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Old 14-02-2016, 13:22   #1
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Inexpensive radar pole mount

Hi:

I'm looking for an inexpensive way to mount a (used) radome at the stern of a forty-foot sailboat. I see all the commercial pole mounts that are out there, but I'm wondering if anyone has made one themself for a lot cheaper. Any real experience out there?

I've already considered mounting it on the mast and all that. Have decided stern pole would suit best in this instance. Just looking for someone who has found a cheap and good way that has held up at sea.
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Old 14-02-2016, 13:58   #2
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Re: Inexpensive radar pole mount

For a straight out pole, they're simple enough to fabricate if you have, or can access, the capability. Basically a pipe and a couple of custom cut flanges at either end. Brace to the pushpit or davits to minimise the need for additional gussets.

If you wanted to go super cheap, maybe something made from aluminium utilising an old dinghy mast or boom from a junkyard would work, too.

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Old 14-02-2016, 18:19   #3
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Re: Inexpensive radar pole mount

Aluminum pipe would work well and it available in schedule 40 in. Try to find a aluminum fabricator and see if they have any short pieces, standard length is 20'. I would guess you would want 3" diameter, which is actual 3.5" in diameter. Make sure you get grade 6061-t6, same material as your mast.


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Old 14-02-2016, 18:48   #4
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Re: Inexpensive radar pole mount

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Originally Posted by Sailor Doug View Post
Aluminum pipe would work well and it available in schedule 40 in. Try to find a aluminum fabricator and see if they have any short pieces, standard length is 20'. I would guess you would want 3" diameter, which is actual 3.5" in diameter. Make sure you get grade 6061-t6, same material as your mast.


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For a 10-12 foot tall radar mount in 3 or 3.5 inch OD, any weldable alloy will be strong enough... and 6061-T6 isn't a common pipe alloy IIRC.

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Old 14-02-2016, 18:48   #5
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Re: Inexpensive radar pole mount

Look up 'metals direct' on 't'internet, it's where I get all my raw materials from. They deliver to your door via usps. You may find some off the shelf mounts that will secure your chosen material.

Note also - Pipe is measured internally I.e. Schedule 40 and Tube (my personal choice) would be measured on the outside. Look to see what your neighbors have for diameter.
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Old 14-02-2016, 19:09   #6
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Re: Inexpensive radar pole mount

By the time you get appropriate materials, pay for fabrication (TIG welding, etc) and mount it, you may be spending quite a bit more than you would for a decent mast mount.
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Old 14-02-2016, 19:17   #7
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Re: Inexpensive radar pole mount

I used 2.5 inch schedule 80 pipe. 6061T6 aluminum.

Schedule 40 will be plenty strong if you will not be hanging a dingy from it. The challenging part will be engineering a strong, supportive connection to the boat.

Note: If you do use aluminum, be aware that the act of welding will remove the heat treating in the weld area, leaving the material substantially weaker (40% ish). Consider using a "birds mouthed" sleeve in the area of the upper support point.

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Old 14-02-2016, 19:23   #8
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Re: Inexpensive radar pole mount

My pole's made of 316 stainless steel. Much easier to fabricate with basic gear.

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Old 15-02-2016, 10:28   #9
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Re: Inexpensive radar pole mount

Found some new electro polished 2" stainless at the metal scrap yard and dabbed a radar pole from that. Cost about $35 for the material.
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Old 15-02-2016, 11:17   #10
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Re: Inexpensive radar pole mount

If your goal is inexpensive or budget but permanant, aluminum is a good choice. Custom fabrication is typically 40-60 to 30-70 materials vs. labor depending on the materials and final finish. If you are a semi adequate wood butcher alumium can be worked with basic power tools jig saw, skill saw router etc. wax the router. If you get some pipe and plate you can cut out all the pieces fit everything up and take to a shop to have tig welded for a reasonable price.

By far a consignment shop mast mount will be the cheepest off the shelf.
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Old 15-02-2016, 12:38   #11
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Re: Inexpensive radar pole mount

At the bottom end of the price point scale would be 4" schedule 80 pvc ($30ish for 10 feet). Add two flanges 4" schedule 80 pvc hanges ($16 ea on fleabay) and a U clamp to the aft push pit and for about $80 you have a mounting pole for a radar.

The grey schedule 80 pvc is UV resistant. You could paint it white for more UV protection. It's not as strong as metal but a schedule 80 piece of PVC pipe will be quite stiff and has zero electrolysis issues, unlike aluminum.
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Old 15-02-2016, 13:15   #12
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Re: Inexpensive radar pole mount

I'm planning on doing the same thing (as mentioned in another thread today). My aft deck is covered by a solar panel. So I'm planning on mounting it on the face of the stern with tube clamps (like a Aries Windvane can mount on a transom). I think it should be pretty cheap and strong. I'll have to figure out a way to angle it at the top so that it's level but otherwise it seems like it will be easy going (famous last words....)
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Old 15-02-2016, 13:24   #13
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Re: Inexpensive radar pole mount

Quote:
Originally Posted by sully75 View Post
I'm planning on doing the same thing (as mentioned in another thread today). My aft deck is covered by a solar panel. So I'm planning on mounting it on the face of the stern with tube clamps (like a Aries Windvane can mount on a transom). I think it should be pretty cheap and strong. I'll have to figure out a way to angle it at the top so that it's level but otherwise it seems like it will be easy going (famous last words....)
Got a smartphone? Install a level gauge (inclinometer) app and use that to measure the angles. It makes it a snap!

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Old 15-02-2016, 13:37   #14
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Re: Inexpensive radar pole mount

There was an good article in GOB couple of years ago. It was fairly cheap to make & install. Bottom of the pole was supported at the transom.


Although a economical suggestion, 4" schedule 80 PVC for a radar pole. I'd have structural integrity reservations on that one.
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Old 15-02-2016, 13:44   #15
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Re: Inexpensive radar pole mount

Where were all of u a three months ago...I have just finished having one made and installed. I had made a 2" 316 stainless steel with all the support bracing and the mounting plate to include motor hoist for OB...It was 8' long also had platform for tv anti all for less than $1000...
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