Upgrading a Tube TV to Flat Screen HD Smart TV on a Boat

flat screen tv boat

How we removed our old tube TV and installed a bigger flat screen HD Smart TV on our Sea Ray boat

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Sometimes you make upgrades on your boat that make such a big difference you wonder, why didn’t we do this years ago?! Removing our old tube TV in the salon of our boat and upgrading to a flat screen TV was one of those times.

Our 2002 Sea Ray 410 Sundancer has a lot of 20 year old original features. While we love many of the features of our boat, some of the outdated ones have overstayed their useful life on the boat. Replacing the tube TVs on our boat has been at the top of our list for many years now.

Here’s a quick overview along with our complete step-by-step video. Our Sea Ray boat is similar to other models in the 30 and 40 foot range so hopefully you find this helpful with your TV upgrade project!

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Replacing Tube TV with Smart TV

We have 3 TVs on our 41 foot Sea Ray – 1 in salon, 1 in forward stateroom and 1 in the aft/mid stateroom. The salon TV included a built-in DVD player and the other two include built-in VHS players. Yes, VHS if you can believe that!

tube tv boat
original 13″ tube TV on our boat

Replacing the TV in our boat salon was our first priority because we use it the most. The original tube TV was only 13″ big so it was very difficult to watch it when sitting in the far end of the sofa.

Upgrading to a smart TV was also important. While we have cable at our marina, the channels are limited and they are not HD. Many of  marinas we visit as a transient no longer have cable TV hookup, so we were limited to our DVD collection for old movies or shows we had burned to a DVD (we have watched the same ones over & over again!). Watching movies with the DVD player was limited because most of our newer movies are on Blu-ray or we watch them through streaming services like Netflix. A smart TV now enables us to watch Netflix or any other streaming services on the boat.

We chose an Insignia 24″ HD Smart TV. It was the perfect fit for the space, and will be the same TV we plan to use when we replace the other TVs in the staterooms. This TV is also a Fire edition, so it works well with Amazon and Alexa voice commands.

Removing the Old Tube TV on our Sea Ray

Once we determined the steps for removing our old TV, it was relatively easy. In our salon, the TV was mounted above the refrigerator which required removing the trim piece above the fridge, unscrewing the mounting board and sliding the TV out. Unplugging the old TV was tricky so we ended up cutting the cord since we were no longer planning to use the TV. When we were done we took it to a recycling location for disposal.

The old tube TVs in our staterooms will each be different for removal. We are told that Sea Ray tends to hide access behind panels for them in closets or nearby cabinets. We’ll do another post and video for the 2 stateroom TV upgrades soon.

Installing the Flat Screen TV on the Boat

Once the TV was removed it revealed a LOT of space above the refrigerator, which will be great extra storage storage!

To install a mounting bracket we had to install a piece of wood on the side to use as a mounting board. We cut up pieces from the original board the old TV was mounted on. After screwing in a side board we then held the TV up with the mounting bracket attached to see where to attach the bracket to the side board. We choose a simple expandable TV mounting bracket that could be mounted on the side and expand out so we can access the space behind the TV.

How-To Video – Removal of Tube TV and Install of Smart TV

Here’s a video of how we did the project showing the removal of the old TV, installing the bracket and final result of the flat screen TV installation.

We actually have 3 TVs on our boat – mid stateroom, salon and forward stateroom – and each one was a little different to remove! Here’s a quick recap of how to remove all three on our Sea Ray boat:

Products we used:

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Diane Seltzer

View posts by Diane Seltzer
Diane is the founder of MyBoatLife.com as well as the boating lifestyle site for kids BoaterKids.com. Active in the boating industry, Diane has also led the marketing for multiple recreational boating businesses and startups.
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