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Author Topic:   Cut-out in console for VHF
mraemer posted 02-19-2004 12:13 AM ET (US)   Profile for mraemer   Send Email to mraemer  
I have a 1991 19' Outrage. I just purchased a new VHF radio, and the original radio is ancient, therefore I have a large hole for a small radio. Anyone have any suggestions on how I should cover it? I am in the process of cleaning this boat up and I want something that looks nice. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
kerscrew posted 02-19-2004 12:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for kerscrew  Send Email to kerscrew     
Hey, I have seen many things made, but your best bet is to go to TAP plastics (or a similar store) and have a plate made to be bolted into place so everything looks clean and flush. If you want to have the whole console covered, I had them fabricate a piece of plastic that bolted on and covered whole the front of my console and covered up all the old holes and stains left behind from past engines, electronics, etc...hope this helps
mraemer posted 02-19-2004 12:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for mraemer  Send Email to mraemer     
Thanks. Do you have a number for TAPS Plastics?
Sal DiMercurio posted 02-19-2004 12:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Dosen't that boat have a door on the side of the consel that allows a vhf to be mounted in the consel?
Mine is & i'v got an external speaker mounted under the gunwal that is far clearer then the radio speaker & can be heard no matter how noisy it is or how fast your traveling.
mtbadfish posted 02-19-2004 01:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for mtbadfish  Send Email to mtbadfish     
Here is a link to TAP Plastics site:

jimh posted 02-19-2004 09:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Covering the existing cut-out or mounting hole in the laminate of your console with a new sub-panel is a very good technique for mounting new flush-mount electronics whose shape does not match the original hole.

You can fabricate the new sub-panel or escutcheon from three different materials: wood, metal, plastic. Depending on your particular boat and tastes, a nicely varnished wood panel or escutcheon might be appropriate. Wood is certainly an easy material to work with. Many very expensive boats are now featuring highly polished wood in their instrument panels. I saw this type of instrument panel in several custom boats and also in a TIARA yacht.

If wood is not your choice, aluminum is another possibility. Many instrument panels use aluminum which has been painted black/dark gray or anodized black/dark gray. To dress up the panel, a shallow groove is often routed into the perimeter of the panel, exposing the aluminum and giving a contrasting color stripe.

Plastic is another possible option. Cutting irregularly shaped cut-outs in plastic may be more difficult. Depending on your skills, you can make a very nice panel from plastic, and small blemishes can be buffed out to make the finish "perfect."

Flush mounting of electronics adds a very professional appearance. It also helps prevent theft. Whenever I see a nice arrangement of electronics that have been flush mounted into an instrument panel, I am very impressed. One such installation that comes to mind is the layout on BLACKLASH, Steve Farnsworth's fine 21 WALK-AROUND. His installation of his GPS and SONAR looks absolutely first-class, and it gives the boat a very distinguised appearance.

kingfish posted 02-19-2004 10:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Before/while you are covering the opening with something, be sure to inspect the raw edges of the existing cutout for your old radio. The face of the console is gelcoat with fiberglass behind that then plywood behind that. The raw edges should be epoxied or at least well and completely coated with a high grade Marine sealant/adhesive like 3M 4200 or 101, so water cannot get into the plywood backing and cause eventual rot, and so if there is any water migration from a higher elevation, it cannot drip into the innards of a flush mounted radio. The latter is more important with an FM radio than with most VHF radios because the VHF's typically are pretty water proof by themselves. Right thing to do, nonetheless.
mraemer posted 02-19-2004 10:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for mraemer  Send Email to mraemer     
Thanks for all the help. Great info.


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