View Full Version : Plans for a center console
08-14-2003, 12:36 PM
I am going to build a Diablo with a center console. Can anyone tell me where I can find plans for the center console unit?
08-14-2003, 01:24 PM
Your best bet would be to mock-up what you like out of cardboard first, then when your happy with the fit use your mock-up as a template for the real thing.
08-14-2003, 01:44 PM
What a lovely project to show your stuff.
Couple of thoughts:
Attach it very well to the deck, through bolted and backed if at all possible. Nothing spoils the day more than bouncing around and finding yourself riding the saddle rather than the horse. When you bump, bang and fall against the consol, it takes some stress.
Have good handlolds forward, each side and aft.
If you're planning a seat, leave enough space between the seat at the wheel that you can comfortably stand for long periods.
It's a bit easier to make a seat with a fixed back as then you can have the seat and back a 90 degree L tilted about 15 degrees back. If you opt for a swinging back so that you can sit facing aft, the seat must be flat. But you may have good reason for going that route, like on the hook chatting or fishing or something.
The consol itself might best be designed around your controls and instruments. Put the compass in the center and make sure that anything magnetic (radios etc) are far enough away that they can't skew it.
Make sure the wheel is high enough for comfortable use standing and the whole console low enough that you can sit and still read the compass.
Mostly, look at rigs you like.
I have never seen plans for a center console - I made that suggestion to one of the boat plan suppliers some years ago and perhaps they do have plans available.
I built a center console in a dory by measuring and laying-out for the items that needed to be in that area, gas tank, steering wheel, gauges, throttle, whatever, etc. Some cardboard from a refigerator shipping package and a sharp knife will get you in the ball park. The console does take a lot of weight with people leaning on it and should be built stout and mounted solidly.
If you have the option of actually being able to run the boat before you install the console you could take some sandbags and balance the weight exactly where you want it. I used bagged concrete to find a balance point that suited me and then arranged things to suit.
Think of the console as a panel and frame structure. Oh, another thing that beefs-up things is threaded stainless rod run across big spans, etc., a lot of strength and little weight.
08-14-2003, 02:43 PM
I second Ian's 'bolting down' comments. My console was left adrift by the local boatyard after they repaced the steering cable, which had seized (another story), and I was unpleasantly surprised when left 'riding the saddle'.
Another nice thing to do with a console in a boat the size of a Diablo is to store the gas tank(s) under it, even forward under a built-in seat, and mount a raised tray for securing the battery. That will get those things out from underfoot aft or wherever you may have them, and make keeping the boat clean easier.
Alan D. Hyde
08-14-2003, 03:39 PM
Not to highjack Rulfs thread (tell me if you think I am and I'll delete), but this seems like a good place to solicit people's views on wheel orientation.
I know some guys that swear by a horizontal wheel, others by vertical or by various angles.
I myself like standing pretty well, and don't like to stay seated too long, so I've liked the horizontal wheels I've used.
08-14-2003, 03:45 PM
I preferr verticl wheel orientation so my thoughts on their superiority might be a tad self-serving, but seems to me that it's easier to come up with a comfortable wheel hight for both sitting and standing if it's verticle. Hold the top when standing but maybe idle the arms down a bit along the bottom rim when sitting.
Best of all, it's more natural and physically easier to steer with a verticle wheel in one hand while you're leaning over with the gaff in the other retrieving whatever it is that blew off . . .
And if you should stuff a wave, being pushed against a verticle wheel is somewhat less painful if it's a strong wheel. 'Course, if the wheel collapses and you prong yourself on the shaft, that's painful.
De Gustibus non disputandam est - but it's fun to argue anyway.
08-14-2003, 03:50 PM
The wetted surface, on the bottom, will dictate the size eventually you end up with, in the boat, so it will not create an adverse affect in stability. Keep in mind, that care should be taken not to oversize the material in this application. I would keep it low profile in this boat. There is an adjustable helm, that pivots to the semi upright position that mounts on a helm station.
[ 08-14-2003, 03:52 PM: Message edited by: Oyster ]
The only horizontals I've used were in tuna towers, where it would have difficult to mount the wheel any other way. I prefer straight up and down.
