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Old 08-01-2013, 15:35   #1
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Mounting GPS on a wheeled boat

My previous boat had a tiller and I mounted my instruments on the bulkhead and the GPS was on a swing-out mount that was just inside the companionway. I'm about to take ownership of a boat with a wheel and the pedestal is fairly far (at least for my eyes) from the bulkhead. While it currently has a compass, depth finder, and knot meter, I'm curious when folks mount their GPS units. I'm looking at a Garmin unit with a 5" screen, so it be mounted too far away. If others have mounted them on the pedestal, are they removable to prevent theft?
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Old 08-01-2013, 20:56   #2
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Re: Mounting GPS on a wheeled boat

I mounted mine on a bracket I made for the top of the pedestal and it's easily removed. the bracket that comes with the plotter is to wide to look good on the pedestal but you can get 1inch aluminum at lowes or home depot and make brackets angling from two of your bolt holes on top of the pedestal to the outside knobs on the chartplotter. they really work great mounted there.
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Old 08-01-2013, 21:05   #3
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Re: Mounting GPS on a wheeled boat

Straightrazor41, I have this exact problem as I want to mount a 5" Garmin chart plotter onto my pedestal. Could you possibly post a picture of your mount for the rest of us? How did you handle the WARNING in the Garmin installation manual that the unit be at least 24" away from the compass? gts1544
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Old 08-01-2013, 21:23   #4
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Re: Mounting GPS on a wheeled boat

if you mean the compass on the pedestal you just remove it the chartplotter provides bearing to. I'll try to send a pic. this isn't the finished product it's just what it looked like after i roughed in the bracket.
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Old 09-01-2013, 06:45   #5
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Re: Mounting GPS on a wheeled boat

Wow. The compass situation adds an interesting twist. I wonder if the location of the GPS would make a difference. For example, would locating it directly above the compass have less impact than to either side of it.
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Old 09-01-2013, 06:54   #6
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Re: Mounting GPS on a wheeled boat

It's an interesting point that if the compass can be removed it can be stored below for emergency, opening up space on the binnacle.

I do look at the compass occasionally.... When I'm hand steering at sea, which isn't often.
I wonder in years to come if a much smaller, cheaper compass might be on th e binnacle?
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:50   #7
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Re: Mounting GPS on a wheeled boat

If garmin posted a warning about the compass it must be an issue with the magnet, I would take that serious. if you like having a compass in the cockpit I would think about a bulkhead mounted for backup. The chartplotter gives you a compass page doesn't it?
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Old 09-01-2013, 14:28   #8
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Re: Mounting GPS on a wheeled boat

My curiosity was piqued, so I called Garmin. Turns out the interference is only when the unit is on as it emits electro-magnetic waves. It has a tiny magnet for securing the door enclosing the SD card but it would not have any impact. I also posed the question about the location and after conferring with others, the group decided that the interference would exist from any direction.
In short, you could mount the GPS near the compass, but if you wanted to use the compass for navigation, you would need to turn off the GPS.
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Old 09-01-2013, 14:45   #9
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Re: Mounting GPS on a wheeled boat

My factory installed plotter is 120mm, 4 3/4 inches from the compass.
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Old 09-01-2013, 15:10   #10
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Re: Mounting GPS on a wheeled boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Straightrazor41 View Post
The chartplotter gives you a compass page doesn't it?
The GPS will usually only provide COG information(not heading) information on their "compass page".
Some of the HH GPS units do have a flux gate compass built in, so they will supply heading data, but these are rare.

BTW that's a good angle of heel when you took the photo
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Originally Posted by nestorph View Post
In short, you could mount the GPS near the compass, but if you wanted to use the compass for navigation, you would need to turn off the GPS.
Test the unit by trying a hand bearing compass near it. A lot of the warnings are exaggerated by the manufactures who want to avoid legal claims.
Twist the negative and possitive power supply wires when installing.
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Old 09-01-2013, 15:28   #11
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Re: Mounting GPS on a wheeled boat

Will these GPS and plotters mounted in the cockpit withstand being imersed by a wave breaking into the cockpit? Not to mention the 2 to 3 inches of rain that will occure on a typical day during the "rainy" season.
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Old 09-01-2013, 15:44   #12
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Re: Mounting GPS on a wheeled boat

John:
I asked a similar question of the Garmin tech and he said the units are designed to survive submersion to two meters. We both agreed that if that situation arose, there are probably bigger issues at stake at that moment... ;-)
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Old 09-01-2013, 16:21   #13
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Re: Mounting GPS on a wheeled boat

I am in the process of mounting my plotter in the companionway on a RAM mount as when I experience a unintentional gybe, the plotter will be out of the way of the sheet swinging over the cockpit and removing anything left exposed. This is not the situation to most sailors but is one of my concerns sailing a Cat boat.
I will also finish the install of a new autohelm with a fluxgate compass that will give me an additional compass although I do use my binnacle compass to measure wind shifts. The plotter will be safe and sound below deck when not sailing that is another benefit of the companionway mount.
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Old 09-01-2013, 17:38   #14
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Re: Mounting GPS on a wheeled boat

I found that once underway steering with either the wind vane or autipiolet, I was seldom bhind the wheel.

Being a paper chart guy, I had my main GPS next to my nav station. My handheld was with me in the cockpit.
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Old 09-01-2013, 17:46   #15
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Re: Mounting GPS on a wheeled boat

I use a cetrek chartplotter, it has a compass page that gives heading so I thought they all did. When i decided to mount it on the pedestal I wasn't thinking about the boat being swamped so thats an excellent point to mention. I'm currenly negotiating for an alberg 30 if it works out I'll move my electronics over to it but I think I'll leave the tiller. Last year I was hell bent on restoring that pedestal and it works great but I missed the simplicity of the tiller.
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