How To Properly Install Your Mount On A Cored Deck
When installing hardware on a cored deck there are 2 primary problems: 1. The opportunity for water infusion into the core. 2. Potential for crushing the core when fasteners are torqued. I’ve used a method of installing hardware for many years that addresses both of these concerns and ensures that there are no future issues with water intrusion.
I will use a BattleWagon marine radar mount as an example of how this method works. The first step is to protect the area by applying masking tape to the entire area. You then want to lay out the hole locations and to locate the absolute center of each hole. BattleWagon provides a template for this. You can also download the template from the Installation Instructions page on our web site: Mounting Template. Remember to plan for the center hole (for wiring) to be just large enough for the harness and fittings for your electronics. Drill a small pilot hole for each, which will ensure that the larger bits don’t wander and create a hole off center. I use a 3/32” bit for the pilot. Once the pilot is done, select a bit that is ¼” larger than required for the hardware. In this scenario the holes required for a BattleWagon base plate are 7/16”, so adding ¼” gives us a total of 11/16”. Use an 11/16” bit and drill each hole using the pilot hole you already drilled.
Now you must access the bottom side of the deck and apply some very strong duct tape across the hole. Make sure it adheres very well as it must support epoxy being poured into the hole and prevent it from leaking. I would again suggest masking tape on the underside of the deck to protect it from any leaking epoxy. Mix up some epoxy (I use West Systems) in the proper ratio and enough to fill each hole. I generally don’t thicken the epoxy, but it may be beneficial in order to prevent it from seeping through/under the duct tape. Pour enough in each hole to fill it to the top of the deck skin. Pay attention as it cures as some may be absorbed by the core and more may need to be added to keep the hole filled to the top. Wipe up any spills and wait until the epoxy cures according to the manufacturer’s directions. At this point you will appreciate having applied masking tape to the deck!
Once cured you can remove the duct tape and masking tape. Once again, using the template lay out all holes. Follow the procedure above for drilling pilot holes. Now we are going to use the proper size drill bit for our radar mount (7/16”) to drill the final holes through the epoxy. Once this is done, you are ready to install your BattleWagon marine radar mount according to the instructions. Because the epoxy completely surrounds the hardware and wiring, there is no chance for water to intrude into your core and the epoxy will also protect the core from crushing; so go ahead and torque that hardware until you are comfortable it is sufficient! We do recommend the use of a backing plate to prevent potential cracking of the gel coat around your radar mount due to flexing. Backing plates along with some beautiful hand polished high crown acorn nuts and hardware (all American made) are available on the BattleWagon accessories page: Installation Kits, Hardware & Backing Plates For Marine Radar Mounts.
Once again, I thank you for visiting BattleWagon and hope that we’ve provided some beneficial information to make your installation flawless! If you ever have a question about a BattleWagon radar mount or satellite mount please do not hesitate to call or email us. As always, we appreciate you and God Bless America!