Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Winter continues to grip our part of the world but from how hot the sun is beginning to feel on my skin as I move through our frozen world, I know it will soon ease, and I'll be back to work.

While I'm not yet finished with the console, I'm well on my way, and for some reason this particular project has me feeling good. I guess, after all these years, finally seeing the command center beginning to take shape has me feeling like I  might actually be getting somewhere.

As you can tell, I move the wheel to the center of the wheel house. This was for sure the right move, and so far, the layout feels like it's happening. 

To port of the console, is the navigation desk and to starboard is more counter space with the electrical distribution panel below. The nav desk is 30" tall, and the console is 36" tall, with the gauge board being 20" deep x 30" wide.  The surround the console sits upon is framed  up out out of solid cherry stock. Sticking with my shoe string budget, and using materials I have on hand, I made the console out of solid cherry. I had debated using cherry plywood for the  console, but by the time I treated the ply edge's with solid stock, I'd have double the labor and it would look like I edged plywood.

Keeping with my philosophy of having future maintenance and servicing or remodeling requiring as  little bending or contorting  as possible, I hinged the console dash using a stainless piano hinge. Having the dash hinged already has paid off as I needed to alter a plywood bulkhead to fit the engine controls, and it for sure made that job easy by being able to quickly lift up the dash and make the cuts. Two screws will hold the console fast.

The only gear I have fit so far into the console is the engine and generator controls, and the bow thruster control. I left enough room to fit a row of switches under the engine and generator panel. Depending on how large of a chart plotter screen I go with, I think I can fit a small chart plotter in the dash above the generator panel. The radar screen is going to either going to hang from the ceiling or sit on the counter to starboard. The VHF radio will be to port of the console so it can be used from either the captain seat or the navigation desk. For reasons relating to layout, I placed the engine and throttle controls to port. In order to not feel like I was reaching around the wheel, I pulled the engine and throttle controls out a bit by creating a column. The compass will reside on the shelf above the console right at the base of the windows.

To starboard of the console is where the electrical distribution panel will be installed. The distribution panel, like the console will be hinged. Access under the console will be via a small door  under the wheel or through the hinged door the electrical panel resides in ( and by lifting the hinged console).

I'm getting close to wrapping up the carpentry work in the wheel house, and am almost at the point where I could get some finish on the wood. I've been sanding as I go, but there's still a days work of bunging screw holes, sanding off scribe lines and getting rid of dust.




  1. That sure makes it look different from when I was there. :))

    Bill Kelleher

  2. Thanks Bill. Slow but sort of steady

  3. Bill, I have watched your progress for over a year now, GREAT job so far!

    I wish I had the abilities and patience you do. I have an older sailboat in need of repair. Nothing like living in what you are working on!

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