenna on T-Top?

hey NEM, good to see ya on here, too. it's the same coores14 from the CS forum!
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Old 09-27-2008, 09:08 AM
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Default Re: Any advice for installing VHF and GPS antenna on T-Top?

NOTHINGELSEMATTERS - 9/26/2008 1:08 AM

fmoore - 9/25/2008 9:10 PM

You can also burn the canvas with a soldering iron to prevent fraying. Worked fine on my t top

Ditto. Works all the time and very easy to do.
What I do is also install a grommett to give it some strength...
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Old 09-28-2008, 06:12 AM
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Default Re: Any advice for installing VHF and GPS antenna on T-Top?

jtburf - 9/25/2008 9:08 PM


The washers and stainless can be found at Lowes if you have one near you... Much cheaper than a "Marine Supply"

John

and don't complain when they start to rust

As they say...........
"happiness in a cheap price is soon overcome by the bitterness of poor quality"

Get a ratchet mount for your VHF and through bolt it to your t-top. if the material is sunbrella or similar just drill right through it.

After you drill the first hole drop a screw through same with subsequent holes to keep the mount and holes lined up.

Then after you have all 4 holes drilled pull it apart and apply silicone around the holes on the canvas to seal it up so they dont drip. apply silicon under the countersunk screw heads too. Use washers and nylon stop nuts on the underside and tighten down till its good and snug. don't over tighten.

And do yourself a favor, spring the extra coin for marine grade hardware.



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Old 09-28-2008, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: Any advice for installing VHF and GPS antenna on T-Top?

Putting a bolt through an aluminum tube is a potential problem If you compress the tube it loses resistance to bending and the wall strength is compromised by the hole. If you absolutely have to thru-bolt, insert a spacer tube around the bolt to carry the compression to the inside face. Tricky at best. A rail mount of some kind (and there are many) is a better bet.

Another problem is vibration and wave action loads on a fixed mount. If YOU are tired after a day of pounding thru wakes, waves, and rocking, what do you think that little chunk of soft metal is feeling, after holding that long damn antenna up straight all day?
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:49 PM
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Default Re: Any advice for installing VHF and GPS antenna on T-Top?



This is the mount I was describing for the installation. Everybody uses them. I have 2 on my t-top. Its painfully obvious that this mount cannot be mounted on an aluminum (or any other type of) "tube" .











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Old 09-28-2008, 01:57 PM
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Default Re: Any advice for installing VHF and GPS antenna on T-Top?

pbr streetgang - 9/28/2008 4:49 PM
This is the mount I was describing for the installation. Everybody uses them. I have 2 on my t-top. Its painfully obvious that this mount cannot be mounted on an aluminum (or any other type of) "tube" .
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Right, but that also means that you've either mounting it to an outrigger plate or another flat plate the manufacturer was nice enough to leave you for the task.

On a soft top I like the rail mounts if possible, because it means you don't have to balance on the gunnel to reach your rachet and raise/lower your antenna when needed. If you're mounting to a plate you're probably at least a few inches inside the edge of the top, which means you'll have to reach around the edge to get to it.







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Old 09-28-2008, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Any advice for installing VHF and GPS antenna on T-Top?

at the marina that i work at, i noticed today (since i'm looking for it now) that many many boats had their mounts just screwed into the aluminum. they didn't have the rail mounts, they had the standard style as shown above. and the majority were not thru-bolted. interesting...
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