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Chart-plotter Installation Location

Mar 15, 2020
Catalina 27 Galesville
Hello all! My wife and I are the new owners of a 1985 Catalina 27 (tiller-controlled). We bought the boat knowing that it's got a defective Signet Marine SL172 depth sounder (either that or the transducer, not sure).

We recently acquired a Garmin Echomap 74cv plus. It seems that any installation location requires some compromise between practically and how "destructive" the install is. What's your preferred installation location for an instrument like this?

It seems that the options are a.) flush-mount into the bulkhead (most destructive but out of the way), b.) over the companionway hatch (potentially the best compromise - but would need to make sure it doesn't interfere with mid traveller), or c.) swivel mount just inside and starboard of the companionway (would block the companionway when under sail, but "minimally invasive").



Jul 29, 2018
O'Day 35 Buzzards Bay
Another option would be to build it into a board that you then slide into where your companionway hatch boards go - no cutting of fiberglass and keeps your dog in the cabin too.
Mar 15, 2020
Catalina 27 Galesville
Ha - unfortunately that would still block the companionway hatch, which we want to try and avoid for various safety and social reasons.
May 24, 2004
CC 30 South Florida
I have had chart-plotters installed to weather and the elements and portable units just brought out when in use sitting on pre-attached brackets and pre=wired connecting cable. The durability of the portable units exceeds double the durability of fixed units, not to mention theft prevention. Can't tell if you have a tiller or a wheel where you could consider installing a pedestal guard.
Oct 22, 2014
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
The units on a swivel mount, I’ve seen work very well in use. They are out of the weather yet easily visible from the helm (the 12” screens). They are easy to program while standing dry in the salon. You can swivel it into position to the side of the companion way. This allows access to the cabin.
And if not just perfect you can always install some where.


Jun 1, 2004
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
12" screen way, way too big for a Cat 27. (not to mention cost) 7 or 9 will work perfect if you mount on a RAM type double swing arm inside starboard side of companionway. Sitting at the tiller you can adjust the display to whatever side you're sitting, or push it out of the way up against the bulkhead so as not to block passage way and still be seen from any where in cockpit. That's what I did on my C27 and couldn't be more pleased. When not in use outside, the whole thing swings inside the cabin to store up against the back side of the bulkhead for storage, security and interior use.
I apologize for not having any boat pictures of my set up... I'll be home in a few days...they're on that computer. I made a mounting block to compensate for the angle of the bulkhead... the double arm allows a lot of positions that I've found very functional. The RAM mount is very solid and well worth the expense.

Ward H

Nov 7, 2011
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
Ditto on the Ram mount. On my O25 I had it mounted so it swung in the companionway for use and swung against the inside bulkhead when not in use.
Probably got the idea from Joe.