Power BI

Content by Charles Sterling

Radio working in the new boat

From the title you wouldn’t expect this to have taken 10 hours but the process was very much like the nursery rhyme ”This is the house that Jack built”.

It all started with the fact the i wanted to listen to the radio while replacing the flooring in the cabin (The floor is now done btw)- but as this boat didn’t originally have a radio i needed to figure out where to mount one.  

Since all the outboards I have been looking at share will share a single gauge for the tachometer when set up twins i knew i would need to fill some holes in the dashboard so i ordered the Milennia Prv16.  In addition to fitting in a hole of one of the old tachometers i liked the fact it had no mechanical parts and was water proof.


Milennia PRV16 AM/FM Receiver 3-¼" Round Hole Cutout

Step 1:

The first step of the installation was to pull the ~20 lbs of wiring harnesses for the old Mercruisers – but leaving in the wiring for the gauges i thought i could repurpose ( like Fuel, Voltage)-if for no other reason to fill the holes in the dash.

Step 2:

Connect the the radio to a power source.  In looking at at the two fuse panels (one gang and one independent block) i realized not only was there no room from an additional peripheral but both fuse blocks were in really bad shape and the gang fuse block had actually blown off two fuse mounts for the deck pump and rudder indicator. So this led to several unexpected projects:



A:  Remove the console housing.  This should have been as easy as removing two pieces of trim and a couple of screws -  but to work around the the two blown fuse mounts in the old panel some boat yard technician has mounted replacements on the cover which had to be moved.

B: Remove the Wheel(needed to be removed to remove the console housing).  With a pulley puller this should have been an easy task- But with two 16” C-clamps and a large socket this was a knuckle busting hour long swear marathon.

C:  Replace the old fuse panels.  This should have been a pretty straightforward task of unscrewing every wire from the old panel and screwing into the new one- BUT the older boats used spade style connectors. So i had to cut the ends off every wire and and crimp on new ring connectors.  In the image below you can see i have only done one of the panels. (the yellow tags are labels for the purpose of the circuit)




While I have only replaced one of the fuse panels (the gang panel) it was the one the radio is wired into – so now i can listen to the radio while i replace the other panel!  Oh yeah the old panels had 10 fused circuits and 10 more on the bus bar…the new setup will have 18 fused circuits and 12 on a pair of bus bars. 

On the upside this effort gave me a good look at the construction of the fiberglass …pretty incredible there is 1/2 of solid fiberglass in THE DASHBOARD!

More glass than many modern boats sides; no wonder the boats of this era weighed so much!!!