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Author Topic:   Riser for Pilot Seat
djmerrill posted 04-22-2000 11:26 PM ET (US)   Profile for djmerrill   Send Email to djmerrill  
I'm in the process of installing a reversible pilot seat into my '91 Outrage 17 (that was originally equipped with a leaning post).

My plan is to screw a pair of 2" thick 6"X18" pieces of wood to the floor using the mounting holes for the leaning post. I'll bolt the legs of the seat to the wood spacers. This will accomplish 2 things: it will allow me to take the seat out fairly quickly to install the leaning post, and it will raise the seat up 2", which I feel is a more comfortable height.

My question is this: what material should I make the spacers out of? Teak would match the back of the RPS. Mahogany has been used in many whaler applications. I haven't priced out a piece of Teak or Mahogany in a 2"X6"X18" size, but I'm guessing I'll be shocked. What about plywood? Some of the threads in this topic talk about mahogany plywood. Can it be varnished to look as good as solid plywood?

dfmcintyre posted 04-23-2000 07:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
DJ -

Welcome to the forum!

I added 4" to my reversable seat by four 1" blocks of black starboard, cut the same dimensions as the uprights. Worked fine. Didn't look great.

I also added 4" to the console height by laminating 4 - 1" thick mahogany boards togeather, using the West system, then coating the overall blocks with the West, then painting to match the console. Looks factory.

If I had it to do all over again, I'd do the wood blocks over the starboard.

I'd avoid varnishing whatever block system you use, as down low, it gets alot of wear, and would be a pain to revarnish every year.

Best - Don

Arch Autenreith posted 04-24-2000 08:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
I did exactly what you are thinking of doing. I have a Montauk and put a 28-gallon tank (vs. 2 6-gallon) under the seat. It wasn't high enough so I bought a 2" thick piece of teak. Yep, it was expensive ($30-70? Can't remember.) but matched the teak trim used on the Montauk. Since I didn't use screws long enough for the total thickness of the spacer/riser I had to sink the screw holes. Therefore, you need to put a small drain hole (3/16"?) at the bottom of the screw holes to drain water. Otherwise, water will just sit in the holes forever, of course. If you need pictures and/or dimentions let me know either email or the forum. But I can only email pictures as I cannot post .jpgs here.
Arch Autenreith posted 04-24-2000 10:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
Doug. Funnyh...I'm considering doing the opposite of you. I'd like to put on a leaning post (vs. the reversable seat on it). What are your thoughts one way or the other? Also, are you keeping the leaning post? Selling? I guess you should keep it for resale tho. Just asking. Where can I get a leaning post?
Thanks. Arch
lhg posted 04-25-2000 12:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Doug: I am a great proponent of raising the standard Montauk & Outrage consoles, and also the Reversible Pilot Seats. I am 6' 2" and I believe both are designed too low. I have done this on both of my Outrages and would do it on a Montauk if I had one. My boats are all trimed in the oiled teak, so I made my riser blocks out of the same, which I designed, and it looks factory original.

I raised the pilot seat 6", after originally having it at 4", so that I could place an Igloo 72 qt cooler, with Whaler cushion, underneath. It nicely sits, and is held in place without need for a bungee cord, in the Whaler Montauk angled cooler cleats, in black starboard. This can then be pulled out for additional seating if necessary. The higher seat back, in the forward position, also works fairly well as a leaning post, and tow people can still sit on the seat facing backward. The riser blocks are 3" x 4" in plan, and 4" high. They had to be laminated by a wood shop, and the vertical corners are eased with a small 45 degree bevel cut. They are screwed in to floor, in deeply countersunk holes, under each seat leg. Then, a matching 2" thick teak board, cut to the same 3" width dimension, spans (bow to stern direction) across the two blocks on each side of the seat for the additional 2" in height, also with a 45 degree beveled top edge. The seat then screws into this top board/beam. The blocks are oiled and look terrific, and the seat is rock - solid.

Regarding the console, I used the same system of 3" x 4" riser blocks (cut from 12/4 solid teak stock, actual thickness 2 11/16"), with a 3" wide top beam, cut from 8/4 stock(actual thickness 1 11/16") spanning the blocks bow to stern and under the sides of the console. Then the console aluminum angle screws into this top beam, raising it 4". The raised console is particularly nice, and completely changes the feel of the boat and controls. It gives a very useable space under the console for fenders, cushions or jackets, etc., and does not interfere with installation of any of the Mills full canvas items. I also found that all of my cables had enough extra length to handle this 4". All of the teak blocks had holes drilled into them to exactly match the holes in the floor of the boat, so that no new holes were necessary. Because of the beam spanning the 4 center holes of the original console installation, I put flat head screws, countersunk just flush with the surface, into the exposed, unused holes, set in caulking.

