Early Light
gets a


With little left on my wish list for "Early Light" I decided the time had come to upgrade from my handheld GPS to a GPS chartplotter. I was able to try out a few different models that friends of mine had installed on their boats. I finally settled on a Garmin 2006C color unit with a 6.5 inch diagonal screen. I purchased an offset pedestal guard to replace the short straight guard that originally came on my boat. This allowed the new Garmin to be mounted right at the helm at a proper viewing angle where it is most useful. While installing this unit I also ran power up the pedestal guard so that the handheld GPS could also be located at the helm as a backup.

The chartplotter was installed on a mounting that I fabricated from 1/2" starboard. This was made so that it could be detached and stowed below when not in use. This was accomplished through the use of a pair of Helm brand quick connect rail mounts.

Installation included drilling holes through the cockpit sole under each of the pedestal guard legs. Following good practice, I routed out the core in these holes and filled them with thickened epoxy. Once the epoxy cured, the holes were re-drilled to accept the wiring and no moisture will be able to penetrate the core in the cockpit sole.

The wires were run to a plastic junction box with a barrier type terminal strip that I installed in the starboard cockpit locker. Next, the antenna was installed on the stern pulpit and the wires from it were also run to the junction box. The DC wires from the handheld GPS were also run to this junction box. The final task was to install a dedicated circuit breaker on my DC panel and run power to the junction box.

Material required:

Garmin 2006C GPS chartplotter ($1300.00) from Boater's World

Chesapeake Bay Blue Chart chip ($129.00) from Boater's World

Junction box with barrier terminal strip ($5.49) from Radio Shack

Assorted Crimp ring terminals (On hand)

Circuit breaker ($15.95) from Boater's World

7 ft AWG 16 duplex wire (On hand)

Antenna mount for 1" rail ($12.99) from Boater's World

Offset pedestal guard ($164.00) from West Marine

13" x 9" piece of 1/2" Starboard (On hand)

1 Pr. Helm brand quick connect rail mounts ($22.50) from West Marine

Antenna cable deck feedthru ($2.99) from Boater's World

Total cost: $1652.92


Tools required:

Electric drill and assorted bits

Assorted screwdrivers

Box wrenches

Sabre saw

2" Hole saw

Wire strippers

Crimp tool for ring terminals

A few photographs showing the chartplotter installation

Garmin 2006C
GPS Chartplotter

Offset pedestal guard

Chartplotter pedestal guard
mount fabricated from

Completed Installation
looking forward

Completed installation
looking aft

This project took a total of 6 man hours to complete


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