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Old 11-11-2018, 10:15 AM   #1
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Pimp my ride (Inflatable)

Hello all,

A few weeks ago I posed a question about installing a VHF radio on my 14' Inflatable. Well it caused quite a stir with many people who were of the opinion that I should simply "remember" to bring a handheld VHF radio and call it a day.

I gathered everyone's advice/opinions and opted to hard mount a Standard Horizon into the dash. I also opted to put in a small Clarion Bluetooth stereo and speakers. I redid all op the switches with a new Blue Seas switch panel and added small (red) LED courtesy lights.


When I was working on the battery, I noticed the plywood floor boards under the console were cracked and ready to fail. I went to home depot and purchased some 1/2" plywood and covered it with resin to seal it. I screwed them into place under the console.

Lastly, I removed the steering wheel and gauges and remade the cover plate out of black starboard to modernize the look. The steering wheel needed to be cut off and I had to replace the steering assembly. No big deal because the steering was very rough. I replaced the steering mechanism and purchased a new 13.5" wheel. It steers really well now. I still need to find the right size acorn nut for the steering wheel to make it look nice.

All in all I spent about 3 full days and roughly $1,000 to pimp my ride.

The inflatable came with the boat when we purchased it back in May. The motor hadn't been started in many years and it needed to have the tubes replaced ($5K).

I wish I had taken photos of the work in progress, but I just didn't think of it. Here is a shot of the finished product.
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Old 11-11-2018, 10:39 AM   #2
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I was hoping you had before and after pics, but that’s harder to remember to do when you are buried in the job. Sounds like a project well worth doing. I’m a believer in the hard-mounted VHF and am about to upgrade the one in our tender. Let’s see if I can remember to take pics.
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Old 11-11-2018, 11:07 AM   #3
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Looks great. I used black starboard for my dash repairs also.
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Old 11-11-2018, 11:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freespool View Post
Hello all,

A few weeks ago I posed a question about installing a VHF radio on my 14' Inflatable. Well it caused quite a stir with many people who were of the opinion that I should simply "remember" to bring a handheld VHF radio and call it a day.

I gathered everyone's advice/opinions and opted to hard mount a Standard Horizon into the dash. I also opted to put in a small Clarion Bluetooth stereo and speakers. I redid all op the switches with a new Blue Seas switch panel and added small (red) LED courtesy lights.
Very nice. What did you end up doing about an antenna for the new VHF?
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Old 11-11-2018, 12:02 PM   #5
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For the antenna I used a small 36" Shakespeare stainless antenna that has an accompanying plastic ratcheting holder. You can barely see it on the left (port) side of the console. I tried everywhere to find a good place to mount it. That was the least obtrusive spot. It's not great, but it meets my needs.
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Old 11-11-2018, 01:14 PM   #6
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I really think a windlass, bimini and chartplotter is a necessity.
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Old 11-11-2018, 01:19 PM   #7
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If my wife and an umbrella are with me then I have the windlass and bimini covered.
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Old 11-11-2018, 01:23 PM   #8
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I really think a windlass, bimini and chartplotter is a necessity.
Likely makes more sense when the inflatable is a bit bigger.
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Old 11-11-2018, 02:12 PM   #9
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I really think a windlass, bimini and chartplotter is a necessity.
And thrusters, stabilizers, and a huge Rocna,
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Old 11-11-2018, 03:30 PM   #10
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....but it meets my needs.
This is the part I always forget when doing my fixes and additions/subtractions. I guess as I build a little confidence I will learn the lesson here - I'm the only one who I have to please (don't tell my wife that) and what works for others may not be the best solution for me. I have found that sometimes my solution is seen as crazy to others but for me seems perfect.
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Old 11-11-2018, 06:55 PM   #11
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I really think a windlass, bimini and chartplotter is a necessity.
No icemaker? Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude.
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Old 11-11-2018, 08:05 PM   #12
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A built-in trickle charger with plug-in port is nice to have.
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Old 11-13-2018, 05:26 PM   #13
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The trickle charger is a good idea. I did purchase a clip on battery charger for the inflatable. I don't want to be in the middle of nowhere (I am taking the boat from Fort Lauderdale to Panama) and have the battery on the inflatable go bad.
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Old 11-19-2018, 03:03 PM   #14
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I have always like a depth sounder in the dink. Nice to have when poking into coves with limited water visibility, dink leads the big boat in and can radio back the depth. But then I tend to go places where no man has tread.
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Old 11-19-2018, 03:17 PM   #15
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Sorry that I'm too lazy to go through your other thread, but what brand/model is the dinghy, where did you get the new tubes, and did you install the tubes or have it done?
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Old 11-19-2018, 03:37 PM   #16
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You made the right decision on the radio. Twenty five watts is a lot more effective than a 5 watt handheld should you ever need it for something serious.
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Old 11-19-2018, 06:45 PM   #17
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I'm with you on the upgrades. It's your dinghy, make it work for you. Enjoy your upgraded toy!
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Old 11-19-2018, 07:24 PM   #18
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Looks good! I have just completed a renovation of my long neglected Rendova 14' which spent the last 4 years under a tarp. Included in the renovation was a new eTec 50HP outboard as well as a built in trickle charger and the remote ICOM 440BB VHF since I did not have room for the transceiver on the pedestal. I smartened up the face panel with a sheet of colored perspex and found a better solution to the all round white light, which was previously the plug in staff kind which I hated due to water intrusion and is now hinged and folds up when required. I would attach a couple of pix but I seem to only be able to upload them upside down which is irritating.
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Old 11-19-2018, 07:34 PM   #19
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When y'all say "trickly charger", what exactly type of charger are you using? I need to do this! I just put a new battery in my new(to me) big dinghy and I can tell when it sits that it struggles a bit.
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:13 PM   #20
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When y'all say "trickly charger", what exactly type of charger are you using? I need to do this! I just put a new battery in my new(to me) big dinghy and I can tell when it sits that it struggles a bit.
On our last RIB we used something like this
https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/A...wtrackb1219-20
It was hard wired to the battery(s) in the rear compartment and had another 120 Vlt power outlet conveniently located on an outer surface so that we could easily plug it in.
There are many versions to suit your exact needs , all similar in size and design.
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