Earlier this week I spent a couple of days working on my dashboard. The dashboard is designed to come out of the boat so I was able to work on it inside my warm house. This seemed much better than shivering in the garage. I did most of the work on the kitchen table. The dashboard I am putting in my boat is actually the dash from the purple tree boat. The dash from the blue boat is quite beat-up and the gauges are really sun-bleached.
Earlier in the restoration process I purchased two NOS (New Old Stock or New Original Stock) speedometers and new dash plaques. I installed those in the dash first. The flash sort of drowns things out, but you can get the idea. The dash plaques are the “Ski Nautique” and “Performance Engineered” pieces.
The next issue to tackle was the lower right-hand portion of the dash. I can’t find a super-good “before” photo, but if you look at this picture you’ll see that there are two rows of switches and what is supposed to be a yellow checklist on the lower-right portion of the dashboard just to the right of the steering wheel. In the middle of that yellow area there is a white control panel for a stereo. I don’t have that stereo in my boat and it wasn’t in the purple boat either. All I have left is the useless control panel. It had to go.
The stereo control was installed by cutting a square hole into the dashboard. For this project I needed to remove the control panel, fix the hole and then apply a new sticker to the panel. I could not just use the blue boat panel because it was cracked. It is also likely that the switches and lights from the purple boat panel are in much better condition than those in the used and abused blue boat.
After removing the stereo control box I had to remove all the switches and lights from the panel. Due to the design of the lights, which are designed to be installed from the front, I unfortunately had to cut the wires for all the lights. I then cut out a matching square piece from the panel in the blue boat and glued it in place with some two-part epoxy made for plastic. It worked great. The epoxy was sanded flat and a new plastic sticker applied to the panel. After cutting out the holes I was able reinstall all the switches and lights. The progress and finished product look like this: