As they say…”The best laid plans of mice and men oft-times go astray.” In this post we cover things that we did for first launch that turned out to be mistakes, what went wrong, and how we fixed them. We came up with the acronym “SLAGIATT” to describe what happened: “Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time”.

We’ve had more than a few SLAGIATT moments in the past, and will probably have more in the future. The key takeaways from any SLAGIATT moment are:

  • Make sure you learn from your mistakes
  • Fix the mistakes as professionally as possible
  • Share what you’ve learned with others
  • Learn how NOT do them again!

All things considered, we didn’t have that many SLAGIATT issues. Read on, and try not to laugh…

In Part II we discuss things that were OK, but needed improvement, and in Part III, we discuss some of the things we added later.

Standard Horizon LE radio

VHF radio, front panel mount


We initially placed the radio just below the steering wheel because there was a good flat area for the flush mount.


We hadn’t counted on the low power output of the built-in radio speakers.

In this position, it was virtually impossible to hear the radio clearly, even on full volume, especially if we were standing up behind the wheel.

Standard Horizon LE external side mount


We relocated the radio (which is JIS-7 rated) externally to the side of the console. We covered the hole in the dashboard with a binocular holder tray.

We got this idea from Mike Lewis, owner of Western Eagle Boats, who has a similar mount on his personal WE18 skiff.

On our first attempt at mounting the radio this way, we ran the wiring through a cable clam in the side of the console. The idea was to protect the connectors on the power and NMEA cables  by placing them inside the console.

This turned out to be too tight a fit (the radio-side cables were too short), so we simply ran the cables under the bottom edge of the console. A drip loop protects the console from water running down the cable.

VHF Radio Antenna

Shakespeare Classic 5241-R VHF Antenna

Shakespeare Classic 5241-R VHF Antenna


We do a lot of fly fishing, so we originally got a Shakespeare Classic 3′ whip antenna and put it on a wrachet mount on the console rail.

The idea was to swing the antenna straight up to communicate, or straight down to provide clearance for casting. We had some concerns about range, but hoped that the extra 4′ of height from mounting it on the console rail would improve transmission performance.


This turned out to be a big mistake. Transmit range was very short, between 5 – 10 miles. This was barely enough to communicate with other boats within visual range.

Shakespeare Galaxy 5225XT 8' antenna

Shakespeare Galaxy 5225XT 8′ antenna


We replaced the short antenna with a fiberglass 8′ 6dB antenna (Shakespeare Galaxy 5225XT). Range is now great.