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Cetacea Page 21

These photographs first appeared October 15, 2000.

This week: a look at center consoles. Here is a variety of non-Whaler adaptations of center consoles. First, a unique design from Gus Lynch <> who built his own.

Gus Lynch's Whaler 13 Center Console

Gus writes:

"The boat is a 1978 13 ft. Boston Whaler "Center Console" with a 1991 40 HP Yamaha with tilt and trim and two fish finders. I purchased her in April 2000. I previously owned a 12-foot Inflatable, so the upgrade to a Whaler was intimidating for a first time "real" boat owner. I trailer the boat to launch ramps along the Southern California coast and fish the local waters.

"The boat had a swing back cooler-seat screwed onto the deck behind the existing center console. A 6-gallon gas tank was part of the cooler-seat and the battery box was starboard, all near the stern. The steering cable passed under the cooler-seat as did the control cables. The hull was in excellent condition and the deck was in good condition. The general nicks and cracks on the deck did not deter me from buying my first Whaler.


[Photo: 1978 Whaler 13 with home made center console]
1978 Boston Whaler 13 "Center Console"
A mahogany center console has been added to this Whaler 13-foot hull, along with a rear seat and storage locker than contains the fuel tank and battery.

PhotoCredit: Gus Lynch

"With no boat modification experience I knew I had quite a task ahead based on the things I wanted to change. I wanted to clear up the stern of the boat by hiding the gas tank and battery. I also wanted to be able to walk around the deck which would require the removal of the cooler-seat. I wanted to keep the existing home made center console and the position it was in. The cooler-seat inner dimensions were too small so I decided to build a box with a lid all made from marine plywood that would house the new 12 gallon gas tank, the battery box and would serve as the seat as well. This new box-seat would match the mahogany look of the center console.


[Photo: 1978 Whaler 13]
Console Details
The center console includes four rod holders, a fish finder, grab rail, engine controls, and steering wheel. he side mounted controls are adapted to console mounting and the control cables run off inside an enclosing jacket of flexible tubing.

PhotoCredit: Gus Lynch


[Photo: Homemade center console]
Helm Position
A compass and VHF hand held round out the instrument complement aboard. The console shelves are self-draining.

PhotoCredit: Gus Lynch

"I removed the cooler-seat and patched up the holes. Decided on the measurements of the new box-seat and had the 3/4-inch plywood cut to size. I notched out the specific areas where all the cables would enter and exit, stained all the pieces, epoxied and varnished them. During the box building process I discovered that the center console was very loose. Upon further inspection I saw that the previous owner had secured the center console to the deck with a wooden cleat of 2x3. The square cleat had 3 brass screws per side with a very light swirl of 3M 5200 to keep the cleat down on the deck! Naturally, the vibrations over time loosened the screws and the little 5200 that was there didn't hold. Well, I came to realize that this project was going to take a lot longer than I anticipated. The box-seat was the least of my problems. I had to come up with a way to re-secure the center console and use the same method to secure the box-seat. I posted questions on the Whaler site on how to "secure large and heavy objects to a deck". Many great ideas were shared and most of them involved drilling holes into the deck. I wanted to avoid that. I arrived at an idea which would only use 3M 5200 in generous quantities to glue down the new wooden cleats. I choose burly 2x10 (pine or birch, can't remember) which would serve as the new cleat and fit the inner perimeter of the two objects. Stainless steel L-brackets would hold down the objects with stainless bolts and nuts. The cleats were glued down and allowed to cure for five days. All the holes were drilled in the side panels of the objects and the objects were secured."

[Photo: Homemade Rear Seat and Locker]
Rear Seat and Storage Locker
The center line mounted rear seat also contains the 12-gallon fuel tank and the boat battery. This cleans up the rear of the boat. The inset (upper left) shows the view with the cover removed.

PhotoCredit: Gus Lynch


Ron West's Rehabilitation Project

Ron <> found a new winter project a few weeks ago, and sent these photographs:


[Photo: c.1970 Whaler 16 with molded center console]
c.1970 Whaler 16
This classic retired from service in the Army Corps of Engineers. New owner Ron West is going to restore her to a classic Nauset configuration.

PhotoCredit: Ron West


[Photo: c.1970 Whaler 16 with molded center console]
c.1970 Whaler 16
This molded center console was added by the previous owner.

PhotoCredit: Ron West

Ron writes of his new boat:

"Two weeks ago I ran across a 16-footer that had been owned by the Army Corps of Engineers. They had stripped away much of the hardware and had painted over the original blue hull including the serial numbers. I'm trying to figure out how to remove it and to discover the number if possible. The dealer who took it in said it was pre-1972. I am now looking for parts to rehab the hull into a Nauset. I plan on removing the fiberglass seat and console and putting back in mahogany ones, if I can find them. I have written for plans from Whaler to have a cabinet maker build one if I can't find one. Still searching for side rails, bow rails, etc. I'll try to forward some shots of her as I do the rehab this winter. My goal is to commissioner her in April. I want to add a towing bit to the stern to help with towing since I am in my 28th year with the Coast Guard Auxiliary and plan on having her underway next season."


Kurt Carlsen's 16 with new Console

Active FORUM participant Kurt Carlsen <> is two years into the restoration of a 1969 Nauset. He had a custom console fabricaed with a few modifications. Kurt writes:

"Some of the changes were:
1) Increase the height of the console two inches;
2) Raise the inside height of the console shelf to 17 inches;
3) Beef up the windshield and also make it removable so that I can remove it to get it in my garage and also cuts down on wind resistance while trailering;
4) Raise the height of the seat by two inches;
5) Raise the height of the backrest two inches;
6) Beef up the seat bottom so that it can support two batteries;
7) Move the seat interior divider so that the rear portion is larger for the batteries and storage;
8) Make two spare console panels so that if I change things in the future, I have extras;
9) Provide drain slots on the forward top of the console where the trim meets in the corners;
10) Don't cut holes for rod holders in the seat;
11) Don't install any hardware, I wanted to do it myself;
12) Don't finish wood, I also wanted to do it myself.

"All changes were provide with precision and courtesy. They are very professional and would recommend their services to anyone who wants top quality and is willing to pay for it."


[Photo: 1969 Whaler 16 Hull with new console]
1969 Boston Whaler 16 with new console
This replacement was crafted from fine hardwoods. The beautiful wood will fit nicely with the gorgeous blue gelcoat of this boat.

PhotoCredit: Kurt Carlsen


[Photo: console]
A number of changes requested by Kurt were incorporated in the new console, including making the windshield removable.

PhotoCredit: Kurt Carlsen


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