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Did your gift list include electronics? Now that Santa has come, it’s time to install them. Electronics vary in size and application, but if not properly installed, major problems can occur. If you want to do it yourself, here are some tips.

Before drilling holes in the dash, decide where you want to mount the new electronics and hook up the wiring and antennae (if so equipped) to each of them, then power them up one at a time. Check the read outs or gauges of each of your existing electronics and note any changes. Watch your compass carefully for any variation while turning each new item on and off.

When certain there is no interference, use the template or bracket to determine bolt positions. Locate the proper drill bit size and be sure it’s sharp, then carefully drill your mounting holes. Be aware of any wires or equipment on the underside of the bolt holes. Each hole drilled should be counter sunk to avoid chipping. A heavy item or free-standing piece should have a plate or stainless washer underneath the mounting area to avoid vibration. All fasteners should be high-grade stainless with lock type nuts. Avoid using screws whenever possible and remember to prepare a hole for wiring before mounting.

When wiring, use solder or crimp connections protected by heat-shrink tubing. If you must route a wire in a blind area, be sure to pull a string through for future wiring needs. Use a sealant bedding to insure moisture cannot seep in around wiring or at bolt holes.

With all your new electronics on board, you might believe you don’t need paper charts, but an electrical storm or a magnetic field can leave you helpless. Make sure you have paper charts and store them in a waterproof tube.

United Marine Underwriters is more than just boat insurance. Browse our Boats For Sale at BoatBrowser or our Lake Resource Guide at LakeBrowser or share your fishing stories and photos at True Fish Tales – the ones that did not get away.

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One Response to Installing Your Electronics

  1. Del Hansen says:

    Very useful information. I have watched so many people drill the holes into another circuit or not having enough room to put the new item in and wire it. Some wiring might need to be in coax to avoid interference. Most new items need to go through a fuse block or have their own fuse to avoid major problems. Also ventilation might be an issue.

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