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Author Topic:   Console instrument panel replacement
rayl posted 02-02-2003 08:33 PM ET (US)   Profile for rayl  

I have an 86 OR18 and I am in process of restoration. I will be replacing all of the instruments on this baby and need suggestions(advice) on how to replace the area of the console where all instruments are mounted, including throttle and steering. There are some significant holes there that won't match what I am installing. Is there a good way to replace the mounting area with new wood?

I hope this makes sense. Practically, rebuild the "face" of the console for mounting instruments.


whalersman posted 02-02-2003 09:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalersman  Send Email to whalersman     

On your model of Outrage, your instruments should be mounted on 2 Black Aluminum Plates, one on each side of the steering wheel.

Here are some photos of a 1985 Outrage that has the original Aluminum plates....

Do you have any photos???? Any further info??

rayl posted 02-03-2003 09:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for rayl    
I don't have any pics, but mine is a little that it has what I am learning is an older console???? I checked the hull ID and it is an 86; however, I have the console with a teak face plate. Looks nothing like yours with the different elevations(not sure of a better what to describe). It is just a flat face. Not sure if this is some sort of aftermarket or what!

Anyway, looks like I will just have to do some modifications on it to replace the wood backing so new instrument installs will fit and I won't have the "old" holes from previous electronics. Very strange situation.

alkar posted 02-03-2003 09:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for alkar  Send Email to alkar     
Ray, when I bought my boat the console was well-thrashed, with lots of poorly placed and poorly cut holes in it. I ultimately decided to "face" the whole dash area with a lexan panel I designed to fit all my gauges. The panel needs to be well supported by the original dash structure, but the material is plenty strong to do the job. This is what my helm looks like now:

There are many choices in plastics. Check your local plastic shop for advice on flexibility and scratch resistance. Also, the stuff can be a bear to cut and bend. I think it's worth paying the pros to do it.

You might also be able to do something similary with wood - but you're limited somewhat because the panel can't be too thick.

jimh posted 02-03-2003 11:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The console in an c.1985 Outrage should look like the one seen in CETACEA at

This shows LHGs great installation on his 225-Outrage, but the console is the same as a Montauk and most other Outrages that did not have the "Super Console" option.

The REFERENCE section on 18-Outrages also shows the console, although not as well as the Cetacea page.

If desired, you could repair and refinish the console by using epoxy to adhere new plywood filler pieces to the various holes, then add some resin and gelcoat to build them back to the level of the original finish. If these repairs are well made and the gelcoat color well matched, the console could be made to look like new again, and you could then drill new holes as needed. It is a lot of work, but much cheaper than a new console.

The use of black aluminum faceplates could save much labor. This is also in conformance with the original factory look of the console.

Browse CETACEA and you'll find many console shots.

Super Console:

dfmcintyre posted 02-04-2003 08:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Ray -

I've got the full flat console that was pretty cut up with holes left over from a dual engine installation.

What the shop did, was to take a sawsall and cut out the whole flat section, to within one inch of the edges, and laminated in a 3/4 piece of plywood, then finished it off.

Can't tell. A decent fiberglass shop should be able to to that with no problems.


bsmotril posted 02-04-2003 11:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
If the area is flat, I would overlay it completely with a piece of Starboard (or High Density Polyethylene with UV Stabilizers) plastic. It can be easily cut or machined with woodworking tools for mounting gauges etc. It is strong enough to add structural rigidity to the console face, and attractive (think plastic cuttingboard with a pebble grain finish). Comes in Black or White.
Bigshot posted 02-04-2003 11:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Bl;ack starboard, varnished wood or smoked plexi would be the best ways to make a new dash so to speak. The starboard and wood can be routed to make a nice finish, etc.
Tom W Clark posted 02-04-2003 12:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

We have talked about this before. The console you describe is from a 1978 - 1982 Whaler. If your boat is actually a 1986 model, then the console is not original to the boat.

The 1978 - 1982 console has a black vinyl covering on it with teak trim around the perimeter and 1/4" teak plywood panels for the switches and instruments.

If you want to restore your console to the original configuration, then I would recommend just making any patches as necessary and cover with new flat black vinyl. This is not as difficult as it sounds and is a perfect application of epoxy as described by Jim and Don above.

Overlaying the face with a piece of aluminum or StarBoard or some other material will work. I have seen it done several times, but it will not look very good. I just hate to see an otherwise nice Whaler with these sort of Mickey Mouse additions. It really spoils the high quality of the original Whaler detailing.

whalersman posted 02-04-2003 01:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalersman  Send Email to whalersman     

Here is a link to photos of my 1978 Montauk that has the original Console for the years Tom describes. I have removed the material and the pieces of plywood have also been replaced with Solid Teak panels. Also, the panel above the Wheel was enlarged to accept a Trim Gauge.

