Keeping Dashboard Panel and Gauges Watertight

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
jheiii
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Keeping Dashboard Panel and Gauges Watertight

Postby jheiii » Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:06 pm

I was screwing the dash panel back onto the console and noticed there are tiny spaces between the dash panel and the console that don't look entirely water tight. There seems to be a backing of some sort between the dash panel and the console itself.

Q1: What can I use to seal-up that area?

console.jpg
console.jpg (71.26 KiB) Viewed 3693 times


Thank you
2007 Montauk 170

jimh
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Re: Keeping Dashboard Panel and Gauges Watertight

Postby jimh » Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:32 pm

If you wish to make a better seal between the aluminum instrument panel and the fiberglass console escutcheon perform the following procedure:

  1. remove the instrument panel from the console
  2. using a detergent soap, clean the rear face of the panel and the front face of the console in the area where they will overlap, removing all dirt, oil, and debris
  3. thoroughly dry both the console face and the panel rear face
  4. wipe both surfaces with alcohol solvent, and let thoroughly dry
  5. apply a bead of sealant around the perimeter of the console face that will be mating to the panel
  6. carefully reposition the panel in place, avoid as much as possible any unnecessary smearing of the sealant
  7. insert and tighten two or three retaining screws to hold the panel in place
  8. apply a small bead of sealant to the remaining screw fasteners and insert and tighten them
  9. remove the two or three initial fasteners, add sealant, and reinstall them
  10. before the sealant cures, wipe off excess on the outside

For a sealant I suggest using GE Silicone II RTV Clear sealant (RTV stands for room-temperature vulcanizing) or something similar. Just use a sealant that is not a particularly strong adhesive in addition to being called a sealant. With these type sealants you can usually wipe away the excess with a cloth soaked in water or with your right hand index finger that has been wetted in water.

jheiii
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Re: Keeping Dashboard Panel and Gauges Watertight

Postby jheiii » Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:55 pm

Would lifeseal clear work?
2007 Montauk 170

jimh
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Re: Keeping Dashboard Panel and Gauges Watertight

Postby jimh » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:41 am

jheiii wrote:Would lifeseal clear work?


If the product you suggest is similar to GE Silicone II RTV sealant, it would be acceptable. The sealant should not be a strong adhesive.

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Dutchman
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Re: Keeping Dashboard Panel and Gauges Watertight

Postby Dutchman » Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:35 pm

Lifeseal is a good bedding compound that stays flexible and water resistant and therefore could be used following Jim's excellent instructions.
I didn't know there was a clear Lifeseal.
EJO
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50th edition 2008 Montauk 150, w/60HP Mercury Bigfoot

jimh
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Re: Keeping Dashboard Panel and Gauges Watertight

Postby jimh » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:45 pm

The sealant can be an opaque color if you prefer instead of clear. The general problem with using an opaque tinted sealant is the possibly mismatch to the gel coat color and possible color change over time. Since the sealant really should not be visible if applied correctly, the exact color is not particularly important. I just like clear since it can be used in more situations.

UPDATE: I should also caution that many RTV-type sealants will create acetic acid as they cure. This can be a problem, particularly around any electrical conductors. Check the sealant composition to establish if it will produce acetic acid during curing.

Here is an excerpt from GE:
GE wrote:What's the difference between GE Silicone I caulk and GE Silicone II caulk?
GE Silicone II caulk is what's called a "neutral cure" silicone, which means no acids are released during the curing process (as there are in GE Silicone I caulk). This enables GE Silicone II caulk to adhere to a broader range of substrates such as plastics, concrete, and metals. Also, the odor of a neutral cure silicone such as GE Silicone II caulk is much less offensive than an acid or acetoxy cure silicone such as GE Silicone I caulk.


If concerned about adhesive holding power, perhaps old-fashioned rubber cement could be used as a sealant.

Ridge Runner
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Re: Keeping Dashboard Panel and Gauges Watertight

Postby Ridge Runner » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:55 pm

I have a 2005 170 Montauk, same panel as your 2007 170 Montauk, and the plastic console panel is just screwed to the console, there is no sealant from the factory on the panel. I didn't use sealant around the entire panel. I thought using sealant around the entire panel would make removing the panel a little difficult if I needed to do maintenance on the gauges or switches.

I ran a bead of DAP DYNAFLEX 230 clear latex sealant; https://dynaflex230.dap.com/ (very easy to use very little mess and easy cleanup), across the underneath of the top of the console panel and decided not to seal the sides and bottom. I haven't found water intrusion to be a problem from the sides or bottom of the panel. I did mine over seven years ago and I am still satisfied with the results.
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2005 170 Montauk, 2010 E-TEC 115 H.O.
2016 210 Montauk, 2017 E-TEC G2 200 H.O.

