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Thread: Tis' the season for mods! Redoing the dash in my boat...

  1. #1

    Default Tis' the season for mods! Redoing the dash in my boat...

    Thought I'd spend some time working on the old Weldcraft since I won't be taking it out til Spring. The old dash was okay, but not enough switches for the added equipment I installed, and I really hate it when there's holes drilled all over the place to add extra switches!!!
    Now that I've added headlights for running in the dark, as well as a VHF marine radio, stereo and the Humminbird, I need to add some fuses and switches! This is the old dash, still in great condition, just not useful any more:

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    Laid out my design and came up with this:


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    Ordered a couple of new gauges, red halo-style pushbutton switches, 12 circuit fuseblock and just cut the new panel from 0.080" aluminum plate, just waiting for the rest of the switches to come in so I can start wiring it all in! Going with a red-colored theme since the boat's red:

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    Already printed the dash panel and used a matte lamination for the panel's decal, waiting for my buddy to come over so I can use his holesaw kit. Of course, I have the size larger and smaller than what I need for the gauges and switches!!!
    More pics to come as I finish this project up!!!
    Chris

  2. #2
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    Looks great Chris. I'm thinking about adding a couple more USB's to my dash.
    2006 Dodge Ram 3500 Dually, 21' North River Seahawk

  3. #3

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    Can never have too many of them nowadays! I have a dual usb outlet on the left side with a voltmeter between the sockets, it works well to keep phone and the IPilot link remote charged up.

    Got a wild hair up my arse and just decided to finish the layout of the dashboard! Just finished a few minutes ago, but had to take some photos of the end product!

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    Vinyl was just a bit off from my switch holes, but I don't think anyone will ever notice it! Guess tomorrow I'll start wiring up the panel, the other 7 switches should be in by then. The two switches I have now are momentary switches and will not have the red halo lights hooked up (no sense, really), but the rest will be lit when devices are turned on. Backlight for the gauges will be turned on with the nav light switch, volt meter will be on with the accessory switch and the fuel will be powered up with the ignition key.

    And, to make it clean and easy to work on, I'm using Deutsch connectors between the panel and the boat's dash. That will make it easy to access behind the dash if necessary, just pull the 4 allen bolts and disconnect the connectors.

  4. #4
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    I have been researching the idea of a new dash panel also. I had a new panel specifically cut this past summer from 1/8" 50/52 aluminum for it. The current panel is small so I had the new panel cut to expand a larger area of the dash. I'm short of switches also, I have a plug in adapter for the existing power point to have a USB connection which I need to install. New gauges are in the plan along with an expanded switch panel. Other projects unfortunately took priority with a major motor repair on the boat. The new dash at the moment is on the back burner simmering staying warm. This project may take a little longer to get to with a new project being scoped in now-PRIORTIES.
    2000 F250 7.3L Diesel
    2007 Columbia 2018 Fisherman XL Yamaha F150 Yamaha 9.9 kicker 4 Walker Electric Downriggers Raymarine Element HV 9 Uniden Solara VHF

  5. #5

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    Hey, don't feel too bad, I'm looking at a new engine for the boat next month, the old '83 Merc 150 jet is down on compression (~90psi on all cylinders) and the jet pump's seal is now leaking quite a bit.

    I ended up using some 10A switches from Amazon, although what I really wanted was laser-etched switches so I wouldn't have to print the text, but I couldn't swing 30 bucks a switch just for the laser etching! Its also why I went with the Helix 7 rather than a 10, trying to save a bit on one side to pay for the other side.

    Guess I'll be working a bit more this year to pay for the engine, but at least I won't have to listen to that noisy jet pump any more and that will make the family much happier, as well as having quite a bit more power than the old engine has.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    West Haven, UTAH
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    Adding side curtains, Goes to Brians Canvas tomorrow,01/06/21, New step for the front on trailer, is in getting powder coated as I type so I will post pics of both when I have them finished. possibly a few more things depending on how things measure up.
    Team:Rocky Mountain Tackle, Radical Glow, Fresh water basics, Velocity fishing.

