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ContinuousWave: Whaler Repairs/Mods
Mahogany Center Console
|Author||Topic: Mahogany Center Console|
posted 04-05-2015 12:16 PM ET (US)
I recently purchased a mahogany center console from a 63 Nauset that I am refinishing. In analyzing the center or middle piece of the console, I noticed that the veneer was coming off in large sections. Has anyone peeled the veneer and finished the marine ply? How did it come out? Additionally, the base of the console appears to be a little bit shaky. Has anyone strengthened the base? If so, how?
Thank you very much for your time and assistance.
posted 04-06-2015 07:16 PM ET (US)
Are you talking about an OEM Boston Whaler mahogany console made of "marine plywood" and covered by a mahogany veneer?
If so, I recommend starting over with solid mahogany lumber. I believe even marine plywood will eventually delaminate if exposed to the marine environment.
posted 04-06-2015 09:58 PM ET (US)
Yes, I am. So you think it is worth replacing? I was thinking that if I could get a few years out of refinished marine ply, as long as it looks nice and finished, I would go that route.
I will look locally to see if I can purchase OEM quality marine ply with mahogany veneer and then make the decision. Still interested to see if others have gone with just the ply finish.
posted 04-08-2015 01:52 PM ET (US)
You might take a look at these photos to get some ideas on restoring an old Nauset console. http://www.pbase.com/bmcelya/whaler&page=all
There used to be a talented fellow named Mike at Nautical Lumber Co. who made these consoles and the individual pieces as well, but I can't find his site. There is this one, though I have no experience with the company: http://www.specialtymarine.com/ Boston-Whaler-Mahogany-Interiors-Parts-1958-1999-c7/
Save the old wood I say. Maybe the delaminating parts could be glued back down somehow, and sanded flat. There isn't much veneer there of course. I patched a few small areas by inlaying pieces of 1/16" mahogany veneer, purchased from the local wood woking store. There is something distinguished looking about 50 year old seasoned marine wood, which is why I kept mine in service, warts and all. Maybe with a couple coats of varnish I'll look good at 70.
posted 04-12-2015 05:13 AM ET (US)
Excellent work, Bruce; thank you for sharing the photos. Not to hijack OP's thread, but I'm restoring a 1975 16-7 Montauk, and have a few quick questions for you. How much did the chrome plating cost you? What is purpose of the access hatch on the front of the splash well?
Thanks, and again, beautiful job on the restoration.
posted 04-12-2015 12:53 PM ET (US)
Thanks for the compliment. A nautical carpentar would notice that I didn't use longboards to finish the wood, so it looks a bit wavy in the right light. With another chance it could be done better and faster......
New England Plating isn't the cheapest way to go for chrome, but the quality is right up there. Not all of it was re-done, but it seems like each piece cost around $12-$20. They tell me that if I keep it waxed it will last forever.
The access hatch you are referring to was cut by a boatyard in order to get at the lower transom mounting bolts for a new motor installation. This access, after digging out some foam, allowed the two lower motor-mount bolts to be through bolted and backed with big washers. The plate is water tight so far, and is a good way to see if water is getting into the foam from somewhere else. It isn't very stylish though.
Have fun restoring the Montauk and post some before/after shots.
Note: Our Whaler was never re-bedded in fifty years, so water intrusion through the attachment holes was a reality, especially where the console cleats join the deck. I dried out the holes with stove alcohol, then filled with CPES penetrating epoxy after the alcohol was gone. If they didn't fill, holes were filled with regular epoxy mixed with a thickener. If that didn't work, the hole was drilled out, partially filled with some rubber backing, then filled with epoxy and tapped for the screw. Once cured, all mounting hardware was re-bedded. Whew. I don't think water can get into the foam now. The hull/deck join could be a problem.....
posted 04-12-2015 02:21 PM ET (US)
Re Mike from Nautical Lumber: I try to keep track of his contact information in the REFERENCE article about OEM or replacement vendors. See
The scope of Mike's marine custom carpentry and woodworking business has expanded in the last few years, and I believe he is now very busy doing custom yacht interiors and other large restoration projects. Check with him about the inventory and availability of replica Boston Whaler wooden parts.
posted 04-13-2015 03:32 PM ET (US)
Thank you, Bruce - Much appreciated!
posted 04-14-2015 10:49 AM ET (US)
Love the new launch technique, "pointy end first"
posted 04-14-2015 09:55 PM ET (US)
Don't mention it Nick. I hope to see that historic wood in person one day. Take your time and have fun!
Note: All the screw holes on our console were wallowed out from age and moisture, making the whole thing flimsy. Beyond that, the screws themselves had deteriorated. Some had completely dissolved. Each screw hole was soaked in penetrating epoxy, then filled with regular epoxy mixed with glass balloons. I tried using high density filler, but it was too hard and often cracked with a screw in it. Glass balloons as a filler gives a little and is easy to tap. With all new brass screws, you can throw your weight into any corner of the console now and it won't budge.
posted 04-15-2015 09:36 AM ET (US)
Another option; Bob Latourelle is the man who builds the interiors for Metan Marine Whaler restorations. He's doing some work for me now. He is a 1 man show and works out of a shop behind his house, just north of Boston. Give him a call. 978-837-8808.
posted 05-02-2015 02:16 PM ET (US)
Mike Stennet is alive and well at Nautical Lumber and he is fabricating a new wood console and RPS for my 1968 Sakonnet that he says will ship next week. His contact information is in the reference section.
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