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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > GPS and other displays, pedestal mount or other?
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Thread: GPS and other displays, pedestal mount or other? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-06-2013 12:42 PM
kellysails
Re: GPS and other displays, pedestal mount or other?

PYI SeaView built this as a prototype for my boat. I think they are now in production with the unit. It rotates, very nice. I built the stainless tubing around the pod using standard elbows and cutdown tubes. While the pod is sturdy you do need to protect it. I think people might grab the pod to gain their balance in the cockpit. So it needs to be protected.

Below this pod is my chart plotter that also swivels. I love this setup.



04-06-2013 11:45 AM
svHyLyte
Re: GPS and other displays, pedestal mount or other?

The two functions we like having at the helm are the chart-plotter/GPS and the auto-pilot control. The other instruments, Wind, Speed and Depth, we like having forward so they are easily seen by everyone in the cockpit so that the helmsman can ask cockpit crew to watch the depth or wind while the driver focuses on steering and staying within channels etc. Whereas I occasionally have to single-hand (or effectively single hand while the off-watch crew is sleeping below), the helm mounted instruments are in "pods" that can be rotated 270ļ so they can be seen by a crew forward of the helm as well as aft when necessary. Unlike many, I do not see the need for huge chart-plotter displays at the helm and have found 5" screens quite adequate (although we have a very large display at the navigation table) which simplifies their installation and ability to be rotated. The newer systems, (such as the GPSMap 3205 we recently installed) and even more so the newer also have the capability of displaying AIS Data and radar if one connects them to one's helm displays.
04-06-2013 01:40 AM
peterchech
Re: GPS and other displays, pedestal mount or other?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paperbird View Post

My current thinking (subject to change of course) is to mount the chartplotter on a swivel arm on the side of the pedestal. Turn it facing aft for when standing at the helm; turn it facing sideways for when sitting in the cockpit. Still looking for the right hardware choices to do the mounting.
Interesting idea.

Although we are planning a Bermuda trip for next summer, my father also uses the boat for cruising the sound and Nantucket etc, so keeping an eye out for schoals and entering harbors is important.

One concern we have is that we will be setting up e radar and ais to beep at a contact while on our trip, and the beeping may not be audible at the companionway if the displays are back at the pedestal. Same with the autopilot wind shift alarm...
04-05-2013 03:14 PM
jsaronson
Re: GPS and other displays, pedestal mount or other?

C&C 35 E7, wind and autopilot in pod. E7 gets depth and AIS.
04-05-2013 03:05 PM
paperbird
Re: GPS and other displays, pedestal mount or other?

Interesting thread. I very much appreciate hearing others' points of view. I'm in the same decision process regarding where to mount a chartplotter (with radar overlay).

Key factors I've settled on:
- most of the time Otto will be driving and we'll be siting in the cockpit to the side and slightly in front of the helm
- going in and out of harbors, one of us will be driving and so will want the chartplotter close at hand and viewable from the helm

Like others have said, the companionway is too far from the helm for when entering harbors when it's most critical.

My current thinking (subject to change of course) is to mount the chartplotter on a swivel arm on the side of the pedestal. Turn it facing aft for when standing at the helm; turn it facing sideways for when sitting in the cockpit. Still looking for the right hardware choices to do the mounting.
04-05-2013 02:24 PM
Alex W
Re: GPS and other displays, pedestal mount or other?

I don't like having a huge amount of clutter on the pedestal, but a single MFD and autopilot control isn't so bad. Set it up low and out of the way. It bugs me that my Raymarine MFD can't fully control the autopilot because the idea setup would only have the single MFD screen on the pedestal.

When I'm sailing I'm not standing behind the pedestal that often. It's more comfortable to sit on the windward side where I can easily reach the sheets and wheel. The pedestal doesn't block my view at all there.

When I'm docking I tend to stand up on the rear bench seat, so I'm way over the pedestal. It also doesn't block my view there.

