There are plenty of expensive and laborious ways to install a TV in your boat. From integrated wall displays to electronic popup out of cabinet rigs. But what if you wanted to save some money for other things on your never ending boat project list, and save some time with an easy to setup system that is secure and versatile, using products and parts you can get today?
To be honest we've gotten a lot of questions about our TV setup since the short installation clips in a couple of our videos. So much so, that we thought a separate blog post about the products used and an update on how its holding up are warranted. Here are the clips in question;
We had to be selective on the TV mount. The base could be no wider than 4 inches and the mounting screws or bolts needed to be at the centre of the mount not on the edges. This is because we wanted to mount the TV directly on the wooden column on the port side of the boat where there is a channel for wires to route from the flybridge to the salon or engine room. This would allow us to take the cover off the channel and backplate the mount with a piece of teak or mahogany and through bolt it. This would give it some extra strength in rough seas, with no risk of damaging the wooden cover. The TV mount we ended up going with is the Kanto M250 Motion. This one is rated to take up to a 55 inch TV. So with the sub 40 inch TV we have we thought this would provide the strength needed in the swing arm. Our advice, for a boat, is to buy a mount that is oversized for the TV you are trying to mount.
We tried to find a locking TV mount. These are usually considered RV mounts. The problem we found with swing out RV mounts is that they are rated for smaller TVs, and the bases that mount to the wall are usually bigger. Also, on some of them the pin that locks the swing arm in place doesn’t seem robust enough for our liking. If your mounting location is not as restrictive as ours, you may be able to find an adequate locking TV mount.
So how did we lock our TV that didn’t come with its own lock? Well it was mentioned to us once that marine door latches could work well for securing a TV. The latches we went with were the SeaLux Marine Stainless Steel Stop-N-Catch. These marine door latches keep doors from swinging due to pitch and roll of the boat. We chose two of these, one above the TV mount, and one below the mount. The movable trigger latch gets secured to the wall.
The risk here and the weakest point in the installation is that you have to screw the small L brackets into the back of the TV somewhere with shallow screws. As TV’s get thinner, it may get harder and harder to find a place to screw into. We initially screwed them in thinking they would eventually start pulling out. Then we would take the back off the TV and put small bolts in with washers and nuts to hold it secure. Surprisingly however, the screws have never pulled out of the back of the TV.
This setup has served us well now for almost 3 years. We have been in some very rough conditions at times, and we even forgot to lock it a few times in moderate seas on the Chesapeake. The mount nor the latches show any signs of fatigue or wear. It is serving us well and can see it continuing to work for years to come.
We hope this info may help you in your planning and purchasing a system to mount a TV in your boat. Just remember, the boat isn’t somewhere you should be going to watch TV very often. Watching sunsets are much nicer.