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  Putting screws into the top of my console?

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Author Topic:   Putting screws into the top of my console?
will posted 04-18-2002 03:14 PM ET (US)   Profile for will  
I just purchased a R.A.M. mounting kit for my handheld GPS. Is it OK to screw the base directly into the top of my console. The kit came with 3 ss screws. Should I drill pilot holes? Thanks.
tlynch posted 04-18-2002 03:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for tlynch  Send Email to tlynch     
What type of boat do you have?

If it is a fiberglass console I would suggest bolting it on with washers on the inside of the console. Using a bit of silcon sealant between the mount and the console so water does not get in.

If it is a wood console you can screw it on. As far as I know there is no reason not to drill pilot holes. Silicon would not hurt in this case either.


lhg posted 04-18-2002 05:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Some parts of the Whaler fiberglass consoles have imbedded plywood, which can be screwed into. You can tell by looking inside. Otherwise, a through bolt must be used, as mentioned.
whalerron posted 04-19-2002 08:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
If you are mounting it to an area of fiberglass which has no wood backing, use stainless machine screws with nuts and washers on the underside of the fiberglass. If you use wood screws directly into the fiberglass, you will get spider cracks emminating from the holes.

If the mounting area is fiberglass with a plywood backing, you can use through bolts as above or you can use the woodscrews. If you use wood screws, drill a pilot hole down through the fiberglass into the wood. Then, drill a clearance hole just through the fiberglass layer. This hole should be large enough that the screw threads don't grab.

Make sure you use only stainless fasteners and put sealant in each of the holes.

triblet posted 04-19-2002 10:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I'd suggest using fender washers (the big ones
with little holes) if there's enough clearance.

I don't think it's necessary to use sealant
if you are using bolts and don't mind a little
dampness in the console. I didn't seal mine,
and I hose off the top of the console after
a day on salt water. I get a few drops, and I
think thats coming in around the doors.

If you use wood screws into the backing wood,
you want to seal it to keep the wood dry.


Tom W Clark posted 04-19-2002 12:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

I totally agree with what Chuck has said..

The console has 1/2" plywood glassed onto the back side. Even with this I used stainless steel machine screws with fender washers and nylocks on my Whalers. I didn't bother caulking the holes but you could if you want to. It would help prevent water from wicking into the plywood and prevent rot.

If you are going to use screws, pilot holes are always a good thing.

If you have a wood console I would still recommend pilot holes to avoid splitting the wood and making it easier to drive the screws without cobbling up the heads. VIX-Bits (or equivalent self centering drill bits) are the best tool to use when mounting hardware like this.

Your R.A.M. kit comes with screws like so most other pieces of equipment we buy. I generally just discard whatever is included because it usually is not the best fastener that can be used. No one set of screws will be applicable to all mountings. If you do use the screws that were included be sure they are stainless steel. Do not assume they are even if the literature says they are! Test them with a magnet.

If you are screwing through fiberglass, be sure to use a countersink on the pilot hole and/or drill the hole through the fiberglass skin itself larger (larger than the net diameter of the screw) to avoid cracking or chipping of the gelcoat.

will posted 04-19-2002 01:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for will    
thanks guys

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