I believe this version of console was also in the 1977 Montauks as it is the same console that is in a friend of mines 1977 Montauk.

The console of my 1985 Outrage is all Original with the exception of the material that has also been removed between the two Aluminum plates. I may replace the material when I someday install a Hydraulic Steering System.

bsmotril posted 02-04-2003 02:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Since Starboard is 1/2-3/4" thick, you could rabbet the edges for half the thickness and cutout the corresponding panel in the console. Then recess the starboard into the console to get it closer to flush. Trim with teak if you want. Pick black, and it will look like black vinyl, but be a lot more durable. It is also a lot easier to work than aluminum.
Bigshot posted 02-04-2003 02:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I had the same console in my 76(smirked) hull.
Tom W Clark posted 02-05-2003 01:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

I think it's entirely possible that Whaler started using this console in 1977. Maybe in 1977 for the 1978 model year or maybe as a mid year change. Nick's comment is strange though. The 1977 catalog clearly shows on the cover a smirked hull Montauk with the 1973 - 1977 console. How could his 1976 have the newer console?

The 1973 - 1977 console is very similar to the 1978 - 1982 console except that the face does not have the black vinyl, the doors are varnished mahogany instead of oiled teak and are not louvered, and most significantly, the console mold has sort of wings on the sides of the face that project out several inches.

rayl posted 02-05-2003 10:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for rayl    
That console looks exactly like the one on my 18OR, except mine still has the thin teak covering the entire face. The front and side panel doors are also teak. I wonder if the previous owner, before my grandfather, modified it by adding a different console. Very interesting. I have no info on what may have happened since my grandfather has since passed(which is how I ended up with the boat anyway). I guess this will kill the resale on this boat.

Can anyone tell me exactly how to interpret the hull id to extract month and year of prod info? I think I know how, but I would like to be sure that I am not mistaken.


Tom W Clark posted 02-05-2003 11:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

Your boat's resale value is not substantioally reduced, especially if the console is a Whaler console.

What is you Hull Identification Number (HIN)? You can learn how to read it by reviewing the FAQs in the reference section:

whalersman posted 02-05-2003 12:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalersman  Send Email to whalersman     

I agree with Tom that your boat is not worth any less.... In fact, many people prefer the 1978 to 1982 console over the later style.

Why??? The flat, angled front of the entire console makes the gauges much easier to read when operating the boat while standing. For some others, the engine controls are easier to operate in the sitting position.

The thin Teak you mention was most likely added as the original had material that covered the entire front panel and the edges of this material went under the 4 pieces of Teak that outline the dash.

It will be interesting to see your Hull Identification Number...


Bigshot posted 02-05-2003 01:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Back then you could order a bare hull. Could be one of those things where the dealer may have had a new old stock console, etc and pieced the boat together from parts lying around or whatever. I would not worry about it.
lhg posted 02-05-2003 03:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
The console photo on Cetacea page 2 is of a 1986 and later Outrage standard console. The 1983-1985 Standard console that "Whalersman" is referring to was similar, except that it's instrument panels were nearly vertical, and impossible to read while standing.

As the owner of a 1986 Outrage 18, bought new, I can assure you that the 1982 & earlier console would not have been furnished in the original 1986 boat. Either the boat is not an 86, or the console has been substituted.

whalersman posted 02-05-2003 04:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalersman  Send Email to whalersman     

You know, I never noticed the difference between your console and mine until you mentioned it... Now I see the difference...

Yours is more angled due to where the angle starts. Your angle starts right above the Lower Instrument switch panels. Mine goes straight in a couple of inches there before the angle starts upwards making the angled area more vertical.

I must admit, I like the later style better. It would make it much easier to read the gauges when standing. It looks like the rest of the console is the same from what I can see.

Thanks for the claification. So now I see there are 3 versions of Standard Consoles in the 1980's Outrages.


Tom W Clark posted 02-05-2003 04:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
I too never noticed the difference between my own 1983 console and the 1985 and newer ones until I discovered the continuousWave FORUM two years ago.

I prefer the newer style also. I think it is the best of all four versions of the Whaler standard console.

lhg posted 02-05-2003 05:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Tom, that should be 1986 and newer. I ordered my 86 Outrage in January 86, and I remember being surprised when taking delivery that the console gauge panel area had been changed, sloped back more, from the '85 models. This also affects the steering wheel angle. It was a great improvement. I also think it is the best console design, one of Whaler's best looking ever. That's why I decided to get in the 25 also.

It's really superb when it's raised 4".

whalersman posted 02-05-2003 05:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalersman  Send Email to whalersman     

Alright, you really have me interested in the "Fourth" type of Standard Console for the 1980's Outrages... I know of 3...

