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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Mounting a VHF on Center Console
|Author||Topic: Mounting a VHF on Center Console|
posted 01-19-2007 12:07 PM ET (US)
Hello everyone. I just picked up a Uniden VHF radio and I am trying to decide where to mount in on the console of my 1986 Montauk. I would like to cut into the face of the console and slide it in, preferably right above the door below the steering wheel so it is out of the way. I imagine I need to build some sort of bracket on the inside for it to sit on. Is that right? [Give me] suggestions on how to mount [the Uniden VHF radio on the console of my 1986 Montuak]. What is the best way to approach this project?
Thanks in advance to anyone who responds.
posted 01-19-2007 12:30 PM ET (US)
I suggest you consider mounting it above the door but set to starboard-- essentially below the engine control. On my 1988 Montauk, that moved the coiled mic cord to a place where it would not get caught when opening and closing the door. In addition, it made it easier to operate the radio when at the helm.
As for mounting brackets, most Uniden radios have an optional flush mount kit that will hold it in place. Just be prepared for some contortionist maneuvers installing it in the console.
posted 01-20-2007 09:01 AM ET (US)
Uniden probably has either included with the radio or offers as an accessory a flush mounting bracket.
Boston Whaler gave advice on where to mount the radio in the owner's manual for your boat. See
posted 01-20-2007 05:03 PM ET (US)
jimh: I suspect that advice from Boston Whaler is dated. It certainly applied before most radios were weather-resistant and waterproof. However, I think few would consider this best practice given current designs.
posted 01-20-2007 05:23 PM ET (US)
I'd agree with Sail16 [who says that the advice given by Boston Whaler on radio installation is out of date and no longer considered to be best for current designs]. Today's radios are for the most part
rated JIS 7 (submersible 3', 30 minutes) (and I wouldn't buy
one that wasn't). Wet doesn't seem to be a problem.
Flush mounted radios are hard to hear (the sound is aimed at
posted 01-20-2007 05:34 PM ET (US)
I do not see anything out of date with Boston Whaler's advice. It is more a matter of how much you want to stare at the dial of your radio or adjust the knobs. If you want the radio staring you in the face and you are going to be making adjustments to the knobs, then mounting it on the shelf in the console may be less advantageous than mounting it in a prime location on top of the console. However, a lot of boaters do not spend their time staring at the radio or adjusting its knobs, so mounting it on the shelf in the console is a good location.
If you get a radio with a large display, particularly a color display, it may be better to mount it in a more visible location. This may also be preferred if you want to make a lot of digital selective calls. Entering the MMSI numbers could be awkward if the radio is on a lower shelf in the console.
But if you plan to use the radio as most boaters do, it works fine on the shelf. Most radios lack really powerful loudspeakers, and most provide for an external loudspeaker. I have my radio on the shelf and use an external loudspeaker.
posted 01-20-2007 07:18 PM ET (US)
If you scan your calling channel (9 or 16) and your working
channels, being able to see the screen on the radio is
important so you know what channel the call came in on. It
needs to be at a glance, not behind a door.
It's quite common to call someone on a working channel they
posted 01-20-2007 10:57 PM ET (US)
A VHF radio is an essential piece of safety equipment. If faced with an emergency, you need to get to the radio quick. If you have to fumble with knobs or stoop down to operate the VHF in an emergency, that may make the difference in getting your distress call out or not.
I recommend you mount it where you can see it. Study the dials and buttons and practice operating it by feel. If it is right where you can see it all of the time, you will remember where all the controls are. Make yourself familiar with all of the controls so it is second nature to operate it. If you must hide it inside the console or on a shelf that is out of sight, get a microphone that has a readout on the mike. Some may not agree with this thinking but my years in the Coast Guard made me a little paranoid about the sea. I want all the advantages that I can control on my side of the fence.
posted 01-22-2007 06:06 PM ET (US)
Thanks for all the advice. I guess flush mounting the VHF above the door isnt the best place. The top shelf would be ideal however I'm not crazy about the looks of that. Poking around this site I found the perfect solution.
I found a great deal on these. West Marine is having a clearance on them and they only have about 100 left in their wearhouse.
This way, there is no bulky radio anywhere and it's great becuase you can unplug it put it away when you are not using it. I'm leaning towards this one if I could only find that damn receipt to one I have now.
posted 01-22-2007 06:22 PM ET (US)
posted 01-22-2007 06:25 PM ET (US)
If I were installing a radio now, the SH PS2000 would be my
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