Whether it’s a 19-foot trailer boat or a 60-foot yacht, there never seems to be enough spare room to mount all the marine electronics equipment we might want. Here are some proven answers that can help you create mounting solutions where space is limited or even nonexistent.
A pod takes a 6- to 8-square-inch footprint and converts it to hold flat-panel displays as large as 15 inches by elevating the instrument above the dash. NavPod’s Grand Prix series housings have side-to-side swivel bases and can hold 7- to 15-inch displays ($430 to $530, oceanequipment.com). The Seaview Power Pod series can fit 7- to 14-inch displays ($350 to $650, seaviewglobal.com) and features four-way swivel bases (including up and down). Pods are available precut for popular electronics or uncut for custom installations.
RAM (rammounts.com) has more than 100 mounting bracket variations that can turn a 2-inch-square footprint into a creative installation. RAM’s patented, adjustable ball joint means the bracket can be set at any angle for best viewing. Popular models include the RAM-111U ($49) and RAM-B-101 ($32), which are suitable for a variety of smaller displays. The RAM-109HU ($65) and RAM-109VU ($80) have swing-out arms that make them a good pick when you want to see the screen from several positions or need to move it out of the way when not in use.
To free up room at the helm, move your VHF radio unit into the cabin and replace it with a remote full-function microphone. A number of VHFs have this option, including units that feature a “black-box” VHF. For example, with Icom’s M400BB VHF ($499, icomamerica.com), the radio module is mounted out of sight. Its remote microphone includes all controls and a mini display. Garmin’s VHF300 ($699, garmin.com) also has a black-box module that is placed out of the way, with all controls in a wired remote mic. You can also add up to two wireless walk-around microphones (GHS20, $399) for remote operation.
Autopilot control heads can also be eliminated. The SP-70 pilot by Si-Tex ($2,300, si-tex.com) uses a wired handheld remote that takes no dash space at all. Raymarine’s S1000 autopilot ($1,069, raymarine.com) for craft up to 25 feet operates via a palm-size wireless remote control. Simrad offers a wireless optional remote for its autopilots. The WR20 Remote Commander ($650, simrad-yachting.com) allows the main control unit to be mounted below or elsewhere. As a bonus, it can also operate Simrad instrumentation displays.