Moderated Discussion Areas
  ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
  Idea on rewiring my Center Console

Post New Topic  Post Reply
search | FAQ | profile | register | author help

Author Topic:   Idea on rewiring my Center Console
RB89BW posted 01-20-2010 09:43 PM ET (US)   Profile for RB89BW   Send Email to RB89BW  
This year’s project will be totally rewiring my center console. I will be removing the console filling some of the many holes that surround it. I have a 1990 22’ Outrage with a super console and I am asking for some ideas and resources for what I am doing. I will be outfitting with new Lowrance HDS-10 sonar/mapping and including some additional options. I also have a 200HO Etech with the I-Command harness with NEMA 2000 interface. Today I am asking for some leeds to web sites and suggestions on switch panels and other wiring ideas and resources which you may recommend.
Thanks all.
SJUAE posted 01-21-2010 06:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     

Try that funny little word "Search" just under new topic, you will be amazed what you find here :)

Then of course come back with specifics once you have seen what others have done and suggested.

Jim also lists OEM's source for most parts in the reference section.


RB89BW posted 01-21-2010 09:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for RB89BW  Send Email to RB89BW     
Mmmmm Search and that is what I thought I was doing.:(
westcoastwhaler posted 01-25-2010 01:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for westcoastwhaler  Send Email to westcoastwhaler     
I am upgrading my center console on my 22' Outrage as well. Since I am not repowering, I am not rewiring at this time.

I made a one-piece instrument panel out of aluminum and powder coasted. It came out well, was cheap, but took a lot of time getting the holes lined up and cut. A drill press is a must for this project.

For my switches and ignition, I am trying a new path. I found a source for CAD drawing and CNC cutting via the internet.

Here is the link:

I am about 80% done with design and will be submitting in the next couple of weeks. I plan to powder coat in the same finish from a local guy.

I also am in the process of creating new doors and frames from scratch. I plan on posting pics once it is completed.

RB89BW posted 01-25-2010 05:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for RB89BW  Send Email to RB89BW     
Thanks for that info. I too have decided to replace my original teak doors with starboard and I am currently searching for some sources on that. I figure on selling my Teak set up on EBay. I will be complete taking off my console and repairing and filling all the old holes. From there I am completely rewiring my boat. As far as the wiring goes I am analyzing what Blue Sea Systems (who I have received the most amount of recommendations for) have to offer and from there will plan my installation. Although I have a pretty basic idea of what I want to do but there are lingering questions which is, do I want to use circuit breakers, Glass fuses or blade type fuses. What I like is rocker type switches which have visual lighting indicator with the fuse at the switch for my switchable accessories I.e. Running lights, and a blade type fuse box for non switchable items i.e. VHF all of which is protected by a master circuit breakers. I look forward to your pictures and will try to learn how to post pictures of my own progress.
Buckda posted 01-25-2010 05:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I second the recommendation to consider what Blue Seas Systems has to offer. I replaced the wiring on a boat for my brother using a smaller switch panel from them and it works very well. The switches have a nice feel to them and are waterproof.

On my 18, I went with a breaker/distribution panel with volt and amp meters. This works well behind a waterproof door on the side of the console. I have another project in the works and will likely go with the same/similar setup.

After having done this on my 18' Outrage, I'll offer this advice - remove the "floor" in the console and set it up on sawhorses. Work from underneath and run all the electricals to the connections in the console first - leaving "tails" hanging out the underside which you will connect to the items in the boat later. Also, consider using small conduit to run various wires. If you're like me, you store a lot of stuff in your console when on a trip, etc. This will protect those wires from snagging something and getting pulled out. I did NOT do that on my 18' Outrage, and I regret it. Will do that differently this time.

Also, spare no expense on zip ties, etc. to keep everything organized under there. A label maker might also be a good investment. You can get plastic labels that will "tag" on wire bundles easily and won't peel. Dymo makes some good labelmakers and labels.

