With the different types of gauges, it became easy to monitor particular areas of the boat engine and ensure safety. Adding these devices to your dashboard will provide you a better control of different aspects of the watercraft performances.
Do you want to install them into your boat, but don’t want to spend additional money on building the gauge pod? Don’t worry; we have a cheaper solution for you.
Building the marine gauge pods by yourself is economical and it will only take you a few hours to finish it. With these devices upgraded to your boat, you will be able to monitor oil pressure for proper lubrication, or how much boost you are making. Also, you can keep an eye on your air fuel ratio to make sure that you are getting the most potential power your ship can make.
Here are 6 steps that will help you build a gauge pod for your boat. They are tested and working.
Also, there are so many different gauges to choose on the market. Check out this site for more information about these devices – http://www.defender.com/category.jsp?path=-1%7C311&id=2349076.
First of all, you need to remove dashboard out of the boat, so you could work on it properly. You will be using it for the base of the gauge pod. You need PVC pipes (it is up to you, how many of them you will use) and mark them on the exact spot where you need to cut it. The gauges will fit nicely into the 2 inches pipes. If you want to work with a curve one, then 45-degree street elbow is a perfect choice to start this project.
Start with cutting and removing most of the scrap from pipes. Use whatever you prefer to make quick work of it; PVC saw, band saw or handsaw. This is very easy material to cut, so you won’t have a problem with it. It will represent the underside of the pod, so make sure to shape it properly.
Next, you need to make a hole into the original dashboard of the boat. Set the pod into this gap and hot glue it in the place. Let it dry for about half an hour. If you need more than one pod, repeat this action. Make sure to bond the pipes together before sticking any to the base. If you do it off the dashboard, they will fit perfectly together, otherwise, you will have a problem with the orientation of the housing itself. It is recommendable to sand a recess between the pods. Make sure to measure them right to get them even. This will help you in the next steps, to have them tight together.
The next step is draping the cloth. Use some material that has a good stretch, like nylon for example. Or use some old T-shirt, or pillowcase, whatever works for you. Cover the PVC pipes and the base with it. Glue it around the edges and stretch the fabric as much as you can. With the high melt temp glue gun, stick the material on the bottom. Make sure to press the glue so the surface is as flat as possible. This will be important for the later shaping.
Note: To avoid future problems, don’t glue it between the pods. When you wrap it, remove all the excess. If you want, you can double layer it, but it is not necessary.
The next step is to cover the unit completely with the resin. Let it dry. After you spread it over and it hardens, cut off the pod holes where the gauges will fit. If the fabric is still flexible and a little thin, backfill it. This will maybe make a mess inside the pod, but it can be fixed with the flap wheel. If needed apply more resin to the unit. Smooth the rough areas.
If you have some large holes to fill, we recommend applying body filler http://bondo.com/. For the small gaps, you can use https://www.jbweld.com/.
When everything is shaped perfectly, your next step is priming and masking. Sand it as much as needed to build up smooth areas. After a few covering, sanding and smoothing use the boat bed liner. This will prevent the damage on the unit. You can purchase and find the right bed liner for your pod on this site – https://www.wholesalemarine.com/ .
Repeat these actions if needed.
As for the last step, you can begin with painting the pod. It is best to use marine boat paint. With its UV protection, the paint won’t fade even if it’s exposed to direct sunlight. You can check out this site – https://www.armorthane.com/ for more color selection to use for your boat.
– 45 Degree Street Elbow PVC pipe
– Epoxy resin coatings
– Nylon fabric or you can use some old T-shirt, just make sure it’s stretchable material.
– Boat Bed Liner Paint
– Primer, Bondo body filler, and JB weld
– Hot glue gun
– Spindle sander handy
– Dremel or flap wheel on the die grinder
– Heat gun
With these steps, you need a few hours to build your own custom gauge pod for your boat. It takes a lot of work and dedication but you will be happy with the results. The best thing is that it is very economical. It will cost you about 50 dollars to make it. As for the gauges, you can choose between different types of them. There is a wide variety of models, brands and different options available on the market. The three most popular gauges are Oil Pressure, Boost, and Exhaust Gas Temperature. With these devices you will be more aware of anything that could go wrong with the boat or could harm the engine. That way you will have a better control of your watercraft.