Building a radar mast/post for a small boat?

by Dave
(Poulsbo, WA)

Hi, I want to mount radar on a 20 foot open cockpit runabout with windshield and soft top for fishing Puget Sound year around.

I'm wondering if you have any advice for building up to an 8 ft mast, mounted to the side of the cockpit, that could pivot to reduce trailering and storage height?

What do you think of using 5/8 fir or better marine plywood with a rectangular cross section of around 3x5 to 4x6"?

A mounting board would be at the top.

I've seen extremely little info on a rig like this.

All advice will be appreciated.


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Sep 11, 2015
Radar Mast
by: Dave

A transom mount could work but I wonder if it would be in the way when we're landing those monster salmon (well, in my mind anyway...).

I've thought about an arch over the soft top but that seems a lot more involved.

Maybe starting with a used sailboat mast, boom or spinnaker pole to cut up would be good for materials.

Thanks for the update.

Sep 10, 2015
radar post for small boat
by: cal

Hello Dave, as I was trying to make sence of your problem something came to mind

You may have seen them on a ski boat, it's like a foil, a wing.

Catamarans use them for just that radar rigging that way you would be-able to load your boat and not think of the radar being moved and a good way to cover the back deck, just a thought, Cal

Sep 08, 2015
Radar mast
by: Dave

Good explanation, Cal.

I have a mig welder although not real experienced with it yet.

I was thinking it'd have to be tig welded.

I forgot about a spool gun.

Good idea.

Sep 07, 2015
mast for radar for small boat fish plate
by: Cal

Dave a fish plate is what you mount a tow post to a stabilizer pole.

It would have four bolts to mount the plate to the side deck, the hull in the case of the tow post.

Then you weld four 90 degree angles to the plate to the post in the middle, this gives it strength, the same for your post it needs to be stable.

The nice thing is it cuts like butter a skill saw will do the trick if you have it in.

You can rent a welder with a spoil gun get a video from your local welding shop and you're a welder it's not hard and it's fun.

Sep 07, 2015
Radar mast
by: Dave

Thanks Cal, sounds like a better idea although I'm not sure what a fish plate is.

Sep 07, 2015
Mast for Small Boat
by: Cal

Lots of small boats have radar, it should be well above your head, don't want to cook your brain.

I would use aluminum you can mount a fish plate on the hull with a pipe that slips in and out with out a lot of work for storage.

This would give you a nice clean deck and your wiring is protected.

With out a picture of your boat I would talk to the dealer, they may have a unit in stock.

Hope that helps and yes you can do this with wood but a lot more work.


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