Installing new electronics on the boat

Discussion in 'Boats, Motors, Trailers and Towing Rigs Forum' started by capman, Feb 6, 2020.

  1. capman

    capman Member

    I'm looking for someone knowledgable to set up my new GPS, transducer, radar, and a few other electronics on my boat. The boat is in North Van and is on the land. If you know someone you can trust, I appreciate sharing his contact info.

    Thanks in advance, Capman
  2. zurk

    zurk Member

    its easy enough to do it yourself and if anything goes wrong you know how to fix it.
    just buy a bunch of blue seas hubs for your 12V lines, wire in ethernet and nmea 2k and youre done.
  3. the butcher

    the butcher Active Member

    I 2nd that. It just takes time but you'll be glad you did it yourself. Don't jahebto rely on someone else when something needs attention as you know exactly how it's rigged up. I don't like to depend on a mechanic/dealer who will rip me off and I am at their mercy if I don't have to be. Lots of videos on YouTube as well.
  4. Olde School

    Olde School Well-Known Member

    It is important to do as much work as possible on your boat. Knowing how things are set up goes a long way towards solving any issues that arise on the water.
    Installing modern electronics is certainly possible even for people without significant background knowledge.
    Derby likes this.
  5. Sharphooks

    Sharphooks Well-Known Member

    What zurk, butcher and Olde School said....absolutely do it yourself—-knowing your wiring and how marine sensors interact with each other goes a huge way towards trouble-shooting your electronics when they go sideways...and trust me, they absolutely will go sideways some time or another, and just when you don’t want them to, whether professionally installed or D.I.Y.

    The CAN bus protocols, how your sensors share information, is “canned” these days——you set up a system “backbone” cable, then plug the individual sensor cables into that backbone to connect your MFD.

    A MFD is a “multi function device”...basically, the marine electronics “computer” that all your sensors (radar, sonar, fluxgate compass etc) will connect to via CAN bus cable

    These days, those connections are made with either or both NMEA0183 or NMEA2000 cables as zurk mentioned

    They call it “plug and play” for a reason, though to quote a Furuno marine tech, sometimes they call it “plug and pray”....

    You can also get some self-esteem injections while doing your install—-a nice clean marine electronics installation on a boat (especially, how you handle and present the wiring) can be a thing of beauty to behold...impress your friends! Invite your kids to come take a look at the nice clean job you did with all those colored wire all bundled up and fastened in tight choke holds with the five hundred zip ties you decided to use....ha ha

    I not only did all the marine electronic installs on my last three boats but also did the marine electronics removals—-reason—-I’ve always sprung for the best stuff that money can buy so when I buy a new (pre-owned) boat, I methodically remove the high-end electronics from the boat I’m selling, methodically remove the mediocre electronics from the boat I just bought, then swap them from boat to boat. I mention this because I am not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to electronics, yet there I was, through the evolution of 3 or 4 boats, swapping entire suites of marine electronics back and forth from boat to boat and they powered up just fine when I hit the “on” switch!

    I’m not chest-pounding here, just trying to demonstrate it’s not rocket science. And removing and re-installing takes some finesse—-some guys take the easy way out and cut signal cables—-that’s what pro’s do because they’re in a hurry and can’t be bothered. Me, I take great pride in fishing cables through complex spots on my boats, and getting the plug through all these places without wrecking the pin-holes or stretching the cable.....then pulling it back out without stressing it again to re-install somewhere else.

    If you’re fishing cables through or along the perimeter of wheelhouse roofs (as will happen if you’re installing a radar) straighten out a coat-hanger, then tie some braid fishing line or 40 lb test mono to one end—-it’ll be your best buddy when you’re trying to thread a signal plug on the end of a signal cable through a tight place.

    Getting a thick radar signal cable to thread through the twisting turns of a radar arch can be a labor of love—-just drilling the stainless to widen out a hole to thread the cable or to pear-out holes to fit the bolt pattern of a new radar base can take a few hours... but it’s sweat-equity when you do it to YOUR boat and you’ll learn all about the subtleties of marine wiring and how to do it properly

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
    Oly1, fishin solo and Derby like this.
  6. capman

    capman Member

    Thank you all. I’ll start on that and will report back.

    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
    Oly1 likes this.

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