As these things seem to go, the temporary mounting plan didn't work so well - the new radome is quite a bit larger than the old one, and wouldn't fit in the same place up the mast (later Privilege 39's appear to have a large area between jumper stays for bigger radomes). So anyway, the whole thing, radome and display, went back home in the car, to be mounted later. Scott still thinks we should have mounted the radome on the top of the car - that would have been pretty funny on I-5.
In early 2008 we mounted the display, and integrated it with all the existing nav equipment (GPS, Autopilot, Wind sensors, etc) - but we still didn't mount the radome, since we still hadn't figured out quite how we were going to do so. The C70 is useful without radar - as a chartplotter and nav data display. And around the bay there's no real need for radar anyway.
For over a year we've debated whether the radome should go up the mast, or on a pole at the stern. Up the mast is a nice clean install, and gives the best radar range - but involves disassembling bulkheads and walls to route the cable, plus we'd have to buy an extension, or cut the current one and resolder it - tricky, as the cable includes a coaxial connection. Then we'd have to engineer a mounting solution where it could fit, or buy a mounting bracket and put it in a different location - then hang out on a bosun's chair 20' above the deck installing it. A pole is a relatively expensive option, and not quite as secure a mount - but is a much easier install. In fact, you can do it in about a day!
After looking around at different systems, and contemplating designing our own, we went with the SeaView 3" aluminum pole system from PYI. There were some tricky bits, but overall installation went pretty smooth. PYI is great to work with (Fred, thanks for helping us out!). We had a bit of a snafu with the trucking company (the poles are too big to ship via a regular parcel delivery), when they sent our pole off to Salinas on the wrong truck. It took them a couple of days to finally get it delivered. None of that is PYI's fault, and it really didn't matter except for staying home from work twice for deliveries that never showed up. Yep, typical boat project, something will not go according to plan, and - well, you just have to plan for such things!
|This is the top plate for the pole which the radome mounts to. You can get all sorts of additional options that mount to it, light poles, antennas, etc.|
We have nothing but good things to say about PYI - call Fred Hutchison at 425-355-3669 or 800-523-7558and let him know we sent you his way. Fred's great to work with and makes everything happen fast with no hassle. We have a couple of other PYI products aboard as well, and they make some shiny, well engineered stuff.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about this whole project is we only had to go to West Marine ONCE for parts! Usually we end up going either there or the hardware store at least 2 or 3 times. All we needed was some fasteners for the base and strut plates, and a tube of 3M 4000UV. Speaking of that, why don't they make smaller tubes of this stuff, as well as 4200 and 5200? Once you open the tube it will all set up, and most of the time the small tube is way too much (even with Scott's penchant to only get about 1/2 of it on whatever he's trying to seal and adhere), not to mention $13.
Our navigational electronics are now nearly complete - with everything integrated and working with onboard systems as well as with OpenCPN. The only other planned upgrade will be an AIS receiver, which everything is already wired for, all we need to do is hook one up, as the NMEA MUX already has a port for it, and the C70 as well as OpenCPN already supports AIS. We probably will not buy an AIS transponder in the near future - maybe in a few years, once there's better adoption and commercial ships start actually paying attention to Class B collision alarms.