Alan D. Hyde
08-14-2003, 03:55 PM
I was thinking of flybridge wheels.
In the house, vertical seems to make more sense.
08-14-2003, 03:59 PM
Many flats boats and work boats use the helm in the horizontal position mounted on a flat surface on the side postions.
08-14-2003, 04:43 PM
See if you can locate an older Boston Whaler Montauk 17 with the wood on top center console and adapt it to the Diablo. A very nice setup as I recall.
08-14-2003, 04:45 PM
Or a push-pull stick for steering, a nice bronze throtle control that looks a little like a sextant and lies pretty flat against the combing or maybe the engin box, and a shift lever just sticking up a tad inboard of the steer.
Then your 'center consol' can be a nice lounge chair, umbrella deployed for slow speed, built in cooler . . .
08-14-2003, 04:49 PM
This is an example of a low profile, with a flexible steering helm. Notice the flex collar, and the button on the bottom, that allows it to pivot up, to allow for steering standing up.
08-14-2003, 05:08 PM
Alan D. Hyde
08-14-2003, 05:53 PM
Good pix, Mike.
08-14-2003, 10:43 PM
Yep I go for the one in the top pix. On a small craft like your building it will make it feel like a sports car, unstead of a tug boat.
This is a mockup of one I'm working on.
08-15-2003, 11:03 AM
The ultimate center console. You can shift the shaft for and aft, mounted on the side, for center seating and weight distribution. You will need to run the cable to a pivot roller and then aft and across to aquire steering for both ways. This can accomplished by also running the cable foward and across the bow section and back, to do the same job. This will allow for you to also sit further forward in then hull for a more even running angle in this boat. I think this has been discussed in some of the previous threads concerning the Diablo.
The cables run on rollers to the rudder or to the outboard sterring arm.
[ 08-15-2003, 11:06 AM: Message edited by: Oyster ]
Unless you must build to a specific size and shape per some plans that go with the boat, you can build most any shape that fits your needs. I looked at many consoles before finalizing console shape and size in my 18 foot flyfishing flats skiff making sure that both batteries and a large fuel tank fit exactly. If the fuel tank or batteries can be located somewhere else then the console can be quite small.
I saw a flats/bay boat with a great setup, and took much from that design.
My research showed that most consoles are 24 inches wide (to allow protection for two people side by side) and steering wheel height and angle are really up to you. The Diablo is a smaller boat so you will want a narrower console simple because of available room. I was advised by a couple of very knowledgable and experienced fishermen (one an NA) that you need to allow at least 16 inches on each side to accommodate "walking by" clearance. Steering wheel height is determined by using a mock setup with your arms comfortably at your sides, arms bent at a comfortable angle to let your hands rest on the steering wheel.
I built a nice angle on the console top to shed water and a nice flat square wedge at the center to fit a flush mount Ritchie compass. Also be sure to create cutouts via a router along the bottom edge (sides and fore and aft panels at the cockpit sole) to allow for drainage of water when washing out the compartments of the console.
A waterproof Blue Sea Systems power distribution panel was installed allowing for elimination of a fuse panel as each switch has its own screw out "O" ring fuse receptacle. [ these come in 3, 6 and 8 switch panels] The key-switch is installed under the dash on the console side panel to keep it out of the weather and to insure trouble free operation. A tilt steering wheel is installed to gain an extra 3 inches in height that places the steering wheel at the same level as the Yamaha binnacle mount engine control "T" handle. This allows for great convenience at the controls.
With an appropriate windshield attached to the leading edge of the console you can stand and see over the top of the windshield and grab-rail that continues over the top of the windshield and the aerodynamic air flow will clear your head nicely without any Plexiglas in front of your face.
When you decide to sit down their is a leaning post that sits about 2 inches from your butt and all you do is settle back a little and rest your behind on the leaning post. A large cooler fits nicely under the leaning post. BTW a leaning post can be sized only for one person and still be quite comfortable.
My eye height is 63 inches so I made sure the aluminum rail over the windshield was lower than that. If you become tired and want to sit down and rest, just tilt the steering wheel down and sit back on the seat. Now you can see fine, right through the windshield. If you sit lower you must adjust everything accordingly.