  7. #7
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    Thats a good add on Mark for our climate. I even have the screen curtains which works good but only draw back I have with them is the view of side downriggers with rods not very good on one side.
    2000 F250 7.3L Diesel
    2007 Columbia 2018 Fisherman XL Yamaha F150 Yamaha 9.9 kicker 4 Walker Electric Downriggers Raymarine Element HV 9 Uniden Solara VHF

  8. #8
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    Here is a couple of pics of the new side curtainsClick image for larger version. 

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    Team:Rocky Mountain Tackle, Radical Glow, Fresh water basics, Velocity fishing.

  9. #9
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    Looks like you will be warm and cozy!
    2006 Dodge Ram 3500 Dually, 21' North River Seahawk

  10. #10
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    Looking good Mark
    2000 F250 7.3L Diesel
    2007 Columbia 2018 Fisherman XL Yamaha F150 Yamaha 9.9 kicker 4 Walker Electric Downriggers Raymarine Element HV 9 Uniden Solara VHF

  11. #11

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    Pretty nice! If you don't mind me asking, what was the cost of that?

    Chris

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Angler View Post
    Pretty nice! If you don't mind me asking, what was the cost of that?

    Chris
    Each job is a little different but figure between $200 - $250 per side for the clear plastic. The shade curtains that I had made were approx. 1/2 that much.
    2006 Dodge Ram 3500 Dually, 21' North River Seahawk

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Angler View Post
    Pretty nice! If you don't mind me asking, what was the cost of that?

    Chris
    Side curtains were 240.00 a side.
    Team:Rocky Mountain Tackle, Radical Glow, Fresh water basics, Velocity fishing.

  14. #14

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    That's pretty good for pricing! That didn't include the aluminum frame though, right? Like BDuck, we have problems seeing the poles with the downriggers, so I'm wanting to get a taller cabin. That'll also make it easier to stand inside rather than crouching all the time!

    Waiting for another Deutsch connector to arrive, but threw the dash into the boat to see how it fits:
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    I like it! Still looks similar to the old dash, I don't think anyone would be able to tell that wasn't a factory dash, aside from the fact that the switches and gauges aren't from '93! They didn't mount the original dash perfectly square in the hole, so using the existing holes, its slightly crooked, but I don't want to oval the holes out just to make it perfect. I threw some nutserts into the original holes and used some stainless M3 allen bolts with countersunk washers, its clean and has a perfect look to it!

    Off to install the fuse block under the dash and at least get the wires run so I can just crimp pins and snap the connectors together next week!

    Chris

  15. #15
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    Last thing to mount on the new boat was my old SuperDave model planer board masts. At the moment, I canít think of anything else to add.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    2006 Dodge Ram 3500 Dually, 21' North River Seahawk

  16. #16

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    Looks good Dave . Now we just need some good soft water.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    North Ogder
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    I finally got around to taking picture of my dash after mounting my new graf, the left is a Onix 8 with a mapping card and the right is a Helix 9 for the sonar.

    The sad part is I can't read the units and I definitely can't see what's coming at me.
    Last edited by nofish; 01-11-2021 at 03:44 PM.

  18. #18

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    I have the same problem, My wife is too short to see over the finders. I am trying to build a stacker bracket like BDUCK built to stack them one on top of the other.

  19. #19

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    Finally finished up the boat! Well, sorta. Anyways, here's how she looks now:

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    Got the dash all finished a couple weeks ago, wiring went well, no issues, all the switches worked and the gauges are functional, so that was good! Ended up biting the bullet on the new engine and got it installed last week, just didn't want to deal with the jet any longer. It was too noisy for the family to really enjoy a day on the water and as much as I like the smell of 2 stroke burnin' in the morning sunshine, its tiring to keep mixing it at the pump or clearing the salad from the grate. I can't imagine taking an expensive boat and thrashing it over rocks and other debris, that's just not me, so having the jet is not really necessary for my kind of fishin!!!

    Took it out yesterday for the first time and she runs like a champ! No more noise, she's got plenty of power from what little I used during break-in, and I'm ecstatic about takin' her out for some real fishing trips soon! Of course, the boat is never fully-done, the cable steering is now a pain to steer, so I guess next month I'll be upgrading the steering to hydraulic.

    It never ends, does it???

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