September 29, 2008
I had bought a radar unit a couple of years ago. Back then I was thinking about sailing North up to Maine. I was worried about the fog they have up there.
But I never got around to installing the unit on Galena.
As it turned out, I could have really used radar while heading down the US East Coast last fall. Too many times I was out in the ocean on an offshore leg at night, or in the fog, or in the fog at night and would have loved to have a better set of eyes on board.
Finally, I got off my lazy butt and mounted the unit.
I wanted to mount it on the stern, with all the other junk I have there. Mostly because it would be easier to reach for service. Secondly because I didn't like the thought of perforating my mast with the 8 mounting holes and the big, 3/4" hole needed for the cable. Probably foolish of me. But I'm that way sometimes.
So I thought about putting the unit on the wind generator mast. But that pole is way too small for such I heavy unit (Got the Furuno 1715 with the bigger radome). But a friend was upgrading his pole-mount for his radar and gave me his old pole. This new pole was just large enough to slide over the outside of the wind generator pole. So that gave me a double-walled, large-diameter pole; very strong, albeit a bit heavy.
After running all the wires I had to decide on place to mount the screen. I wanted both an inside mount at the nav station and a mount I could use outside. My solution was to mount the screen on a 3" wide teak board. I tapered the ends so it would slide into the comopanionway slots like a mini-drop board. Then I fabricated a lexan drop board to fill the gap above the new mini-board and the hatch.
The board is only 3" high and the radar unit hangs down by the deck. Stepping over the board is no problem at all. So far it seems to be out of the way yet very usable.
While at it, I mounted my small Garmin GPS on the min-drop board. For the past few years it had be just laying on deck. The unit would slide around and dangle from it's cables whenever Galena started to gallop about. This would be better.
Also, a year ago I foolishly bought the Wireless Remote Mic for my Uniden UM525 VHF radio. The unit works fine. But the batteries only last 5-hrs. I cruise! I need a radio that will last for days, not hours. So in the past I've had to put the wireless unit in it's charger and use a small handheld unit for a couple hours while the wireless unit charged. So, since the charge is 'splash-proof' I mounted the charger between the Radar and the GPS. Now it's always in the charger, and it's also where I can hear it. I can just grab it out the the charger when I want to use it.
The wire bundle (which is about an inch in diameter) is long enough to mount the board below. Here you can see it in it's stored position over the nav station. The board sits in the drip rail with just a barrel-latch to hold it in place. Pretty cool, no?
(This shot of my nav station belies my claim that Galena is very simple and primitive. On the drip rail we have the radar, VHF remote mic, GPS. On the main radio rack below that is: Pactor Modem, Icom 706 Ham radio, car stereo, Uniden 525 VHF radio.)
Here's a close-up of the latch that holds the unit in place on the drip rail over the nav station.
Here's an image of the radar screen as a fall thunderstorm rolled into the marina.
Now it's time for bottom paint and some hull buffing.