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Sailboat installation tips


AngleGuard Installation

Once you have selected the proper NavPod its time to position the NavPod onto the AngleGuard. We manufacturer the AngleGuards taller then you may need it to be. We go with the concept: it’s easier to cut it down, than stretch it out. So please consider the right height before you drill or cut holes into the AngleGuard.

Place the NavPod into position. Mark the larger wire access and mounting holes, using the back of the NavPod as a template. A “Sharpie” marker works well to mark the four mounting holes and two larger wire access holes. Drill and tap the mounting holes for the screws that hold the NavPod on to the AngleGuard. Drilling the 1” wire access hole in stainless steel is tough. You really need the proper stainless steel bit and a drill press. The other alternative is to chop out a rectangular section with a hand held grinder and 4” cutting wheel. This method is a lot easier. It’s going to be a pretty ugly cut but the NavPod and gasket that is supplied with it will cover this up. Get rid of those sharp burs since you’ll be pulling wires down the openings. The advantage of a rectangular access hold is that large connectors will better fit through. The 1.25” AngleGuards have almost twice as much room for wires then the 1”. We really encourage you to go with our 1.25”

Once you have the NavPod mounted onto the AngleGuard, it’s time to mount the feet. We supply a pair of feet with the 1.25” AngleGuards. We do not supply feet with the 1” AngleGuards. Most boats have a 1” pedestal guard and when replacing it with another 1” will usually not require changing out the feet. If you do need feet, the 1” are easily available at your local boating supply store.

Do I need a Top Plate? 

If you are mounting a 1” AngleGuard, you shouldn’t need to replace the Top Plate. The Top Plate is located on the top of the pedestal, right below the compass and shifters. It is the upper support that is keeping the existing pedestal guard from falling over.

The 1.25” AngleGuards were first developed out of necessity. There just wasn’t enough room inside the 1” tubes to fit all the wires in some installations. Once the product was developed, we noticed that the 1.25” is the proper size for holding on to. It just feels right as a handhold to assure a strong grip in stormy weather.

So if you have now decided the 1.25” AngleGuard is the right one for you, then we need to discuss the Top Plate. We manufacturer a TP125 Stainless Steel Top Plate for 9.5” wide AngleGuards commonly used on popular Edson steering systems. We also provide a TP225 version for 12” wide AngleGuards. The 12” wide is commonly found on Lewmar Steering Systems (formally Whitlock).

If your existing pedestal guard measures 12.5” (center-to-center) and is a 1” tube, you probably have a steering system made by Merriman or Yacht Specialties. They were very popular in the U.S. during the 70’s and 80’s. We are developing a Top Plate (part #TP325) for this installation during the time of this printing. Please call us at 541-318-1272 for more information. There are other steering systems from European companies like Solimar and Goiot. We do not have solutions for every boat, but we are here to help brainstorm a solution with you.

Mount the Electronics

If you have selected one of our Pre-Cut NavPods, double check the fit of the electronics into the face of the NavPod. Your electronics mount onto the front face, not inside the NavPod. We supply the flush mounting hardware and gasket if the manufacturer doesn’t. If you have an un-cut NavPod and plan on cutting it yourself, the best advice I have is to use a “Roto-Zip”. NavPods are Acrylic with UV coextruded over ABS plastic. The “Roto-Zip” with the proper plastic bit will shred the material rather than melt it. Jig saws do not work. They tend to melt as you cut. Not fun. Hole saws work ok.

Run the Wires

At this point I’ll assume you have the electronics mounted into the front of the NavPod. You’ve mounted the AngleGuard, Top Plate and Stainless Steel feet and cut the AngleGuard to the proper size. Now it’s time to run the wires down the tubes. Then connect the wires into the back of the electronics.

We suggest you drill a few 3/8” holes in the bottom of the NavPod in case water leaks in for any reason. Even though we make our NavPod watertight we can’t always control the seal between your electronics and the NavPod or the proper fit or installation of the gasket between the NavPod and the AngleGuard. This also works as a vent and will help with reduction of condensation as well as some heat. If you are worried about water coming in from the bottom, that will only happen when the water level is at chest height. At that point, you have a lot bigger things to worry about then the seal of your NavPod!

TamperProof Screws

Use the Tamper-Proof screws to attach the front of the NavPod to the back. We include a Tamper-Proof wrench with each NavPod. After you lose it, a TPK300 wrench set can purchased separately. Do not over tighten these screws. We don’t want to distort the plastic housing. It is softer than fiberglass and can flex over time when over tightened. We provide a double seal and as long as the gaskets touch slightly, you have a proper seal. The outer seal is UV stabilized silicone. The inner is a made of a very high quality memory resistant foam. So if you need to take the NavPod apart in the future to service your electronics, it will continue to provide a proper seal when reassembled for the second time.

We hope you enjoy your new installation of your electronics and our NavPod SailPod System. If you have any other questions or input for us, we would love to hear from you. Just give us a call, we are here to help.

Installing your PowerPod

Drill a large (possibly 2”) wire and connector access hole through the area below where the PowerPod will be mounted. Most of the medium or larger PowerPods have a 1.8” wire access hole through the middle of the swivel mechanism. This will give you plenty of room for wires and large connectors. Then you mount the base of the PowerPod with the four stainless steel tamperproof fasteners. You will nest mount the electronics into the face of the PowerPod. If you have selected an Un-Cut PowerPod, you will see some tips for cutting the face on page 36. Next run the wires and attach the connectors to the electronics. The last step is to attach the front and the back together with the tamperproof fasteners utilizing the tamperproof wrench that is supplied.


SystemPods on SK135 Stanchion Kit

All the PowerPods are specifically designed to mount a single piece of electronics. SystemPods are designed to mount multiple pieces of electronics into a single NavPod. We have designed the SK135 PowerMount Stanchion Kit for powerboat applications. The tubes of the pre-drilled stainless steel stanchion kit are 1.25” in diameter. The SystemPods are indented in the back to accommodate these tubes. All SystemPods are available in spacing between tubes of 9.5” or 12”. This is a very sturdy way to mount multiple pieces of electronics securely.


Overhead Mounting

Every PowerPod has an equivalent size SailPod. You can use the SK135 Stanchion Kit with SailPods or SystemPods for a secure and sturdy overhead mount.