Saturday, May 12, 2012

TV Upgrade

This was a tough one. My boat, as a 2002, was never designed with flat screen TVs in mind. The original TV was a Cathode Ray Tube design - you know, the old tube style TVs that are as deep as they are wide. It was mounted in a large opening on the port side, adjacent to the galley. The TV sat atop a fairly rugged slide and pivot assembly, so the TV could be pulled out, then rotated for viewing.

I have seen many upgrades where the owners remove the original TV, and mount a modern flat screen on this same bracket. The new TV covers the opening, but the space behind the TV is wasted, and I feel the installation does not have an "original" look. So, of course, I decided on a much more difficult installation (seems to be a habit).

There is a rather large bulkhead in the 1999 - 2002 340s, opposite the helm station, that would be ideal for mounting a large flat screen TV. In fact, on the later model 340s (2003 - 2008), this is precisely what the factory does. The problem is, the later 340s have a vertical bulkhead here, while mine is sloped considerably. If I mount a TV here, the viewing angle would be horrible.

I had thought to place an actuator behind the TV, such that when the TV was turned on, it would drop to a vertical viewing angle. Then, when turned off, it would retract. And, I may still do that. But I was running out of time this year, and my wife and I want to enjoy the boat, so I built the first part of the system - a pivot mechanism - and I will operate it manually for the time being.

The bracket is a piece of 1/4" x 5" aluminum, milled and bent to fit the bulkhead shape. The first couple pics show it being machined in the mill:

The bend allows the bracket to fit tightly up against the bulkhead, while the hinge allows for the TV to swing down into viewing position. The TV mounting pattern is a standard 100mm x 100mm, so the bracket will work with a variety of TVs on the market. The cutout you see in the bracket allows for a swinging arm to pivot down, and hold the TV in the viewing position. It pivots back into the bracket, when the TV is "up". The finished machined parts can be seen below, before and after painting, and after assembly:

I mounted the bracket to the bulkhead with button head fasteners and nuts, then mounted the TV with the factory supplied machine screws. In the "up" position, it looks like this:

Here is a close up of the latch, which holds the TV to the bulkhead, when the TV is not in use:

Finally, for viewing, the arm swings down, and holds the TV precisely vertical, like this:

When the TV is up, full access to the hanging locked is retained. Electrically, everything had to be re-routed. The coaxial cables from the antenna ans shore connections were both rerouted to the starboard side, along with a new power wires and video/sound cables. This TV is a 12 volt, 26 inch model from Jensen, with LED backlighting and HD resolution. It also has audio out capability, so all sound is routed through the boats sound system - I turned the TV speakers off. The original Clarion head unit and CD changer were removed, and I replaced them with an MB Quart WM1-DVD head unit and Ipod docking station. Now, I can play CDs and DVDs through the head unit, and also plug in an ipod, and use it as a music server. The head unit has an optional wired remote, and this was mounted at the helm station, so I have complete system control from there. I'll do another post soon, and detail more of the audio/visual system.


  1. Love what you did! I have a 2000 340 and thought of doing this same thing, but did not like the angle...great solution. I, like you, deleted the old TV, but utilized that space as a liquor cabinet. I mounted a door over the existing space and then mounted a Flat screen 19" TV/DVD on the door. It was easy as all the wiring components are right there. We swing the door open at night to watch from bed and closed to watch from the couch. I would still like to do what you have done as well.

    Do you sell any of the components you have designed and built on this blog?

    1. Yes, I would sell most of these items, if another boat owner needed them. I can be contacted on Club Sea Ray as "MasterFab", or at