The pedestal provides an easy thing to hide wires in. My boat doesn't have a good way to hide cables routed to the cabin top.
04-05-2013 01:42 PM
chef2sail
Re: GPS and other displays, pedestal mount or other?

The height of the navpods can be adjusted. On our boat they are not in the way of my wife visions at all and she's 5'2". That's not an issue. As far as distractions. Its only a distraction if you allow it to be another misnomer. It doesn't hurt our night vision as we turn the backlight way down. Another urban myth debunked.

Interesting discussion. The way some of us sail may determine how you use the charplotter and instruments. If most of the time I was using an autopilot, off shore or in large bodies of water where I didn't need to reference the plotter I would agree about its placement away from the helm.

I doubt the OP with a 32 foot C&C similar to mine is that kind of sailor and I believe most of his sailing is done around NY harbor and LI Sound if I remember right.

I try an answer threads as succinctly to what the OP has in terms of a boat and not generalize or relate it just to mine. In this case his and my boats have identical cockpits just 3 ft. larger on mine.

So if he placed this under his dodger, as some have suggested which on C&C are low, as on my boat which is similar, his CP screen. radar screen. AIS screen would be approximately 8-10 feet away from where he was standing at the helm.

I don't care how good your eyes are ( and mine aren't anymore), I could never read the AIS signatures, Radar signatures on the CP from that distance. Its too far away to do you any good without leaving the helm. I would have a hard time reading the lettering on the CP and I have a 9 inch one. Since I single hand a lot, I don't necessarily want to leave the helm. If you don't believe me do this test. Type out a page of words in 8 font and place it under the dodger. Stand behind the helm and tell me if you can read it let alone adjust the radar, or zoom out.

Since I am sailing in waters which can be crowded or run ups to shallow waters to tack as opposed to the open ocean where you set long open settings where you don't move the wheel, the chart plotter helps immensely in your depth readings along with the depth finder on your tacks.

Placing it under the dodger would virtually render it useless except for my guests. Besides he has an I pad as a repeater he can keep under there. I think I did read that.
04-05-2013 09:28 AM
SVAuspicious
Re: GPS and other displays, pedestal mount or other?

A lot depends on the size of your cockpit. On larger aft cockpit boats with a dance floor between the wheel(s) and the companionway things get complicated. On the OP boat I would put all the instruments over the companionway and the plotter to one side or the other on the cabin top but under the dodger.

My rationale is that you spend most of your time on watch under the dodger with the autopilot steering. The instruments can be seen from anywhere in the cockpit. Even smaller displays (7 or 8") can be seen pretty well from the wheel even by my aging eyes. The added benefit is that because the displays are too far away from the wheel to mess around with when behind the wheel you won't have your head down over the electronics instead of paying attention to what is outside the boat.

I agree with the earlier statement that the wedding cakes of Navpods are a distraction and block one's view. They seem to be what people want but I don't think they are a good idea.
04-05-2013 09:05 AM
lancelot9898
Re: GPS and other displays, pedestal mount or other?

Speaking of compass errors....I did install a Furuno chartplotter/radar display at the helm several years ago and the location was such that it was closer to the compass than recommended. However when I power up the unit working both the chart and radar there is no effect on the compass.
04-05-2013 08:57 AM
Minnewaska
Re: GPS and other displays, pedestal mount or other?

I've been assigned to the helm of OPBs that have the pod above the helm and thought it was great. Especially as we were entering and exiting harbors that I was less familiar with. While I agree that it would wreck night vision (although you can turn them down and new model will go white on black), I can argue it is safer to only have to glance and not completely take your attention off where you are going.

We have the luxury of dual helms and the plotter is in the center, under the cockpit table. It needs to be on a swivel, so it can be canted to either side and it isn't. With polarized sunglasses, the screen goes completely blank from one side. I've considered whether I would prefer to have two smaller unit mounted above each helm and its been a tempting thought. However, while at the helm of those OPBs, I always has plenty of other crew around, keeping an eye on things. On our boat, I can often be the only person above deck and do think they would block visibility.
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