I'll send a picture of this installation to Jim, and maybe he'll post it for other who are interested.

jimh posted 04-25-2000 12:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
This thread and others have made me think we need another section on the website, devoted to explaning and illustrating little modifications to Whalers like these.

I have a name in mind for it, too. After all the fun we've had with "Cetacea" instead of "Photo Gallery", I can't just call this section "Gadgets" or something like that.

So give me a few days to get this whipped up...


kingfish posted 04-25-2000 09:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

Having had the opportunity first hand to get the feel of your raised console, my driveway project last weekend was to build mock-ups out of standard lumber and experiment with raising the console on my Outrage 22. I have settled on (and have ordered from my local mill) solid teak blocks for each side of the console that are 28" fore and aft (28" x 3" in plan)and 4 1/2" high (laminated from three solid pieces 28" x 3" x 1 1/2"). My intention is to anchor the console utilizing the existing continuous angles on each side of the console base, through drilled holes that will penetrate the blocks top to bottom, right into the original screw holes in the deck. That scheme would then require stainless steel flat head (preferably phillips head) screws, #12 I think, that would be *6"* long. As you might expect, I have been having some trouble finding such an animal.

Larry, if you (or anyone else reading this post) know a source I could try for such a screw (or even a 12 ga. or 14 ga. x 6" deck screw, as long as it is stainless, as the heads will be hidden by a starboard trim strip) I would greatly appreciate it.



bigz posted 04-25-2000 10:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    

Maybe 1/4" x 6" lag screws might work in ss, they are available from Hamilton Marine,Portland, ME 207-774-1772 and they will sell by the "each" -- assuming you don't want 100 -- chuckle --




lhg posted 04-25-2000 02:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
John/Kingfish! I know you'll be very happy with the raised console, and glad to see you're going to do it. From seeing my 25, I may be causing you some confusion, since I raised the console on my 25 first, using the totally solid riser blocks as you have indicated. But several years later, when I decided to raise the console on my 18 Outrage, I improved (I think) upon the continuous solid block detail, and used the detail that I previously described above. I found it looked better, was easier to install, and ended up with a lot less teak in continuous contact with the (often wet) floor. Using the 3 laminations you are describing, only the top board is continuous (the 28" you are describing - I recommend the total length to be about 1/2" longer on each end than the console itself). The two lower pieces would only be 4" in length at each end, so that the top board "spans" across the top. The two 1 1/2" lower "blocks" (3" wide x 4" long) can be pre-laminated, but the top board simply screws on to the blocks. Then, the same screws originally used fasten the console to the top, 28" long, board. The 3" high blocks, in your case, are then countersunk screw head diameter, about an inch (this way you're still holding both parts of the lamination together, in case the glue lets go), and 3" screws (same size as original) are used in to the SAME holes in the floor where the console was originally installed. ( you can add additional screws into the floor if you desire) The shorter screws give a stronger hold into the floor. I had considered the 6" long lag bolts you are talking about, and did this instead. Then, the 28" beam is screwed into the blocks at each end, avoiding the bigger countersunk holes, and the console mounts on that. As I said, I used a 1/4" 45 degree router bevel on all vertical edges and top edges. All in all, it looks very slick and you'll like it!!
This detail will leave about 4 center screw holes exposed in the floor, but I simply countersunk the glass grid just enough to accomodate a 3/4" flat head screw set in some silicone. (do this before installin the top beam) I like this detail so much better than the continuous solid blocking that you saw, that I'm going to make the switch in my 25 when I get motivated for the job. I'll send a picture of this detail to Jim for his new section.
djmerrill posted 04-27-2000 09:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for djmerrill  Send Email to djmerrill     
Thanks for the ideas on the risers, and am looking forward to seeing pictures of these modifications on the site sometime soon. I'm leaning toward teak, but am also consirdering an aluminum fabrication.

I have just finished refinishing the teak seat back using Larrys Amazon technique (detailed in another thread). Wow, I was worried I had bought a basket case, but teak is amazing material, it looks showroom new! Not bad for a 28 year old seat used in salt water.