1. The entire front of the console is sloped.
1980, 1981, 1982 Outrage (just like my 1978 Montauk)

2. The console is angled in the area of the gauges only but not quite as much of an angle as the next version.
1983, 1984, 1985 Outrage (My 1985 Outrage)

3. The console is also angled in the area of the gauges but has more of an angle then the earlier version.
1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 Outrage

Which version am I missing???

I know there were other versions on the Montauk and possibly the earlier Outrages. One of the real early consoles was entirely angled like number 1 above but had wings on each side. And then there was the Cohasset. But I don't know of any others versions of the Standard Console on the 1980's Outrages...

Can you point me in some direction on where to view the 4th version you mention???


rayl posted 02-05-2003 08:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for rayl    
Well, the hull ID that I have doesn't appear to conform to any of the formats listed on the FAQ. On the transom is located a metal plate that has the following stamped in it.

6543 C686

Also, written on the plate is Boston Whaler, Inc.

Any ideas? I was right in thinking it was an 86, right?

Thanks for all the comments,

whalersman posted 02-05-2003 08:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalersman  Send Email to whalersman     

Here is the excerpt from the reference page that pertains to your boat...
NEW FORMAT as early as January 1984 and manditory after August 1984


MIC = Manufacturer's ID Code BWC=Whaler also WCG=Commercial Whaler after 7/20/01
NNNNN = 5-digit production or serial no.
YY = Month and Year of production
ZZ = Model Year

Month of Production, coded
A = January
B = February
C = March
D = April
E = May
F = June
G = July
H = August
I = September
J = October
K = November
L = December
It appears that your boat was made in March of 1986 according to the reference. You may or may not be missing one of the serial numbers.

I hope this helps...

Tom W Clark posted 02-06-2003 10:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

You are correct. I misstated that. The steeply sloped console was sold on the 1983, 1984 and 1985 models.


I am not contradicting you. I am referring to the standard consoles that were used on the Montauk as well as the Outrages as these are far more common than consoles that were specific to Outrage models only.

The four incarnations are as you describe with the addition of the original Montauk console made from 1973 to 1976 which had the wings on the sides as I described above.

In addition to these four versions, some Outrage models were produced with other variations of the standard console including the taller, all plastic console installed on the Classic Outrage 19, 22 and 25 starting in late 1989 (see: ) and another version of the console installed on the reworked Outrage 19 in 1992 (see: )


Joe has it right. Based on the information you have provided your boat was built in March of 1986, but the console wasn’t. I can imagine several different scenarios to explain how this came to be. I wouldn’t worry about it.

If you really want to know the scoop, send Chuck Bennett at Whaler an email with the stenciled number and he will tell you when your boat left the factory and he can also tell you what it was configured as when it left.

whalersman posted 02-06-2003 11:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalersman  Send Email to whalersman     

I thought I was just missing another version of the console. I used to think there were just the two Standard Consoles made during the 1980's.. Now I know there were 3, plus the 70's version that had wings.. and of course the 90's versions that were taller and had electronics boxes.

Did the Montauks have the identical console for the same years as the Outrages? or was this particular console used on just the Outrages?

I don't seem to recall the Montauk having the 1983, 1984, 1985, Outrage version.


Tom W Clark posted 02-06-2003 11:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

Yes, it was used on the Montauk as well. When the console design changed for the Outrages it changed for the Montauk. For an example of the steep faced console on a Montauk, see Arch Autenreith's 1984 on Cetacea page 68

There is one difference between the Montauk version and the Outrage version. The console on an Outrage comes standard with two panels for switches and fuses that mount just above the front access door. Your Outrage is an example of this. The Montauk came standard with only a couple switches mounted in the right side instrument panel as seen on Arch's boat.

rubadub555 posted 08-05-2004 02:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for rubadub555  Send Email to rubadub555     
Because the integrity of the instrument panel is integral to the safe operation of our 1980 Montauk,
I've been reluctant to fiddle with the peeling teak plywood panels on which the gauges, fuses and ignition/kill switches are mounted.
How difficult is any dismantling (and re-wiring?) of these
Can anyone give me a quick primer in the process of replacing these panels?
I have some teak panels, and the tools to cut, varnish and fit them, but lack the electrical experience in taking the gauges and switches off the existing panels?
Any help appreciated.
rubadub555 posted 08-06-2004 12:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for rubadub555  Send Email to rubadub555     

(or as the Hooter might say

Joe Kriz posted 08-06-2004 01:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Joe Kriz  Send Email to Joe Kriz     

I replaced my panels years ago on my Montauk.

What I did was remove one switch at a time and put it on the new panel, then wired it back the way it was. You can mark the wires, 1,2,3, etc. with a piece of tape and then put them back on in the same place they came from.

Did the same with the gauges, this way I only had to deal with one item at a time and I didn't get all the wires confused in my head.

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