Albin 27 Helm
I'm looking ahead at how to organize my helm since I have free reign for new electronics, engine panel, etc. Do I mount electronics high (from the ceiling) or low from the helm counter top? I like the idea of an uncluttered counter top. I've seen too many Albin 27 helms that are cluttered like Grandma's basement. I mean, do you really need every piece of electronics spanning four generations stuffed into your helm station? This is not the Millennium Falcon or Battlestar Galactica.
The boat was delivered to me with a large binnacle compass, vhf, stereo, and a Garmin gps unit I may reuse. After pulling everything out and removing all the helm wiring, I plugged all my extra holes in the dash. I will mount the new engine panel, running light switches, etc on the dash in the old spot.
I'm coming up with a list of switches that need to be accessible from the helm, as well as the gauges needed on the engine panel or in the vicinity.
A27 Overhead Helm Pod
Since the helm station has only so much room, it makes sense to get whatever items you can out if the way. One way to do this is by using an overhead navigational pod. If there’s one thing I hate it’s a crowded helm, chock full of expired electronics and every piece of aged electronic detritus a previous owner could buy a local garage sale. An overhead navigational pod (ONP) is a fancy way of saying “overhead-instrument-box”. Basically it’s a box mounted to the pilot house ceiling which contains electronic instruments you don’t want cluttering up your helm.
A helm should be simple. The few electronics used, should be laid out in a clean and intuitive way. This means important electronics, like a chart plotter or GPS should be front and center. A VHF should be up and out if the way. Switches should be easy to find and grouped logically. Overhead I plan to install a marine stereo, a VHF radio, switches for the boat horn and the windshield wipers. I also want a small open cubby hole for storage of binoculars or or some other tool.