Coincidentally, my new cushion arrived today from Dave's Upholstery. It looks good, with holes pre-drilled. The screws holding the aluminum legs onto the old cushion have completely deteriorated, so I have no idea how long they were. Anyone out there know?


djmerrill posted 05-03-2000 09:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for djmerrill  Send Email to djmerrill     
Just finished the seat tonight. Looks great! By the way, the legs are held to the seat with 1-1/4" long 1/4-20 screws, in case anyone else is curious.

I'll play around with some 2X6's to figure out how high I want to make it before committing to a permanent riser system.


Roy posted 05-11-2000 11:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Roy  Send Email to Roy     
Can someone tell me where to get "black starboard"?
Roy posted 06-25-2000 06:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Roy  Send Email to Roy     
Well, no replies re: starboard. Called Paxton Lumber (specializes in exotic woods) and they recommended IPE, pronounced I Pay, a Brazillian Walnut. I'll try this wood to raise my pilot seat on my Ourage. They say this stuff is stronger than Teak, 2/3 cheaper and is impervious to salt water. Will let you guys know how it works out.
lhg posted 06-26-2000 02:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Roy: The Starboard info was posted in the "OEM" section.
Roy posted 09-11-2000 07:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Roy  Send Email to Roy     
This is what I've done with my 17' Outrage thanks to what you guy's have posted.

Here's what I've done with the Brazilian Walnut. I used four 2x4 pieces, laid flat, cut the same length as the bottom of the seat standard on each side for a total rise of 6 inches. Rounded the edges to conform to the standard. Screwed the 1st ones to the deck using 4 countersunk SS x2 lag bolts into the existing deck holes. The next three boards were lag bolted together with longer lag bolts counter sunk and slightly inside of the four floor bolts with each one staggered (cattycornered) and with the staggering alternated with each board. The seat standard was bolted to the top board with the original screws.
I must mention that this wood (Ipe) is very heavy and extremely hard. I had to get the use of a drill press to counter sink and pre-drill the holes. It made for a very sturdy stand on which to place the seat. So far no ill effects from fresh water use. We're off to the Gulf Coast for two months so will find out what the salt can do to it.

SeaducedAgain posted 09-24-2001 11:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for SeaducedAgain  Send Email to SeaducedAgain     
I too, am interested in raising the RPS, so I will follow the advice on this thread. Did lhg's picture on his modification ever made it onto the Cetacea section?



Conrad posted 05-06-2002 11:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for Conrad  Send Email to Conrad     
Putting this post to the top, so I can reference it for my project. Great info.


rubadub555 posted 09-27-2004 07:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for rubadub555  Send Email to rubadub555     
Was this mod ever added to reference?
Since a photo is worth a thousand words...
Slippery Eel posted 09-28-2004 09:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for Slippery Eel  Send Email to Slippery Eel     
I performed the RPS riser mod this winter based on LHG's design. I raised it 6" on my Montauk and can tell you that I am delighted with both the outcome of the project and the performance. Here are a few pictures of the finished product.


Phil Tyson posted 09-28-2004 02:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Phil Tyson  Send Email to Phil Tyson     
Added 9/28/04

I learned alot on my riser project.

Raised 6" but am considering going down to 5" so I can sit on the top of RPS back (I am 6'2)

While I used Trex decking (cut blocks) I will redo it with wood based on LHG, Slippery and several other's photos. Don't like the look of the 6 seperate blocks.

Consider adding 2 more fastners to each leg to make rock solid. Given height, there is more torque on the seat given its added height.

You can see a photo in my "improvements album on my yahoo page .

andygere posted 09-28-2004 03:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I built a pair of RPS risers generally to LHGs plan, but with some minor modifications. I laminated the parts together using thickened West System epoxy, and I sealed the bottom surfaces with 2 coats of West to prevent water intrusion into the wood. All accessible surfaces are oiled to match other the teak on the boat. I could not readily find stainless steel screws long enough to mount the risers directly through the pilot seat base, so I screwed the risers to the floor, countersunk and plugged, then mounted the seat to the risers. I'm not as tall as Larry, so mine are only about 3-1/2 inches high, which still allows me to stow a 72 quart Igloo under the seat with no problems. In lieu of the typical wooden cooler cleats, I used some self adhesive surfboard "Trac Top" on the bottom of the cooler, along with a pair of bungie loops to anchor the cooler using Boston Whaler cooler tie down hooks. The bungie is anchored using nylon webbing fastened through the seat mounting screws. My next modification is to have a slip-on leaning post cushion made for the top of the RPS to make stand up driving more comfortable. It will be in OEM style material, of course.

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