Im almost done doing the restoration work on my Windrose 18 sailboat
and am doing the fiddly bits now. Im needing to mount a fishfinder,
gps, cell phone etc etc and other small equipment and need some ideas.
I would like to mount everything on an articulated arm inside the
cabin that would swing out through the hatch and be visible/usable
from the cockpit, and when the day is done..be swung back into the
cabin and secured inside the cabin...out of sight and out of mind.
I dont care which side it would go on..it just needs to stick through
the hatch and simply show the face of the equipment to those in the
Any ideas how to construct an arm?
Mount instruments in the cabin and run a waterproof phone outside with
USB camera attached?
You're going to want those instruments to pivot both down and way over
to the side so it leaves the entire hatch clear, I'll bet.
Articulately. (Sorry, hadda doit.)
Google "pivot arm", "ball mount", and "ram mount" for some excellent
ideas built by current companies. I've seen arms built with CRS bar
stock bolted together with large ball bearings welded to connection
hardware. Not pretty but usable. You'd probably be best off using a
rubber style ball mount like Ram makes since you'll be around water.
But they're damned pricy.
Have you considered one of the many computer-monitor articulating mounts?
If they''ll take the moist environment, they have just about the kind of
flexibility you need. Typically they terminate in a 100MM square mount plate.
Will you be reading these instruments while inside the cabin, or just
from the deck? Also, what all instruments are you referring to?
Compass, vhf/cb, wind dir/speed, am/fm, and what else?
Why not an ornate script W? ;)
Then the ball mount might be ideal. Wire each boat identically and
use quick disconnects for the instruments, which would be swapped into
each boat as it's used.
Build a removable base for the instruments and mount them on a single
or double ball mount (depending on weight) for quick adjustment, or on
2" dowels for a fixed quick-release mounting.
---- ---- ----
| | | | | | instruments
| | base
|| ---=== (wiring) || dowel mounts/QD standoffs
==== ==== QD base holddowns
Put another pair of holddowns inside the cabin if needed. Run wiring
out to the base, covered in split or spiral harness wrap.
The reason I suggest doing it this way rather than a nice, convenient
arm is that arms break far too often. If you take the boat into the
ocean or any large lake, your bouncing is going to want to break those
arms every time. Ditto during travel. Passengers will want to use
them to help themselves stand up, or will hold onto them during a
swell or storm, too. (Psst! Murphy told this to me.)
If you go with an arm, consider fixed sockets to grab the loose end at
the termination point. Arm construction would be multi-fingered
pivots like these, with rubber washers in between fingers to adjust
tension/movement. Go with large star knobs at the pivot points for
ease in use.
Four 2" bars of that 3/4" aluminum should hold your 10ish # of gear.
If CHEAP is needed why mount the instruments. It is a swing keel or
centerboard boat isn't it? So running aground isn't a major
catastrophe and you are on a lake so the GPS isn't really needed every
second, which leaves the compass and if it is a sail boat then even
the compass isn't vital as you can only go where the wind takes you,
so to speak.
Certainly, "Cause I wanna" is a valid reason but the salt water boats,
I've been in, of the same size usually have only a compass showing in