Good luck with your project.

Buckda posted 01-25-2010 05:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Also - buy a breaker/fuse panel that allows for future expansion of your electrical needs. Nothing worse than contorting into the console to wire up a new connection when you could have just done a "plug and play" installation.

Consider how and where you use the boat and the availability of replacements in the case of a failure. If you go with breakers, you may want to have a spare of each amp rated breaker in your spare parts box.

westcoastwhaler posted 01-25-2010 06:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for westcoastwhaler  Send Email to westcoastwhaler     
Buckda - Great idea about working on the console on saw horses!

I picked up Blue Seas switches and plan to install on my new panel. They are water-proof and I think they will update the look tremendously.

I do not intend to use the in-line fuses that most pre-fab panels use but to go with a separate fuse box. I have used both blade and glass fuses on boats and I don't really have a preference. I will say that my Blue Seas blade fuse box on my 15 is highly exposed yet I have not had any problems for over 3 years.

I concur that thought should be put into future expansion, so whichever way you go make sure you have a few extra slots.

dfmcintyre posted 01-26-2010 09:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
RB -

You might want to download the following catalog from SSI:

They have a large selection of interesting storage type compartments, and recessed boxes.


RB89BW posted 01-26-2010 10:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for RB89BW  Send Email to RB89BW     
Buckda thanks for the feedback about the fuses. At this point I am staying with my original plan with the combinations of fuses as previously stated.
Don that SSI link is a great resource thank you and that brings up another question has anybody had experience with mounting the battery switch on the outside of the console in one of these boxes?

[Changed TOPIC of discussion to fuel and oil tankage and distribution. Please begin a new discussion in REPAIRS/MODS for that topic. Thank you--jimh]

I can not believe how much this can cost. It just doesn’t stop.

dfmcintyre posted 01-29-2010 09:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
I ended up mounting my switch on the inside of the console. Used a circular 3/4" plywood disc and epoxy to glue it to the inside port wall. Then mounted the switch.

Funny story about working on a super console. Back then I could crawl inside it and work on the back side of the wiring area. I was happily puttering away, listening to the vhf that was mounted on the shelf, above the drawer. Side door was closed. I knew my Dad was coming down and we were going to go for a ride. A little while later I felt the boat tilt when he boarded and he sat down at the helm.

Hmmmmmm. I wonder how I could get his attention. Turned down the squelch on the radio. He slid open the smoked glass door and added squelch, and closed the door (we had an external speaker mounted up on the console).

I turned down the squelch again. He opened the door, turned it up.

At that point I struck....and grabbed his hand.

I gotta admit, for someone who was in his early 60's at that point, he still had pretty good reflexes. He did a great imitation of a Polaris missile launch, did a cute little clockwise dance, all the while yelling in an odd foreign language.

Recovering quickly, he threw a bucket of water in on me.

We declared a truce.

Chuck Tribolet posted 01-29-2010 10:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I'd go with blade fuses. Because ALL of the automakers
have gone with them, and they are really available.

And have nice color coding of the amperage and nice bit print
of the amperage. I need a loupe to read the glass fuses.

And you don't need a tool to pluck out the blade fuses.

That said, my Montauk has the Blue Seas glass fuse block,
but I'd go with the blade fuse block if I did it again
(I'm not sure the blade fuse block was available when I
installed 10+ years ago.)


RB89BW posted 01-31-2010 09:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for RB89BW  Send Email to RB89BW     
Chuck I have decided to go with the blade fuses. I was able to see a couple of different set ups and the one that Blue Sea offers seems good to me. I will use at my console for all switch-able items and the blade type fuse box under the console for non switch-able items. I am still entertaining the idea of the outside battery switch and again Blue Sea seems to have some nice choices.
I have to admit I was very disappointed with the construction of my console and now that I have it off the boat I will be rebuilding it in many different ways before I start to outfitting it. I will try to take out time to figure how to post pictures of my progress. I live in Brightwaters NY and I know there are some local members who are more than welcome to contact me and stop over to share best idea.
dfmcintyre Funny story: I am 62 and overweight I find it a challenge getting into my console and I hope to continue to fish for many more years. So at this point I am trying to design a console that will not only last another 15 years but allow me to manipulate it.

