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London 2004 -Spring Projects

Installing Radar Display & New Instruments Dashboard

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Photos Counter clockwise from above

i) The new completed instrument panel on teak back plate,
ii) The original instruments,
iii) Laying out the new template,
iv) Instrument test fitting in the template,
v) Positioning template over existing holes in boat

I wanted to spruce things up a bit when I installed the radar display and new matching depth and speed instrument. I decided to use 1/4" rift sawn teak plywood for the backing.

I began by removing my old instruments and then making a paper template of the back surface of the cabin house. I use the paper templates that came with the new instruments to lay out the template on the teak rectangle I had cut from a larger sheet. Before I cut anything, I carried this up onto the boat to ensure I had enough rear clearance for the instruments and cables.

Then in the shop I cut the template out. After I ruined the first one when the hole saw jumped and skidded across the work -- I very carefully cut the second with my last piece of teak plywood. This time I got it. I applied several coats of Cetol and made a final test fit with the new instruments. Once I was happy with the relative positions I drilled the mounting holes in the wood template for the instruments. Then I took the template up to the boat.

I had planned the installion to remove as little additonal material from the aft cabin wall as possible. To align the template to the boat I used a plumb line since I knew the boat was sitting level on her stands. I held the template in place with masking tape while using a pencil to mark where new material was to be cut out, and again looked for any problems behind the instruments locations.

I removed the template and then used a jig saw along the pencil lines to cut out the excess material and a Dremel tool to finish the cut out shapes. I hung the template again and drilled the holes for mounting the instruments. In the area above the left round instrument I reinforced the cabin wall with thin solid plywood and epoxy. Then the panel and instruments were mounted and wired. I used silicone caulking behind the teak panel. Once everything was installed and dry, I used a hose for a wet test. There were no leaks.