Attaching GPS to Deck???

I am considering the purchase of a GPS. I had one of those little watch types before that was very easy to attach to my deck bungees since it had a velcro band.

What is the best way to carry a more conventional GPS unit assuming it is waterproof?

I would want to be able to have it on the deck where I can see it, but would not want to have to worry about it getting washed off by a wave and sinking

I have not yet decided which unit to get. Are there good cases or other means to attach to a boat deck? I know they make things to attach to bike handlebars etc, but not sure what’s out there for us paddlers.



JackL’s Idea
I made my own holder using JackL’s idea. Works great. I can see it and reach the buttons and it stays in place.

Here ya go


Piece of high density foam cut to the shape you want.

  • a piece of bungee cord sized for your yak with a hook on each end, ( you can get the hooks and cord at West marine)
  • glue a piece of velcro on the surface of the foam
  • Glue the matching piece on the back of a waterproof pouch.
  • After I drilled the hole for the bungee, I glued a piece of PVC in it so the bungee wouldn’t wear through it, but I don’t think you need it.

    A few years back after I posted the first pictures, a very similar set up showed up on the market. (why didn’t I pattern it ?)

    If any one lives in this neck of the woods, I’ll gladly make you one for zip, but there is no way I am going to spend bucks on postage.



Morning Rex
Are you still off the java?

It is so cold up here this morning I saw a chicken shacking up with a capon!

We had a tad of the white stuff last night.

How many scratches does the bow of your yak have from that paddle?

My QCC looks like it has been through the war up front on the deck.



When on the deck?
I’m only asking because that may set the parameters of how you solve the problem. If you want it on deck to be able to constantly check speed, you are really unlikely to also need it on deck if you are messing around surf closer to shore. At that point it could just go into your day hatch (they continue to record fine in there). So the mount would only have to be secure enough to handle whatever is your regular wave action. For speed alone, I’ve known a number of people who are very happy with the wrist mounted units.

But if you are using it for navigation and anticipate needing to stop and check it in the middle of major sh$%, you may want to have it on deck the whole time rather than stop and open the day hatch.

You could also just put it into an electronics drybag and clip it to your rigging, but I suspect that is way too low tech a solution for you. :wink:

I too stoled Jack’s Idea…
It works great and goes from boat to boat.

About those plastic hooks !
I have used them to make a variety of different length bungees for additional tie downs on the kayak deck.

I never leave the safety closing latch on them.

They are too stiff to open and close.

I usually cut them off, just leaving about a 1/4" stub, and then sand that a little bit since then tend to be sharp after cutting them.



Cell phone dry bag
I use a cell phone bag with a roll closure. It clips to a bungie, and I slip the body of the bag under another bungie. It’s not the easiest to read, but not bad. The buttons work so-so through the bag (expect for the on/off button - have to open the bag to work that one).

I’m using this with a Garmin Legend. The unit is waterproof, but I don’t like to have it constantly wet, especially in salt. I’ll post a pic later in the day.


“Assuming” a GPS is waterproof
I’m in agreement with Alan.

If you have no intention of doing any prolonged periods of side sculling or rolling there is a good possibility that a so named “waterproof” GPS by itself will be fine. However as a suggestion to protect your “waterproof” GPS investment, a small clear waterproof dry bag gives added waterproof protection and still allows you to access the buttons.

I speak from a negative waterproof GPS experience.

suction cup mount
Most GPS mfrs make a suction cup mount for car windshields. It would work nicely on a yak. Just be sure to attach the laynard to something too in case the mount fails.

That’s what I just started using with my Garmin. Haven’t tried it many times, but so far it’s held up, and I always tether it. But I’m not constantly pushing buttons on it.

Regarding waterproofness, it’s important to keep an eye on the gaskets for the battery compartment. Mine has held up to repeated dunkings for over three years.

I have fried two in the past
Two Garmin etrex’s.

With prolonged exposure in the hot Florida sun, the glue that the case is put together with evidently dries out and all it took was one quick dip and I had water under the window.

The first one was six months old and covered under warrantee. I didn’t realize when they sent me the new one that the warrantee period continues from where it left off, and about six months later I fried the second one.

Since then I have been keeping mine in a waterproof pouch.

There are several good waterproof pouches that are easy to read through and are good and pliab le to operate the buttons.



I wear my Etrex Vista HCX around
my neck and tuck it into my vest. When I need to read it I just pull it out, look, and tuck it back in. I have been over with it a few times and have had no problem. I don’t like the idea of having it on my deck, I have gone to extra measures to keep my deck completely clear. The Vista HCX is very small yet loaded with options, check it out and see what you can package on your person. I think it is less likely to get lost if it is on you. Some may object to having a line around the neck, but there are several ways around the possible problems. Good luck!

I really like Jackl’s
method, but I built one out of wood before I saw his.

Great idea Jack!
Must have missed it when you first posted it. Think I’ll make one up tonight. Got a nice piece of foam at home and plenty of bungies.


Made one
I made one based on JackL’s design for the kayak. Is there a design for the canoe?

Same here
I use an aquapac cell phone case with my eTrex Vista, and tether it to my sprayskirt, which has a pouch and bungies sewn to it. This way, I can see the display as I’m paddling, and the case makes it float if I drop it and the tether breaks. The unit is 5+ years old, has seen many a paddling, XC/BC skiing, hiking, and cycling trip, and it still works.

They may be “waterproof”, but they still fry after just so much immersion, so I’m told. The bag is cheap insurance in my view.

Good Afternoon, Jack
I’m not off the java. Just had to switch to half caff. I like to drink a LOT of coffee so the high test gets me jumping out of my skin!

Yeah that paddle did some scratching for sure. I have since switched to the Greenland paddle and it doesn’t scratch the deck at all.

Thanks again for sharing your GPS idea. It works great. My MAP76 has proven to be absolutely waterPROOF.

I have a small piece of the gray foam glued to a thwart that is right in front of my seat.

I have a piece of velcro glued to that, and then I use the exact same bag as you saw in the picture above with the matching velcro.

If I can find a picture I’ll post it.

There are many different canoe variations, and some are easier to rig than others.

When I am in the comp cruiser with “the bride”, I just lay the GPS on the floor in front of me.

Be innovative. It’s fun!



16P nails will work …

Winter’s coming