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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

We did a delivery awhile back on a nicely appointed Caliber 47. They had a Garmin chartplotter/radar combo. The setup was great but the problem was that the chartplotter was mounted at the helm. When on watch at night in a storm, the best spot was always low side of the cockpit right under the dodger to get out of the wind. But every so often we'd have to slide back around the wheel and check our course and/or turn the radar on if we saw some lights.

After that trip, we decided that under the dodger is the spot for our radar screen. We will likely spend little time at the helm and leave the steering to our autopilot or (someday?) windvane. We also can't afford two displays and we want to be able to access from it down below. So we figured the best way to do this was a swing arm mounted on the bulkhead. We also have too many lines/winches/clutches on the coachroof to consider mounting a display on the top of the coachroof under the dodger.

The problem I'm finding is that the size of MFD we're looking at, there doesn't seem to be much out there in the way of swing mounts. We're honing in on probably the Garmin 8" MFD's (4008/4208) and I haven't found any sort of third party mount for that display. Seems like everyone is flush mounting them.

I searched the archives and only found this thread, which was very relevant but not that definitive.
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/15840-swinging-chartplotter-arm-holder.html

I checked RAM mounts but it doesn't look like they have any mounts for displays this size.

Anyone try a swing mount on an 8" or larger MFD?

Thanks!

Jason
 

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Ram Mount

Hello,

Ram has mounts for larger devices. Look at 'marine electronics' instead of GPS.

They have Garmin mounts for:
Compatible Garmin Marine Electronic Devices: GPSMAP 2006, GPSMAP 2006c, GPSMAP 2010, GPSMAP 2010c, GPSMAP 2110, GPSMAP 2210, GPSMAP 3010c, GPSMAP 3210, GPSMAP 4008, GPSMAP 4010, GPSMAP 4012, GPSMAP 4208, GPSMAP 4210, GPSMAP 4212, GPSMAP 5008, GPSMAP 5012, GPSMAP 5015, GPSMAP 5208, GPSMAP 5212 & GPSMAP 5215

Plus many others.

good luck,
Barry
 

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I pretty sure that any swing arm Ram mount that has the 6.25x2" base plate is what you're looking for
 

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Your instincts are good. Given that 95% of helming is in fact autopilot or windvane, and that the 5% of active steering is in waters where you either have nav aids, bearings or other information, I really feel that a chartplotter at the helm is equivocal at best and a distraction at worst.

On the other hand, I feel that a 12VDC outlet at the helm so that you can put in a handheld GPS for lat/lon, XTE and heading is quite helpful to determine set and drift, currents and ETA to waypoints (set, of course, sensibly away from one's visual target, like a nav aid). The information given is essentially text and minimal graphics (like a grayscale compass), and one's attention stays on the environment and the boat instruments, with the GPS being purely supplemental. You keep a watch, not a watch of the GPS itself.

A chartplotter's best use is to help you integrate the sometimes partial clues from the environment and can provide a context. This plus a paper chart can fairly accurately help you to find yourself even in poor visibility, when the object isn't blasting in a straight line directly to the mark or to the port, but by giving obstacles you can't actually see a wide and safe berth.

People driving straight into jetties, breakwaters and buoys (or driving right onto the beach or rocks in some cases) is a function of over-reliance on technology or an inability to use it safely. Lessening the likelihood of getting truly lost is only part of prudent seamanship.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's funny, Valiente, our plans are to do exactly that. We have a small Garmin 176 that we will mount at the helm just to get heading, SOG, and maybe we'll plumb depth in from the depthsounder if I can get the NMEA wiring done right.
 

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I have a few friends with the most simple depthfinder displays (simply numerals showing depth beneath the keel in feet) flush mounted in the cockpit bulkhead. They look at the chart to determine where a given depth contour is, and know where they are using the heading and the depth.

I use this method in fog on occasion. If the contour is mostly straight, it's a great way to determine distance off in the absence of a full plotter, radar or visual confirmation.
 
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