Moving instruments heads to companionway bulkhead

patrscoe

Member III
This winter I am upgrading my wind instrument system and I have been reviewing if I should leave my depth and wind at the helm in a my pod (where they are now) or move them to the companionway-cockpit bulkhead so that I can see them while the AP is running. Also to clear up the clutter at the helm as I also have my chartplotter within the guard.
I have always dislike the instruments in the bulkhead, probably because it is a pernament install, as you are putting holes in your gelcoat / fiberglass.
I have the AP head on the side cockpit, directly accross from the engine controls which is a good place for it.
I would like to place the instruments above the companionway on a tube and pod but I have a low profile dodger, which I like and the tube support would need to be farther forward, which will not work.

Any thoughts?
 

patrscoe

Member III
Found a very old thread on this subject. Looks like most people preferred this location. Lesser of two evils and works better with AP.
I always thought I would prefer above the companionway but one comment stated that it is difficult to get to the instruments as they are just out of normal reach. I didn't think about that.
 

Teranodon

Member III
Drilling big holes in the E34 is traumatic, but sometimes you have to do it. I like having the instruments on the bulkhead, so I can easily see the depth and how close we are to gybing, especially when someone else (ahem...) is at the wheel. Also, on my boat, on rare sunny days, the sun is always in line with the masthead. But it's possible to overdo it. I know someone who put a 12-inch touchscreen chartplotter on the bulkhead, out of reach.

My instruments are Raymarine and, of course, I installed them as far inboard as possible. If yours are wider, you may want to desist, because you don't want to lose that leaning space.

Helm view.jpg


Bulkhead.jpg
 
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goldenstate

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
It may be moving the little instruments to the the companionway wall makes sense. Depending how much and in what way you are upgrading your systems, you might want to take a further step back:

Wind and depth transducers communicate data
If your system is a network and (not silo'd systems), you should be able to put the data on a screen wherever you need it in the network.

Perhaps you want a small Multifunction Screen on the cockpit bulkhead, and the same small MFD on your helm. An example would be the Raymarine i70s. It is what comes with the wind/depth transducer package, but it also can display AIS info, GPS, speed, anchor alarms, etc. etc. Very cool little screen controller.

I am sure the other makers have similar options for small format screens.

I put an i70s on my below-decks nav station dashboard. All of the info the i70s I might want to know can also be displayed on my Axiom MFD at the helm, which is also my chartplotter.

Finally, if I the boat is driving itself, but I want to be in the cockpit huddled away from the helm and not belowdecks, if I really wanted to keep track of the date the sensors were observing, (vs. only my eyes, ears and nose) I could use the "RayView" app on an ipad or other mobile device and see the same screen that the Axiom is showing. I have made this app work to prove that it would, but otherwise found it overkill.

You could buy a waterproof case for an old Ipad and bring it up into the cockpit when you wanted that scenario.

Once you have your system networked, you can put your screen(s) wherever you want. My efforts in this vein:

Design

Build
 

patrscoe

Member III
Thanks. Good info on the i70. One of the reasons to upgrade my old B&G wind is to network with my depth and new Ev-100 purchased late last year, so I will be adding a Raymarine hardwired wind system. I purchased and installed a Raymarine depth last year.
Amazing on how they created multifunction displays and systems.

Yes, my biggest issue is drilling large holes into a perfectly nice gelcoat / bulkhead. There is no turning back unless I want to pay excessive amount of money to fill and re-gelcoat.
 

goldenstate

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
Thanks. Good info on the i70. One of the reasons to upgrade my old B&G wind is to network with my depth and new Ev-100 purchased late last year, so I will be adding a Raymarine hardwired wind system. I purchased and installed a Raymarine depth last year.
Amazing on how they created multifunction displays and systems.

Yes, my biggest issue is drilling large holes into a perfectly nice gelcoat / bulkhead. There is no turning back unless I want to pay excessive amount of money to fill and re-gelcoat.
I suppose you could also build a little housing/frame so that the i70 would stand (1”?) off the surface of the bulkhead. Then you would only need to drill a hole big enough to permit the network cable to pass through.
 

p.gazibara

Member III
I removed mine from the bulkhead and couldn’t be happier. imWe sailed without instruments on most of our trip across the Pacific. I moved the remaining depth sounder to down below after a wave popped us and killed all instruments in the cockpit.

Now that I’m a software tester for Navico, I have a full N2k/Ethernet backbone that I can plug 2x MFDs into just below the dodger. They mount on the stainless supports for the dodger. I remove the MFDs from their mounts when I leave the boat. No risk of theft, no permanent mounts, and I can test different MFDs very easily, plug and play.
 

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