How are the instrument/gauge panels attached to the console on your boat?

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Jim in Alabama
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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:21 pm

How are the instrument/gauge panels attached to the console on your boat?

#1 Post by Jim in Alabama » Wed May 08, 2024 10:00 am

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Is this a case of poor engineering in order to cheap out or is there a valid reason why these panels are attached using epoxy rather than hardware?

Both of the instrument/gauge panels on our 2017 South Bay 521CR are loose. The panels are attached to the fiberglass console by means of flat head screws that are (or were!) epoxied to the back side of the aluminum panels. I noticed one panel sagging and found that many of the screws have broken loose from the back side of the panels. I've filed a warranty claim hoping for a goodwill repair, but haven't heard back and don't expect them to cover it. The dealer's recommendation is to repair it in the same way but using Marinetex, "which will hold up better than the epoxy South Bay used". Stainless sheet metal screws, or machine screws with nuts, going through the panels from the front side into the fiberglass just seems so logical to me, is there a reason why I shouldn't install stainless screws at the red Xs? I do realize that it woulfn't look as clean and finished but I think there's a way to make it look ok with painted trim washers or screw covers. Maybe there's a structural reason that I'm missing? Any experienced advice for me?
2017 South Bay 521CR - 115 Yamaha 4-Stroke

Horsepen
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Re: How are the instrument/gauge panels attached to the console on your boat?

#2 Post by Horsepen » Thu May 09, 2024 4:32 pm

I like your idea. You could use either screws or nuts and bolts. Depending on how much “meat” there is behind the panels. Either would work. Mine has Phillips SS sheet metal screws which I clocked and they look good. Just be careful when you tighten them (if you use screws) not to strip them and in either case, screws or nuts and bolts, don’t crack the plastic panel. And remember, Greats Lakes Skipper is your friend. I bought a matching panel for my Sweetwater from them.

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Jim in Alabama
Posts: 24
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Re: How are the instrument/gauge panels attached to the console on your boat?

#3 Post by Jim in Alabama » Fri May 10, 2024 8:28 am

Thanks, I assumed the panel was aluminum but it may very well be plastic. It might need spacers between the panel and fiberglass to keep from collapsing the panel, and that may be why they epoxy the screws on rather than go through. This is pi$$ poor engineering!
2017 South Bay 521CR - 115 Yamaha 4-Stroke

Steiner
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Location: Lyman, SC

Re: How are the instrument/gauge panels attached to the console on your boat?

#4 Post by Steiner » Sat May 11, 2024 3:05 pm

I think they just wanted it to be purty and the execution was not the best. My cluster is held in with oval head screws. I tried to lighten up the pic so you can see the dimples.


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jlh3rd
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Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 2:14 pm

Re: How are the instrument/gauge panels attached to the console on your boat?

#5 Post by jlh3rd » Sun May 12, 2024 5:32 am

mine is attached with ss screws that have button head snap covers. The covers are available at hardware stores.
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