dfmcintyre posted 02-01-2010 09:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
RB -

When I reno'ed my console, I ended up going with a Blue Sea circuit breaker system that I placed in a SSI recessed panel that has a little clear plastic door hinged at the top. I painted the panel to match the console color and installed the optional backlight option in the breaker panel. I think it was the 8 breaker panel. One of the breakers also has a three position switch for use with a bilge pump, that eliminated another separate panel and switch.

If you want an image link, let me know.

Regards - Don

RB89BW posted 02-02-2010 10:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for RB89BW  Send Email to RB89BW     
I am decided to use the blade type fuses all around and circuit breakers at main connections. I would love to see your work.
I decided to use starboard doors from Buck Woodcarft and sell all my teak doors on ebay. I will be using my Lowrance with I command for digital gauges and I am looking for suggestions on what gauges (manufacture and type) that might be recommend for my analog gauges?
Thanks RB
number9 posted 02-03-2010 03:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for number9  Send Email to number9     
You mentioned going with the starboard doors. Will they be replacing louvered teak? Asking because I've noticed a transition by many builders to solid doors and was concerned about heat and moisture due to less ventilation. Would appreciate some other thoughts on the +/- of using non vented doors on my own console repairs.
RB89BW posted 02-03-2010 10:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for RB89BW  Send Email to RB89BW     
I totally agree that the doors need to be vented and in-fact I am replacing the original console floor and will be venting that and the console itself. Ventilation as we both realize is imperative and with a little thought and effort can easily be obtained at this point.
There was an extra charge to create vented doors from this manufacture which is totally unnecessary they also charge extra for pre-drilled mounting holes again waist of money. I will make these modifications in my own shop and save $50.00 a door.
Keep in touch and good luck with your project.
dfmcintyre posted 02-03-2010 01:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
RB -

check the following link: white%20water/?action=view¤t=MVC-015S.jpg

RB89BW posted 02-04-2010 05:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for RB89BW  Send Email to RB89BW     
Nice photos I think I figure how to post my photos I will try to start to label the photos. As you can see these pictures are not really in order but should give you a feel for how I started and where I am at this point.
Hope this link works


dfmcintyre posted 02-04-2010 08:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
RB -

I was able to copy and paste your link. The trick to posting a link is start the beginning of the link with:


and at the end of the link:


Include the brackets.

I would check all the edges of the exposed plywood for rot. Another member found when he was making some console modifications that water had penetrated the exposed (un- epoxyed or sealed) edges and when he drilled below the existing gages, water [b]poured[/] out of the holes.

Is the structure above the windshield factory?

Regards - Don

dfmcintyre posted 02-04-2010 08:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
RB -

And you can see by the previous post what it looks like if you forget to end a bold HTML command. It should have looked like this:


Damn, I hate not having the ability to edit on the site for about 10 minutes after posting...


RB89BW posted 02-05-2010 06:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for RB89BW  Send Email to RB89BW     
I am also experiencing wood rod inside the console and have decided to replace all the existing wood with new. I designed that little arch above the wind shield and a friend built it. I still have not figure how to get the photo link to work but I will keep working on it.
dfmcintyre posted 02-05-2010 06:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
RB -

Here's your link that I copied and pasted:

By adding [url] and the beginning, and [/url] at the end of your link, it comes out like this:

Make sure you don't forget the brackets.


dfmcintyre posted 02-05-2010 06:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
RB -

Forgot to mention that when you add the format, it shows when your first typing it in, but does not show once it's posted. The program "hides" the formatting language.

Best - Don

Post New Topic  Post Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | RETURN to ContinuousWave Top Page

Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.