HOW TO SQUEEZE BIG-SCREEN CAPABILITIES INTO A SMALLER SPACE
by Matt Williams
Courtesy FLW Outdoors Magazine - to subscribe, click here
Wide-screen mania has become so pronounced that some offshore specialists are mounting dual GPS/sonar units in their boats to utilize the premium mapping and fish-finding capabilities that Lowrance and other industry leaders are building into their electronics.
Originally this meant mounting one unit to the boat’s gunwale or outer console wall with an aftermarket mount and flush-mounting the other in the dash.
While many anglers continue to mount their units that way, a growing number of pro and weekend anglers are making the switch to some cool new custom dual-mounting systems available through Bass Boat Technologies.
Advantages of Dual Mounts
1. Maximum Viewing
Having two units side-by-side naturally makes it easier to view and interpret critical information relayed to the screens by the transducers. “It enables me to have all four HDS functions [map, sonar, DownScan and SideScan] running simultaneously right there in front of me,” says Walmart FLW Tour pro Brandon Hunter.
2. The Right Angle
While most boat manufacturers are able to flush-mount single big-screen units, the fixed angle of the dash on some rigs can make it difficult to see the screen at times when the sun hits it just right.
3. Safety Factors
The side-byside concept comes with some inherent safety features that are sometimes lost when there is a big unit mounted off to the right of the cockpit.
Florida pro Randall Tharp says the BBT mount provides rigid support for wide-screen electronics and eliminates the worry of having them move or fall in rough water. “I speared a big wave at Lake Erie a few years ago, and it caused the unit I had on a ball-joint mount to fall and slam into my hand on top of the steering wheel,” Tharp says. “It hit so hard that it cut my hand open. I don’t have to worry about that anymore with the side-by-side.”
5. Easy Installation
Each dual-electronics mount discussed here is equipped with a rigid one-piece backing plate custom-cut to replace the boat’s stock dash. Each is shipped completely assembled, and in most cases the pre-drilled backing plate matches up nicely with the factory dash-panel holes for simple installation.
Bass Boat Technologies Dual Mount
Design: It features a powder-coated 3/16-inch main backing plate constructed of 6061 aluminum and a one-piece 1/8- inch thick 304 stainless-steel gimbal-mounting plate with a series of attachment slots on each side to accommodate the individual size and brand of electronics specified by the customer. Units attach to the rigid mounting plate using the gimbal brackets that are packaged with electronics units and provided hardware. Should you change unit sizes or electronics brands later on, the company can provide a changeover kit.
Perfect Angles: Each Bass Boat Technologies (BBT) mounting system is designed to match up with the degree angle of the boat manufacturer’s dash, so that the face of the finished unit will be tilted at a 72- degree angle when the screen is situated straight within the gimbal bracket. The units also tilt in slightly toward the user.
Translation: BBT says this setup is ideal for eliminating glare in almost any conditions.
Anti-Vibration System: A circular rubber pad on each side can be adjusted in or out to seat against the backs of the units for extra cushion in choppy conditions.
Cable Passages and Shroud: Cables are fully protected by roomy rubber grommets that are centered on each side of the backing plate. BBT tops off the system with a racy-looking stainless shroud that also helps hide the cables.
Fitment: The units come predrilled and pre-cut for easy installation on several major bass boat brands in several makes and year models. If BBT doesn’t offer a unit for a specific year-model, the company says it can make one with provided measurements. Electronics can be removed from the gimbal brackets by unscrewing the factory knobs.