Does anyone have experience with the Flush Mount kits for the Garmin GPSMAP 540s chart plotters?
Since I have a tiller and not a wheel column, I am left with installing equipment in/on the bulkhead at the front of the cockpit (which is where my compass, sounder and knot indicator/log already are). While this is a conventient enough place for the unit to be mounted at from a ease of use point of view, I don't really want to mount it there using the standard mounting arm bracket, as the main sheet or halyards (depending on which side I put it) will probably get tangled on the unit, and at the most inopportune time possible, probably breaking the bracket off, or worse, ripping the mounting screws out.
My alternative is to cut a ~7 inch square through the cockpit bulkhead into the cabin and use the flushmount kit. This would be the ideal way for the unit to be accessed, and keep it free from tangles with the running rigging, but the flushmount kit is a big hole that is only coverd and sealed when the unit is installed, and big enough for your foot to go through into the cabin when the unit is removed. See image below of the mounting kit.
This also requires me to leave the chart plotter installed year round, and kinda screwed if I have to remove it and send it in to Garmin for any reason.
Has anyone else installed this, or a similar unit in this mannor, and if so, how has it worked out for you? Is there any good way to seal the hole when the unit is removed (like for the winter?)