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ContinuousWave: Whaler Repairs/Mods
15 SUPER SPORT Conversion to Center Console
|Author||Topic: 15 SUPER SPORT Conversion to Center Console|
posted 07-10-2000 12:08 PM ET (US)
I am trying to decide if I should put a center console in my 1984 SUPER SPORT 15. Has anyone done this? If so, do you have any ideas about running control cables since the Super Sport model does not have the tunnel running up the center of the boat?
Thanks in advance for your replies,
posted 07-10-2000 01:49 PM ET (US)
Yes, I have installed a center console on my old 15' SS back in 1990. To run the cables to the console I drilled, I believe, a 3" diameter hole from the small bilge well under the floor to the console position. I then inserted a piece of 2½" dia. Carlon(electrical conduit)flexible plastic tubing thru this hole, cut off flush at both ends and epoxied it in place. This is not a job for the timid! I used a plumbers drill bit and several 12" or 18" extensions. I started by inserting an extension thru the drain plug hole and into the bilge area and then installed the bit. The drain hole will give you a direct shot to the console location. After cutting thu the fiberglass in the bilge well you will hit foam. The foam must be cleared out every 4" to 6" or so using a shop vac. As you reach the end of one extension, add another, etc. While drilling I kept the bit scraping the underside of the floor. Once you have the approximate length to the console location, drill another hole from under the console angled to intercept the your "tunnel". You may have to do some cleaning out of the foam to install the Carlon section.
This worked out well for me and all of the cables; steering, fuel, electrical, etc. fit inside this tubing. The only other alternative is to cut out a section of floor which I didn't want to do. Let me know if you need more info. I may still have the plumbers bit.
posted 07-10-2000 03:00 PM ET (US)
Hi Rick, I believe we have the same boat (mine's an '87), Your exact thought has crossed my mind also; still in the 'wondering' stage though..
Let me/us know what you decide to do, I'd love to see the finished product. Good luck!
posted 07-11-2000 09:29 AM ET (US)
Im not sure what a plumbers drill bit is but by your discription it sounds like a 3" or 4" head that would be droped down in the drain sump then a much smaller shaft would be inserted from the rear of the boat through the drain hole. Am I on the right track? I have been thinking of ways to run the cables and this is one way I havent thought of. It sounds like a good idea, but there are some concerns I have:
There will be voids between the o.d. of the conduit and the i.d. of the hole you drilled in the foam especialy if you come from the center console point and drill back to meet the hole from the other end.
No matter how good you seal the ends of the tunnel there will always be a good cance of watter gettin in. Evan if it doesent leak there will be moisture that will aways be present in the voids and could make the foam deteriorate.
When you cut into the foam you will open the pores of the foam and if there was ever a leak the foam would suck up water like a sponge.
posted 07-11-2000 07:20 PM ET (US)
Believe it or not, I just found the bit in the basement after 10 years. It's made by Milwaukee and is called a 2-9/16" Selfeed Bit. Plumbers use these to drill holes thru flooring, studs, etc. to run their plastic drain pipe, usually in new construction. Instead of the normal 1/4" drill bit in the center of the bit it has a 1/4" screw held in place by an allen head screw. This actually screws itself into the wood pulling the cutting head thru. As I recall, after cutting thru the fiberglass in the bilge area I removed this screw so it would not try to screw itself into the bottom of the floor.
The extensions I used were smaller in diameter than the drain hole and were connected to each other with allen screws. I used very low rpm once in the foam so as not to damage the brass drain tube.
Yes, there will be voids between the conduit and your hole, which is probably unavoidable.
I used the aerosol type foam to partially fill in the voids at both the bilge and console areas before epoxying. If done properly, water penetration should not be a problem. The Carlon conduit is quite stiff and probably has an 1/8" wall thickness. Snaking it thru the drilled hole is a real challenge.
Whaler supposedly uses a closed cell foam so I don't think cutting into it would necessarily cause it to suck up water. I will say that the foam in the 15 was much softer and finer than in my 21 which is very coarse and stiff. Maybe someone more knowledgeable on the foam Whaler uses could comment.
Another possibility for removing the foam, after the initial fiberglass is removed, would be some type of "cookie cutter" device that could be pounded into the foam, pulled back and cleaned out, pounded in again, cleaned out, etc.
posted 07-12-2000 12:27 AM ET (US)
The foam is closed cell. That means that
even if cut, it won't absorb water.
Think about lining the drain tube with
It would be cool to have one really long
posted 07-12-2000 06:25 AM ET (US)
Guys don't believe for one minute closed cell foam will not absorb water --- it does and it will --- this has plagued Whalers from day one even with the polyurethane used today --- Tom
posted 07-12-2000 09:45 AM ET (US)
Chuck brings up a good point, regarding a really long extension. I recall seeing a device somewhere that would hold a drill bit on the end of 1/2" EMT conduit so that you could have a drill bit up to 10' long. This would prevent or eliminate the flopping present when multiple extensions are joined and make the drilling process easier to control.
posted 07-12-2000 11:34 AM ET (US)
Maybe I should have said that close cell
won't absorb any more water if it's cut than
if it's not cut.
Cut or not cut, it certainly won't "suck up
posted 07-12-2000 11:40 PM ET (US)
A way to seal things up just struck me.
Install the conduit, seal the aft end.
Let set. Put the boat back on the trailer..
posted 07-13-2000 08:35 AM ET (US)
That probaply would work. Living in an apt. in South Florida I realy dont have a place to do something like that. All this talk about the faom sucking up water, what I ment is it will defanetly absorb more water cut than un cut. When the foam is poured a natural "skin" is formed. Just look in the hatch of any 15 footer and you will see where whaler poured the foam in the 6" dia hole the foam there is left exposed and is defanetly water tight if I scraped about 1/2" off it would absorb some water.
Thanks for all the help guys keep the good ideas coming.
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