I was out sailing today in fairly strong winds when I heard a squeaking sound coming from the base of the tripod. I looked over and was shocked to see that the base had moved out from the boat, exposing a significant part of the threads on the bolts that hold everything together
The design of this system allows the bolts to come quite loose without any visual clues, because the bolts are hidden behind a cover plate/
I didn't get a picture of things when they weren't right, but PLEASE CHECK THESE BOLTS ON YOUR BRAVO
It's a simple 2 minute fix.
Unscrew the screw on the cover plate, and tighten the two bolts with allen keys.
My boat is a 2008 that I bought used. I should have known to check these bolts, but the tripod always seemed very secure, I just never got around to it. I discovered today that the tripod can still appear secure while the screws can back out significantly. There are no visual clues that the screws are loose because they are hidden by the cover plate. It wasn't until I was in strong winds that the flex of the entire boat caused me to see the threads of these screws between the boat and the tripod.
It was pretty scary because I was out on cold water, had to get in, and had no idea how much of the bolt was left secured in the boat. I also didn't have the allen key that I would have needed to tighten them, or the screwdriver that I would have needed to get the cover plate off. Lessons learned.
So if you have a Bravo, take a minute to check these hidden bolts. Don't be like me!