Navslide, a great idea…if


An MFD ought to be mounted where you can see it well, and reach it easily, and on many boats that may mean a flexible mount that can move with you, or with the sun.  Like that new Navslide rig above, which looks like it will give great access to either the helmsman, or a navigator seated forward of him, regardless of which side of the cockpit they’re most comfortable in. It’s a slick idea, and wait til you see the hardware quality…

Navslide consists of both a heavy duty horizontal grab rail and a sliding car with a swivel arm, and it looks to be very ruggedly constructed (see below).  My main reservation is that the back of the MFD and a bundle of cables are exposed.  Most MFDs are supposed to be waterproof all around, but I’d be tempted to put a protective pod (like Scanstrut’s, and some new ones I’ll write about shortly) on the Navslide. That would not only shield the back of the MFD in gnarly conditions, and look better, but also feed the cables downward where I could maybe velcro tie them out of the way whenever I moved the MFD.  You don’t want someone to grab the cables instead of the rail when the boat lurches.
   I’m also concerned that Navslide may be more concept than real product right now.  The manufacturer seems to be start up in Norway, and there are no distributors or prices listed yet.  On the other hand, the Navslide web site is well done, and if you dig around, you’ll learn that the inventor and proprietor, Tom Brat�s, was already tenacious enough to restore a rather amazing 125 ton, 1905 steel fishing ketch.  Maybe some one in Panbo land would like to help Tom distribute Navslides to boaters who might really appreciate them?


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Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

9 Responses

  1. Pau L says:

    It looks like you could also use this for compass compensation.
    Paul L

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    From Tom Brat�s:
    At Mets I spoke to Scanstrut, Navpod amongst others. I also had visits from most of the steering pedestal manufacturers, who all showed a great interest in Navslide.
    I have now contacts with several companies who are giving quotes on manufacturing the device, so hopefully I will have a price for the costumers. I will also sign on interested distributors on both side of the Atlantic hopefully by early spring.
    The pod manufacturers are very keen to incorporate their pods on the Navslide and I think that could be a good solution. I have also fronted my opinion to the manufacturers of marine electronics that, to get a head start on the sail boat market, they should work on a better solution to the cabling problem.
    If the MFD had the plug in area made in such a way that a cover could be attached, other manufacturers could make covers with x-overs to flexible tubing. The plugs and cables would be protected from the environment without having to mount large pods. Research I did on sailors in Norway proved that a large amount used the yoke supplied with the MFD on outside installations. I have a few pictures on the web site showing such installations.
    Thank you for the article on your great site!
    Kind regards

  3. Ted McKibben says:

    The picture showing the mount on a center console
    boat looks like it could generate a fair amount of
    work for the plastic surgeons if you hit a rough spot. I’d hate to do a face plant on it! It’s rugged enough that it wouldn’t move…..

  4. Sandy Daugherty says:

    This could solve a very expensive problem on catamarans with dual helms that have large biminii.

  5. AaronH says:

    Cabling Cabling Cabling… Wouldn’t it be nice to have an MFD run on Power Over Ethernet to a breakout box, so only one cable was necessary to hook up?
    Very creative, I’ve done a few MFD installs using Edson Arms or RAM mounts and the owners love the flexibility, this is slick.

  6. Dan Corcoran (b393capt) says:

    Even better, those tack tick displays that have no wires at all.

  7. Pim says:

    Just curious, how heavy is this?

  8. Brataas says:

    The weight is around 6 lbs. The tubing loop is same material as the grab rail. Brackets and wagon are solid stainless steel.
    There is however a version on the drawing board in carbon fiber. The sliding wagon here would be high precision roller bearings on machined track. That consept would target performance sailing boats with low steering pedestals, large wheels and no grab rail.
    It came to my attention that the person In charge of tactic on one of the high ranking regatta boats in Norway hand carried his MFD from one top side to the other. He had used heat shrink tubing on the cables that was eight feet long.

  9. Terry says:

    You mean to say that mounting an E80 on the port side, aft at foot level isn’t a good idea?
    Seriously – I saw that this year. From the factory.
    Though this solution would not work for a bigger, meatier display like that, this looks to be an option for smaller display units.

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