Reversible Pilot Seat Riser

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
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Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2024 4:27 am

Reversible Pilot Seat Riser

Postby MikeUFCfan » Tue May 14, 2024 5:50 pm

My latest project on my 1984 OUTRAGE 20 was to buy, restore, and install, and then modify an old reversible pilot seat (RPS) in poor condition that I bought from an on-line seller.

After initial installation, the original height of the reversible pilot seat was too low for my 6-foot 2-inch height. I decided to raise the height of the RPS by making wooden risers. The added height also makes the RPS into a nice leaning post when the seat back is in the forward position.

Sourcing the teak proved difficult. I found an old outdoor teak table on Craig's List for free. I sanded down all of the planks, and laminated them together, creating bigger lumber from the original planks, I used TiteBond-3 wood glue to laminate the planks together.

I carved the new teak laminated lumber to a shape which followed the contours of the base of the Z-legs.

I oiled the teak, and applied eight coats of varnish.

The new RPS risers are shown in Figures 1, 2, and 3, below:

Fig. 1. Reversible Pilot Seat with Z-leg bases elevated with new wooden risers.
Fig1_.jpg (66.9 KiB) Viewed 358 times

Fig. 2. Close-up of the starboard riser.
Fig2_.jpg (33.6 KiB) Viewed 356 times

Fig. 3. Close-up of the port riser.
Fig3_.jpg (32.86 KiB) Viewed 356 times


To fasten the risers to the deck, I drilled three counter-sinking holes [at a location described as] on each side of each bit. [Moderator's note: please give a more clear description of where the three counter sinking holes were located.]

I used #12 x 3-inch stainless steel fasteners to hold the new risers to the deck. I attached the Z-leg bases to the riser with the same size fasteners.

I put a sealant on the joint between the deck and the risers.

Overall, I'm very happy with how the project turned out. I think it looks good and definitely serves a purpose.

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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2022 9:36 pm

Re: RPS Base to Raise Seat

Postby Kapharms » Wed May 15, 2024 7:50 am

Very nice work.


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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula

Re: Reversible Pilot Seat Riser

Postby jimh » Wed May 15, 2024 9:51 am

In Figure 2, I see three boards laminated into one timber, but I am not sure of the total height of the risers.

Q1: what was the total height of the risers you laminated from smaller planks?

Your narrative is a but fuzzy on how the new teak risers where attached to the deck. Please give a few more details on where the screw fasteners were located.

If you used 3-inch long fasteners, and the risers are about 3-inches thick, I presume you must have drilled holes several inches deep into the risers to recess the fasteners that will hold the risers to the deck. I suspect that those holes are hidden under the Z-leg bases.

Q2: if that is the method, did you make bungs to cover the recessed fastener holes?

The new risers remind me of a similar design used by old friend (and now deceased much too soon) Jerry (user-id JECURA) on his OUTRAGE 22 named SPOUTER. I like the sloped fore and aft ends of his risers and also on yours, too. And the thinning of the upper boards to reduce the width to better match the attached Z-legs is also a very elegant design. They're both examples of some very nice woodworking.

Fig. 4. RPS and center console risers fabricated for an OUTRAGE 22

ASIDE: there are several speculative accounts regarding the general height of the console and the RPS in which the somewhat low height of both are attributed to the the stature of Boston Whaler head designer Bob Dougherty, who was NOT a six-footer.

Raising the RPS was a topic of an early discussion on the forum. About 24 -years ago this thread reviewed a similar project:


As you can see by the serial number of that thread ("000041), it was a rather early topic in the forum.

Raising the RPS height has been discussed and implemented several times. Here is recent similar discussion:

RPS Seat Height

ASIDE: on a corollary topic:

Q3: did you have any problems applying varnish over the oiled teak?

And, yes, the nicely finished and varnished teak really is a beautiful touch and in the aesthetic of a classic Boston Whaler boat.

Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2024 4:27 am

Re: Reversible Pilot Seat Riser

Postby MikeUFCfan » Sat May 18, 2024 12:09 am

Details of how the new teak laminated lumber risers are attached to the deck are shown in Figure 5 below.

Fig. 5 Three holes of 1/2-inch-diameter were drilled into the top of the new teak risers at each end to a depth of 1-1/2-inches to recess the screws that will hold the riser to the deck. Stainless steel washers were inserted into the holes. The screws used were 3-inches long.
PRS_RiserDetail_.jpg (49.25 KiB) Viewed 285 times

The mounting of the teak riser to the deck seems really solid--so far. The new risers raise the height of the RPS by 3-1/2-inches. The addesd height below the RPS provides more storage, and a cooler can now fit there.

I was inspired by Jerry's design--but I could not locate the post that showed his work. It's a great design.

Applying varnish over the oiled teak didn't give me any trouble. I let the wood dry for a day and gave it eight coats of varnish, sanding with 320-grit in between coats.

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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula

Re: Reversible Pilot Seat Riser

Postby jimh » Sat May 18, 2024 9:37 am

With the riser height 3.5-inches, and the holes drilled to a depth of 1.5-inches, and the screw fastners length 3-inches, I presume then that about 1-inch of the screw fastener penetrates into the deck. That is a good depth for the screw to penetrate, as there is not much more than about an inch of material in the deck at that location. Also, you do not want to have the point of a self-tapping screw penetrating any deeper than that, as there could be a fuel hose of electrical wiring below the deck.

For some insight on why the console and RPS height seem to work best for a helmsman of about 5-feet-8-inch height, Boston Whaler designer Bob Dougherty was about 5-feet 8-inches tall. See a photograph of him (very recently added) at

RPS Seat Height ... 309#p47309