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Old 12-05-2014, 18:40   #1
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Electronics install quote question

For the last few weeks we have been pricing out potential installers for the many electronic goodies sitting in our guest bedroom. Earlier today one whom I thought would never respond gave me a call. Excluding the radar install, he quoted 20 hours at $85 per hour to install a Garmin 740 chart plotter and a Standard Horizon GX2150. I thought this sounded rather high. Am I well off base thinking that?

As always, your replies are greatly appreciated!
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Old 12-05-2014, 18:56   #2
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Re: Electronics install quote question

I don't know your boat, but I have a Pearson 27 and it might take me 10, but I am slow (I am ABYC and NMEA certified, however). I have a Garmin 478, the little one, and I have had my electronics class wire it up to my SH GX2100 for practice. Works great, easy wiring.

20 hours just seems like there's a lot of coffee break time in there. Does he have to put in a new antenna at the top of your mast or something? Some other part of the job you haven't mentioned, like a flush mount to a pod you want on your binnacle? Remote RAM mic? All those things could add hours to the job.
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Old 12-05-2014, 18:58   #3
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Re: Electronics install quote question

rather high??? i'd call it OUTRAGEOUS. especially on a cal 27 where the wiring runs are probably under 15 feet.

start your cruising life by learning the single most important skill any cruiser can have; how to do things for yourself. you'll save tons of boat bucks AND learn something about your boat that will come in handy in the future.

by the way, NEVER accept an hourly quote. there are more hours in a day than you have dollars in your bank. i've done my own installs on my 37 foot boat in a few hours and i am in no way a super handyman. don't know where he comes up with 20 hours....
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Old 12-05-2014, 19:06   #4
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Re: Electronics install quote question

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Originally Posted by Cuttyhunk View Post
I don't know your boat, but I have a Pearson 27 and it might take me 10, but I am slow (I am ABYC and NMEA certified, however). I have a Garmin 478, the little one, and I have had my electronics class wire it up to my SH GX2100 for practice. Works great, easy wiring.

20 hours just seems like there's a lot of coffee break time in there. Does he have to put in a new antenna at the top of your mast or something? Some other part of the job you haven't mentioned, like a flush mount to a pod you want on your binnacle? Remote RAM mic? All those things could add hours to the job.

No binnacle mount, nor a remote RAM mic. The 740 would be an in-cabin install on a swivel arm mount that can turn towards the companionway.



Quote:
Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
rather high??? i'd call it OUTRAGEOUS. especially on a cal 27 where the wiring runs are probably under 15 feet.

start your cruising life by learning the single most important skill any cruiser can have; how to do things for yourself. you'll save tons of boat bucks AND learn something about your boat that will come in handy in the future.

by the way, NEVER accept an hourly quote. there are more hours in a day than you have dollars in your bank. i've done my own installs on my 37 foot boat in a few hours and i am in no way a super handyman. don't know where he comes up with 20 hours....
After that conversation I decided to tear through the install manuals. Digging through them I think this should be something I can do. Your assessment of his quote matches the Admiral's, but she is a feisty one.
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Old 12-05-2014, 19:24   #5
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Re: Electronics install quote question

Even if you are electrically challenged, you can always run the wires and just leave it to the pros to hook everything up. Running wires can be a very labour intensive component of the job.
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Old 12-05-2014, 19:25   #6
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Re: Electronics install quote question

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Even if you are electrically challenged, you can always run the wires and just leave it to the pros to hook everything up. Running wires can be a very labour intensive component of the job.
That could defiantly work also. Thanks!
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Old 12-05-2014, 19:30   #7
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Re: Electronics install quote question

Fog Bank, you can do this. As I mentioned, my electrical/electronics basics class did this job. After a morning of learning how to crimp and heatshrink and size wires, etc, in the afternoon I said let's hook this all up. Then I sat back and watched them do it. With the 2150, your AIS receiver is already hooked up!
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Old 12-05-2014, 19:36   #8
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Re: Electronics install quote question

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Fog Bank, you can do this. As I mentioned, my electrical/electronics basics class did this job. After a morning of learning how to crimp and heatshrink and size wires, etc, in the afternoon I said let's hook this all up. Then I sat back and watched them do it. With the 2150, your AIS receiver is already hooked up!
The only unknown that gives me pause is the electrical panel. This weekend I'll get in there and see what I'm up against, but I'm having visions of a Gordian knot composed of wiring. Hopefully that isn't the case. Fingers crossed!
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Old 13-05-2014, 06:51   #9
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Re: Electronics install quote question

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The only unknown that gives me pause is the electrical panel. This weekend I'll get in there and see what I'm up against, but I'm having visions of a Gordian knot composed of wiring. Hopefully that isn't the case. Fingers crossed!

More suggestions: Bring a label maker. I have an inexpensive Brother one. Label every wire as you figure out what it is for. I'm not suggesting you tackle the entire panel, but you will surely be identifying a few. I stick the label tape to itself, around the wire. There is always a long tail to the tape due to the way it prints and is cut. Also, if there are no spare breakers that you know of, bring a terminal block (and wire and terminals). I find it hard to make a good connection with more than two wires on a breaker, and ABYC frowns on more than 3, ever. You can jump the terminals and connect many electronic things to one breaker. All the electronics should have their own fuses anyway. Sometimes I use a fuse block to serve both purposes; blue seas has some really nice ones.

Last winter, before my class, I bought a little kit that Defender sells, with a ratcheting crimper, little blow torch and an assortment of heat shrink terminals of various sizes. I wanted an extra crimper for my students to use. It was a little pricey, I thought, but now I love it. I can head to any boat knowing I've got at least a few terminals in any size I might need (I do restock it). I have tons of this stuff, but the terminal or butt splice I need never seems to be handy.

If you are at all nerdy, you will enjoy this project. Since they are different brands, you need to make a little grid identifying what color wire means what for the Garmin, and the same for the SH, and draw lines to how you think they should connect. TX+ to RX+, etc. (this step is wise even with equipment of the same brand). Don't be shocked if you don't get it right the first time. Those manuals sometimes lie!
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Old 13-05-2014, 09:22   #10
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Re: Electronics install quote question

as cuttyhunk says, you can use this opportunity to start labeling wires and drawing a diagram of your wiring system.

although i'm a bit electrically challenged, i'll have to disagree with cuttyhunk about the terminal blocks. i think i'd rather see you install a second fuse (or breaker) panel for your new equipment, if you don't have any empty spots on your current panel.

and like cuttyhunk suggests, with all the money you can save by doing it yourself you can buy good electrical tools. when the job is done you'll still have the tools to use for the next job....
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Old 13-05-2014, 18:22   #11
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Re: Electronics install quote question

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Quote:
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Both of you are providing so,e fantastic advice. Tonight I'm going to poke around Defender to find that kit. I'll approach this task with an open mind and take it slow.
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Old 13-05-2014, 23:17   #12
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Re: Electronics install quote question

are they both being flush mounted? (holes cut out for both in the dash) or bracket mounted. this changes the time by many hours. but 20 is still ridiculas. unless there is no power in the console / helm and new power and distribution needs to be done as well.
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Old 14-05-2014, 02:53   #13
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Re: Electronics install quote question

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are they both being flush mounted? (holes cut out for both in the dash) or bracket mounted. this changes the time by many hours. but 20 is still ridiculas. unless there is no power in the console / helm and new power and distribution needs to be done as well.
Neither would be flush mounted. The chart plotter will be mounted on a swing arm swivel mount, and the VHF on the included bracket. Power is readily available in the area, and the breaker panel is mere feet away.
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