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Old 12-16-2014, 06:31 AM   #1
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New Dash Board

Since I am getting new gauges, I was thinking of getting a new dash board so I could rearrange the gauges.
I looked at some stuff on the internet under "Dash Boards" and all I could find was pre-drilled. It looks like I will have to make it myself.
What would be a good material to use and where would I buy it?
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Old 12-16-2014, 06:48 AM   #2
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If you want a thin layer to cover your existing console, Formica would be a good choice. It is a very thin laminate that comes in numerous colors, commonly used on counter tops. The black surface of my console is Formica. Should be available at the big home improvement stores.

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Old 12-16-2014, 06:54 AM   #3
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Thanks
That might work. I have to find out how well Formica holds up outside,
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Old 12-16-2014, 06:59 AM   #4
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I have to find out how well Formica holds up outside,

You will also need to check if the gauges you purchase are water proof , most auto stuff is not suitable for a console or fly bridge.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:04 AM   #5
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........You will also need to check if the gauges you purchase are water proof.....
Good point. however, I am having a hard time finding out. Most of the gauge manufacturers have 'unlisted' websites and so no one to talk to in tech support since I can't even find tech support. The best I come up with in the description is "Marine Gauges", Fog Resistant", "Fog Free", and "Domed to shed water". Most distributers and retailers don't seem to know any more. The real truth lies somewhere in China.
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:22 AM   #6
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I've had luck working with a local trophy company as they have a material (some kind of plastic like) and they can engrave lettering on it for a real professional appearance.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:27 AM   #7
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I've had luck working with a local trophy company as they have a material (some kind of plastic like) and they can engrave lettering on it for a real professional appearance.
Thanks Bud
Just as I was reading your reply it hit me - sigh company or trophy company. Great minds think alike.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:46 AM   #8
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I tried Formica on an exterior door on my last boat and it turned white after six months of California sun.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:53 AM   #9
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Thanks, I suspected it might.
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Old 12-16-2014, 12:05 PM   #10
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We have Formica.
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Old 12-16-2014, 01:02 PM   #11
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Tony

When I redid my gauges I had a new dashboard made by a TF member somesailor aka Mike.

I don't know if he still does at kind of stuff, but he did a great job on mine.

I just sent him drawings of what I wanted along with the old dash panel for a outside template and he set it up on his Computerized machine.
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Old 12-16-2014, 02:47 PM   #12
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There are companies that can do your complete panel. Front Panel Express is one I've dealt with. They have software that lets you design the panel. You send them the file and they make it. You have a choice of materials and they can etch in any writing or designs you need. This might be overkill if all you need is to freshen the look, but if you're making any structural changes like re-arranging gauges or replacing the whole face, this is the way to go.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:20 PM   #13
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Don't forget to check out your local vocational school. If they have a mechanical trades department, chances are they have a machine trade program. I'm sure the instructor would like a project like that for entry level students using a 3 axis machine. You may even be able to get a CAD class to design the panel for you and send the dimensions down to the machine shop.


Instructors like people with projects when the customer has time and supplies materials promptly. Most of the time a box of donuts goes a long way. Of course I'm describing the school I taught at, your mileage may vary. Doesn't hurt to ask, you may even find a kid that is already interested in boating and you can exchange some boat time for machine time.
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Old 12-16-2014, 05:29 PM   #14
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I am rearranging the whole panel. I will definitely need a new dash. I'll be on the coast for a week or two, so I will have plenty of time to think about it.
Right now I am thinking of a local sign shop or a trophy shop. I'll even try Skinny's idea of checking with the local schools. Everyone pretty much owns a CNC machine today,


I pretty much know what I want so I'll first have to come up with the material. Not sure if I want black anodized or powder coated if I stick with aluminum. I do want black though. I'm changing the gauges from black to white. The gauges themselves don't require any writing, but the anchor light, horn and nav light switches do.
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Old 12-16-2014, 06:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I tried Formica on an exterior door on my last boat and it turned white after six months of California sun.
Tried Armor-All/silicone spray? It may go black again.
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Old 12-16-2014, 07:04 PM   #16
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Does the Mainship 36 have the same helm as the 34? Curious to see what you have and what you are going to upgrade to.
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Old 12-16-2014, 07:08 PM   #17
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Instructors like people with projects when the customer has time and supplies materials promptly. Most of the time a box of donuts goes a long way.
You know, I've tried that, but the only thing it does is give me sugar shock when I'm talking to the instructor.

I think that's a great idea, Skinny. From now on, I'm going to take my projects to the local vocat school first.
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Old 12-16-2014, 07:47 PM   #18
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Does the Mainship 36 have the same helm as the 34? Curious to see what you have and what you are going to upgrade to.
Don't know if it's the same but here are some pics.
The present with the black gauges and the white gauges are the proposed layout. So I am looking for a black panel. Also the new panel will have 2 or 3 more gauges
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Old 12-16-2014, 07:56 PM   #19
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You might try solid surface ( corian ) . It machines good with wood working
tools .
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:47 PM   #20
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This is what I am working on. It's a little "minimalist" and sorta old school, but then I have an old boat. There are all new SW gauges and I'm sorting the wiring out now. As others have reported when doing this kind of work I can't believe all of the "dead" wiring I am removing!



The insert that the gauges are in is a cored maple veneer, and I used the old gauge panel as a template. The teak base is original with holes for the start key/switch and another for the stop engine pull cable. I will be adding other holes for a horn switch and gauge light dimmer.
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