Take time to plan out the location of switches , compass, etc as you can achieve a high degree of functionality if you think it over carefully before finalizing the design.
Also, take a look at Hewes/Maverick boats as they show a very small horizontal square helm attachment that extends from one side of the boat, and only extends about 15 inches from the top of the sheer to allow for a steering wheel and a key swith. The engine controls are mounted on the side of the sheer deck.
I have also set up the fuel tank fill on a flat surface directly above the fuel tank to allow for checking fuel level with a dip stick if electrics fail, (also very accurate).
http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid70/p252d0e336f3eb43f494fbf06f4d1cf91/fba287af.jpg web page Imagestation: Texas Flats Boat (http://www.imagestation.com/album/?id=4289637173&idx=1)
[ 08-15-2003, 11:54 PM: Message edited by: RodB ]
08-17-2003, 12:26 PM
Center console Diablo...
You sure loose a lot of already limited interior space with that console. If I did it, I'd wanna change the thwarts to give me a bit more maneuvering room, then you'd have to deal with the hull flexing, etc.
What's wrong with tiller steering? Throttle and steering in one hand, leaves the other hand free for either a fishing rod, or...
08-17-2003, 07:50 PM
I thought I'd let you see the console I built for my 16' San Juan Dory. I tapered the console to give a few more inces of room for walking around it.
08-17-2003, 11:05 PM
Jeff, that console looks a lot like ones I've seen on the Caribiana boats ('cept yours looks better!).
Heres an example of a really small steering setup on a "HellsBay"...
[ 08-18-2003, 05:57 PM: Message edited by: RodB ]
08-18-2003, 08:42 AM
Rod, remove the orig, jpg, and it will post. I wonder why many folks, with serious inquiries, never come back to comment, to show at least some courtesy of the time people spend to reply. :confused: Nice work Jeff, any chance on seeing the full length body shot? ;)
[ 08-18-2003, 08:44 AM: Message edited by: Oyster ]
Here's a good looking center console, with an Edson Wheel and a Kobelt controller, on a Caribiana Sea Skiff.
Quite a few interesting consoles on these boats.
08-18-2003, 10:53 AM
I got the idea for my console from the Caribiana skiffs. I like the lines, practicality and size of the console, plus it was one of the few that I think looks nice in wood. I'm not a fan of plain box with no character.
Here is a full length shot from a couple months ago. I have to install/rig the steering and motor and she'll be out fishing. 'Course it'll have to wait until I finish this job in London. Argggg.....the things we do to make a living, huh.
08-18-2003, 11:09 AM
NIce work, and what do I see hanging overhead from the house? ;) It bears resemblance of a retired Marine?
[ 08-18-2003, 11:10 AM: Message edited by: Oyster ]
08-18-2003, 03:48 PM
No, not a retired Marine. That's my wife's flag with a Cardinal and sunflowers.
I lived in San Clemente for several years next to Camp Pendelton; that's as close as I got to being a Marine. There is no finer fighting force on the planet than the US Marines. That's not to say that our other forces are in any way inferior, only that if you want your enemy dead while fighting in a tough situation, send in the Marines. My father was a Marine in the Korean conflict and came home with a purple heart. I guess I'm a little biased.
[ 08-18-2003, 03:49 PM: Message edited by: jlapratt ]
08-18-2003, 04:11 PM
Jeff's got a number of nice construction photos in Imagestation, don't you Jeff?? ;)
Be nice to see a bit of commentary with those photos to help the rest of us along...
08-18-2003, 05:36 PM
The console is going to take up a lot of room. I'm happy with my Diablo and tiller steering. I added a tiller extension handle that allows me to sit more forward if I want to.
If I wanted one with a wheel, I'd build the Grande.
08-18-2003, 06:00 PM
Well, I'm in the process of posting all 182 photos. They are in date order, so they should be self explanitory. But.........feel free to ask any specific questions 'bout what I did, how I did it or what hair-brained idea was it that I tried (and there have been a few).
Just be kind with criticism, I have my own share of coulda, woulda, shoulda self criticisms. But I think she's pretty for my first boat built.
San Juan Dory Building Pics (http://www.imagestation.com/album/?id=4291032711)
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