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jimh
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Re: Keeping Dashboard Panel and Gauges Watertight

Postby jimh » Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:17 pm

Another entry for water to leak behind an instrument panel can be the gauges themselves, if the gauges do not fit securely in the holes made for them. I have found that adding an O-ring to the gauge bezel will help create a better seal between the gauge and instrument panel. The diameter of many round gauges is a standard inch fractional dimension. O-rings of matching diameter can often be found at a good hardware store in their plumbing department. I added O-ring seals to the gauges I installed when re-fitting my instrument panel. I made the holes in the panel myself with a hole saw, so their dimensional size may not have been as exact as in a panel cut on precision machine tools. Here is an example:

Image
Fig. 1. An O-ring has been added to a standard 2-inch gauge in order to provide
a better weather seal of the gauge to the instrument panel.

Acseatsri
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Re: Keeping Dashboard Panel and Gauges Watertight

Postby Acseatsri » Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:34 pm

I wouldn't use the Lifeseal. Its adhesive properties are quite a bit stronger than silicone, and, if you have to work on on the panel, to get the panel off could be a difficult. I'd stick with the silicone.

jimh
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Re: Keeping Dashboard Panel and Gauges Watertight

Postby jimh » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:40 am

Here is another approach to sealing the [non-metal] panel to fiberglass dashboard: use a rubber edge seal or gasket. See

https://www.trimlok.com/rubber-extrusion/rubber-edge-trim

If you buy from the OEM, you have to get a large quantity. Perhaps smaller quantities are available from reseller.

Ridge Runner
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Re: Keeping Dashboard Panel and Gauges Watertight

Postby Ridge Runner » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:57 am

Jim - The 170 Montauk's console panel is not made from metal. Is is a plastic panel. The plastic panel does not have the same structural properties of the older metal panels used in classic Boston Whaler boats.

One of the concerns with this specific plastic panel is that the two lower corner screws will crack the panel if over tightened. If you review the image of the panel you can see how close the screws are to the edge of the panel. There is not much plastic material between the screw holes and the panels edge. On my 170 Montuak the right lower corner screw cracked the panel edge after having to take the panel on and off a few times when installing my E-TEC gauges. You have to be very careful not to over torque the corner screws.
Member since 2005
2005 170 Montauk, 2010 E-TEC 115 H.O.
2016 210 Montauk, 2017 E-TEC G2 200 H.O.

"Red sky at night, sailor’s delight - Red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning”

jimh
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Re: Keeping Dashboard Panel and Gauges Watertight

Postby jimh » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:26 am

Frank--thanks for the emendation: the panel under discussion is plastic, not metal, is noted.

And very good advice on taking care with not over-tightening the mounting screws.

gdavis67
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Re: Keeping Dashboard Panel and Gauges Watertight

Postby gdavis67 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:53 am

I have used butyl tape lately for exactly this same purpose. In many instances, 3M 5100 or Lifeseal were the only options I could find. However, the adhesive property in these was often the limiting factor as I could see instances where I would want to occasionally remove the item being sealed. I tried the butyl tape when rebedding some windows on our Express Cruiser two years ago and fell in love with the product. Available in black or white and in several different sizes. Stretchable, malleable, does not dry out and crack, and clean to work with. Apply to surface to be sealed, install with hardware, trim excess squeeze out, and clean up (if needed) with a light acetone wipe. admirable product to use in many marine applications.

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Re: Keeping Dashboard Panel and Gauges Watertight

Postby Jefecinco » Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:56 am

We've owned three Boston Whalers over the past twenty years. We have never attempted to seal the console mounted gauges. We have never had a problem caused by water leaking into the console past the gauges.
Butch

KARLOW
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Re: Keeping Dashboard Panel and Gauges Watertight

Postby KARLOW » Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:11 am

I rehabilitated an OUTRAGE 18 in 2018. The first time it rained water ran down the inside of the instrument panel.The solution was to back out the mounting screws and run a bead of silicon around the top and sides of the panel. The silicon will provide a good seal and keep the water out, but it has poor peel strength. That means removing the panel will not be a problem. As for the acid, we use RTV to pot electronics.

jimh
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Re: Keeping Dashboard Panel and Gauges Watertight

Postby jimh » Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:16 am

In regard to acid being produced as a silicon rubber compound cures at room temperature, I take the manufacturer's word on that. When the manufacturer says that his product produces acid as it cures, I consider that authoritative.

RTV means room temperature vulcanization or curing. It does not specify any particular brand or property related to production of acid.

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Don McIntyre - MI
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Re: Keeping Dashboard Panel and Gauges Watertight

Postby Don McIntyre - MI » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:27 am

One more suggestion in regards to making the panel watertight: old-time forum member John Flook noticed during some repair and modification of his dash that water had seeped into the plywood substrate where the metal panels were attached, either from washing his dash or leaving the console uncovered. His suggestion was just to epoxy coat the exposed edges of the cutouts, eliminating that potential water intrusion area.

Regards - Don