Charts & Equipment

My iPad is one of the most useful devices on the boat. The chart plotting apps are so useful, in fact, that I use it as a second plotter almost all the time. One of the challenges of this is keeping the iPad secure, especially aboard a small boat. My solution? The RAM (Round-a-Mount) Mount.

RAM Mounts has been in business for 18 years. They’re headquartered in Seattle, and manufacturer many of their products in Seattle as well.

One of the great features of RAM Mounts is their modular nature. The basis for RAM Mounts are elastomeric rubber balls. One is on the surface the device is mounted to and another is on the cradle for the device itself. An “arm,” or series of “arms,” then attach the balls on each end. By loosening a large thumbscrew users can adjust the angle of the device almost universally. The modular nature of the system means that you’ll likely be able to find a mount for any situation you have. Since the balls are made from rubber, they provide some shock mitigation as well.

RAM iPad Mount

RAM Mounts iPad mount installed on Retriever.

RAM iPad Mount

This elastomeric rubber ball is the connection point and allows for nearly universal adjustments.

I use a bolt-on “surface mount” to hold my iPad on the electronics shelf over the helm. The three-inch arm allows me to easily move the iPad in almost any direction, helping to eliminate glare on the display. And when I tighten the thumbscrew, the iPad stays put in even the worst conditions.

When I want to watch a movie in the berth, I use a “suction mount” to attach the iPad to any piece of smooth, gel coated fiberglass or an overhead hatch. The suction mount, I might add, is quite powerful; much more robust than your average suction cup. It’s held tight in some nasty conditions.

I’ve used my RAM Mount for a round trip from Anacortes to Glacier Bay, and now most of the way around Vancouver Island, along with many shorter trips. So far, it has held up perfectly and has always kept my iPad secure. RAM makes systems for a variety of marine electronics. If you need a flexible mounting solution, check them out.

–Sam Landsman

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