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Author Topic:   Cutting into Console
AnthonyT posted 09-18-2002 10:07 AM ET (US)   Profile for AnthonyT   Send Email to AnthonyT  
I'm finally going to install A VHF flush into the console of a Montauk 2002, right behind the cup holders, as some folks here have done.

My question is simple and maybe obvious, but I wanted to be careful. What do you use to make the cuts throught he console, a jig saw with a fine blade ? What about the fiberglass being brittle ? Or so you first score the cut lines and then cut ?

Thanks in advance,

Jimm posted 09-18-2002 09:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jimm    
I'd be interested in the answer also, Anthony.
bsmotril posted 09-18-2002 11:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
I have found that a router with a down cut straight spiral bit, a Rotozip, or Dremel to be much easier and yields a neeter cut. Much less chance of chipping the surface than using a saw. If you do use a saw, use a fine toothed metal cutting blade and don't force the feed rate. You can minimize the chance of chipping by taping the cut line with Masking tape first.
whalerron posted 09-18-2002 11:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
Here is how I would attack this problem.

Make sure you check the area behind the hole-to-be and be absolutely sure that there is nothing behind where that new hole will be!!!

I would put masking tape down on the finished surface so that the tape overlaps the edges of the hole by about 1 inch. Make sure you rub the tape so that it is stuck completely. Then, tape a piece of cardboard to the bottom of your jigsaw. The cardboard will keep the metal jigsaw bottom from marring the area around the hole.

Now, using a brand new jigsaw blade with the most teeth per inch that you can find, and with the saw running at its highest speed, cut out the hole. Yes, you will be cutting through the masking tape.

The fine tooth blade running at a high speed should make a nice cut and the tape should mimimize any gelcoat "splintering" around the hole.

AnthonyT posted 09-18-2002 11:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for AnthonyT  Send Email to AnthonyT     
As always, very good information. I'm already checking into what is behind.

The dremel tool was on my list with a cutting edge that you insert and then cut side ways while you hold the dremel perpendicular to the console surface. Sort of like the tool that elctrician use to cut out plasterboard that covers an electrical box.

Who has actually tried a dremel over a jig saw ? bsmotril, have you ?

Thanks again,

Ferdinando posted 09-19-2002 12:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ferdinando  Send Email to Ferdinando     

You just spent over 20 grand on a beautiful pc of machinary, why risk it, I bought a new Montauk in 98 and flushmounted a VHF & CD player for $150.00, came out screw-up's, or misgivings, let the expert sweat it out, know how much a new console will cost you??????????????

Good luck, Fred

Guts posted 09-19-2002 08:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Guts  Send Email to Guts     
I use a router, with a templet and coller hot glue templet in place rout the hole and remove the hot glue templet and you have a very cleen hole.
bsmotril posted 09-19-2002 11:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
I have indeed used the Dremel with a straight bit that looks something like an elongated gear. It works great, especially in tight quarters. However, if I have enough room to use a router, I prefer that. The router will do in 20 seconds what takes the Dremel 3 minutes. Especiall if there is plywood backing the fiberglass. Either leaves a nice edge with no sanding or filework required to touch it up. Beware, you will generate a lot more dust doing it this way than you would with a saw. Wear a dust mask and eye protection, the wind will move it into your face. If possible, have someone hold a vacume cleaner hose near the tool as you cut to make cleanup quicker.
AnthonyT posted 09-20-2002 11:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for AnthonyT  Send Email to AnthonyT     
Again thanks for the additional info.... I'm now ready. Ferdinando, you do make a good point what is $150 dollars against the cost of the boat. Maybe this is just how I was raised or maybe a personality defect. Where I can do something myself, I'll do it. It also helps me justify to pay for something because I know that this is just one item from the many that I handle myself. To laugh a little, for a while I was considering building a Simmons Sea Skiff. Obviously I couldn't build a Whaler.
I also find, in doing these small jobs, I learn about the boat.. I now know where the ground bus is and for the most part how its wired... To each their own...

Thanks again,

Taylor posted 09-20-2002 01:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
My objection with a router is that its hard to control, particularly on a vertical surface. You can get into a lot of trouble with a router really quickly. Plus not everyone has a router, or a dremmel tool on hand.

I used the jigsaw techinque recommended by whalerron with good succcess. Tape over the cut line, scratch proof the foot of the jigsaw, use a fine blade, work slowly, keep the orbital action (if you have it) low.

One thing I did was to make the corners of the cutout radiused by drilling a 3/8 hole at each corner and then connecting the holes with the jigsaw. My template called for radiused corners anyway.

Right after I did a great job on the radio cutout, I got cocky and made a mess of a round hole with a holesaw. Ugly. Its all about the operator.

lhg posted 09-20-2002 04:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
VHF radios change, get smaller, and go out style as fast as sonar/gps units. I think you're making a big mistake to cut a hole for an item that you'll be replacing in a few years, as they get smaller and smaller, and better and better. Same for sonar/GPS
AnthonyT posted 09-20-2002 05:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for AnthonyT  Send Email to AnthonyT     

I'm open to suggestion, so where would you put it on a montauk console ( the 2002 montauk ). I already have a GPS on the up right hand side of console and compass sort of in the middle ?


lhg posted 09-20-2002 05:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Anthony - I have this same console in my Outrages (I assume you're talking about the Classic Montauk, not the new 170), and the real long and short of it is that there IS NO really good place for a radio with this console! But BW for years has recommended that the radio be mounted on some blocking on the console floor shelf, so that it is in front of the console door when hanging open. That is what I have done. It works, but it's not great, and is somewhat inconvenient. There is a photo of my Montauk (standard) console in Cetacea page 2.
ShrimpBurrito posted 09-20-2002 06:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
You could mount it to the side with a bracket so the front of the radio is facing up.
Capt_Tidy posted 09-20-2002 08:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Capt_Tidy  Send Email to Capt_Tidy     
Why cut, and recut, then sand (becuase you were scare to cut on your line), then wire, then try to bend over and see what channel, etc etc...

Just get a floating waterproof handheld and put it in a bar caddie! Nothing to steal and you can listen to the weatherchannel in your car on the way down to the water.

Swellmonster posted 09-24-2002 09:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
Good points. Id be leary of installing a radio. Id carry a portable.
When installing interior lights on the sides of my cc, I used a rotozip and it worked perfectly. I took the mounting gasket, traced it w/a pencil. Drilled a few holes and it came out perfectly.
bsmotril posted 09-24-2002 10:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
I certainly carry a handheld VHF for a backup. But, I do NOT rely on it for primary communication where I fish, 20-40 miles offshore. For that, I want the full 25 watts of power put out by a base station. When you need it most, and the boat is pitching and rolling, 5 watts is marginal at best for reliable safety at sea communications when you're 40 miles out.
ratherwhalering posted 09-24-2002 01:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
I also have the VHF mounted on the floor of the console. I refuse to cut into the console, and kept this method (installed when I bought it). The MAJOR drawback is that if you take a wave over the bow and fill the boat, there goes your radio. I carry a handheld in a mesh caddy on the console grab rail, as a back-up. I am seriously considering mounting my VHF in one of those stand alone waterproof stereo enclosures.
AnthonyT posted 09-24-2002 02:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for AnthonyT  Send Email to AnthonyT     
On second thought, yes easily swayed, I think I may mount it on the vertical surface below and to the right of the steering wheel. It seems to be out of the way but still very accessible/readable with the speaker facing the skipper and involves a couple of mounting screws and small hole for cabling. If I ever change the unit I figure that I can mount the new one on the same spot re-use the cabling holes and reuse at least one of the mounting screw hole and cover the second.

Now do I go for the Icom or Standard in white ? I hear both are pretty good and are submersible....


TightPenny posted 09-24-2002 04:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for TightPenny  Send Email to TightPenny     
I have a black Icom on the rear of my Montauk (2000) console. I originally had a Ray52 which crapped out on me when the volume control froze.

When I initially installed the unit, the plan was to mount it on the console, but it totally freaked out the compass.

Before you mount, make sure the compass isn't affected by the radio.

AnthonyT posted 09-24-2002 05:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for AnthonyT  Send Email to AnthonyT     

Long time no hear.... thanks for the advice... I'll probably have about 2 feet between the compass and the VHF but I'll still test it before the install....


ratherwhalering posted 09-24-2002 07:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
Also consider using a clam shell, open side down, for the wiring/antenna. That'll keep the spray out and creates a drip/condensation loop in the wires. Does require three small holes though. (shudder)
dgp posted 09-24-2002 08:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
AnthonyT, this thread has some good info for routing wires through the console

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