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Raised back-to-back seat bases for a 175-gctid371881

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    Raised back-to-back seat bases for a 175-gctid371881

    I love my 175, but two things I haven't been fond of are the extremely low height of the seats, and the lack of readily accessible storage space. This winter, I decided to attempt to improve both issues by making taller seat bases with useable storage space underneath.The basic construction is 3/4" furniture grade plywood, screwed and glued, painted on the inside, and carpeted on the outside similar to the factory plastic bases. I obtained the taupe carpeting from Overtons, colorwise it is an exact match to the deck carpet, although a thicker pile. I think newer 175's than mine have gray carpeting. Each base is screwed to the floor with a total of 6 sheet metal screws. The base is the same length as the factory base, but the height is 9" vs. 6" on the original. The width is a bit wider than the factory base, but still narrower than the seats themselves. In order to match the geometry of the interlocking hole pattern for the seat capture poles, I templated one of the factory bases on brown paper with the side of a crayon. The forward storage opening is equipped with bungee cord to hold a plastic bin & lid in place. Enough room for flares, horn, handheld VHS, wallet, keys, whatever. The admiral is bestowed exclusive rights to the identical bin under the shotgun seat. I plan to store my wakeboard bindings, tow ropees, and a first aid kit in one of the aft storage areas, and a low profile collapsible cooler available from Overtons in the other.The extra 3" of seat height puts my eyes above the windshield bar and well above the side window glass. A much better view all around, and your head is still below direct wind. The extra seat height relative to the throttle lever is also a more comfortable arrangement for me. Coincident with this change, I also installed the Teleflex tilt steering kit. Since the tilt steering helm moves the wheel aft, I installed the driver side seat base about 3" aft of the original factory location. This does crowd the legroom for the aft facing seat, but that was a tradeoff that I felt was worth it. If I adjust the driver seat to the maximum aft location, I can stand at the wheel for docking, and with the tilt steering I can now reach the wheel when doing so. I filled the old screw holes in the deck with clear silicone, and embedded some carpet fibers in the goop to hide them. The two forward fasteners on the factory bases are actually stainless bolts, threaded into metal sockets embedded in the deck plywood. A couple of those were very difficult to remove, as there was surface rust in the fitting (but not on the stainless bolts). Carbon steel sockets perhaps? To fill and preserve those holes/socket fittings, I installed new bolts, well greased, with fender washers.I also added pole clips to the outside of the starboard base, to store a telescoping boat hook, which you can see in one of the pictures. I re-used the existing aft storage endboards that extend along the rear edge of the seat base to the hull. They are just 3/8" plywood with glued carpet, attached with 1-5/8" screws from the inside. I did not re-install the forward end boards, as they didn't seem to serve much purpose, and that should allow me to stuff a thin bag or whatever in there if needed.The effort involved to fabricate these seat bases was significantly more than I anticipated, but I'm pleased with the results.

    [img]/media/kunena/attachments/vb/675290=26559-IMG_2442_5x6.jpg[/img]

    [img]/media/kunena/attachments/vb/675290=26561-IMG_2481_5x6.jpg[/img]

    [img]/media/kunena/attachments/vb/675290=26560-IMG_2484_5x6.jpg[/img]

    #2
    Wow that is awesome! Props to you! I would love to do that, but I am definitely not that good with wood like you are!

    Comment


      #3
      This is a great improvement! I would like to do this as well. Could you post dimensions and all other info that we can all use to do this?

      Comment


        #4
        Really nice job.
        Be good, be happy, for tomorrow is promised to no man !

        1994 2452, 5.0l, Alpha gen. 2 drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

        '86 / 19' Citation cuddy, Merc. 3.0L / 140 hp 86' , stringer drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

        Manalapan N.J

        Comment


          #5
          Joe Jackson wrote:
          This is a great improvement! I would like to do this as well. Could you post dimensions and all other info that we can all use to do this?
          Well, I'm sorry to say I didn't make any drawings and figured everything out as I went along. Since I knew I was replacing both seat bases, I made two bases simultaneously. Time consuming!

          As I mentioned, the length along the top and bottom edges are exactly the same as the factory original plastic bases. All pieces were cut from 3/4" cabinet grade plywood. I used a table saw, a circular saw, and a jigsaw. All joints are simple butt joints, with waterproof wood glue, and screwed with countersunk stainless sheet metal screws. The height is 9" vs. 6" on the original. The angled end pieces are about 6.5" high, this is not a critical dimension. What is critical is the inside distance between the two side pieces, I believe it is 13", which is just wide enough to accommodate the aluminum poles on the seats themselves. Use the existing seat base as your guide here. To match the interlocking seat capture pattern, I traced one of the original bases, and transferred the pattern to a piece of ply. The "notches" are actually half circles, 15/16" diameter. So I started cutting the pattern by first locating and drilling the 15/16" holes with a spade bit, and then completing the rest of the cuts between the holes circles with a jigsaw. You end up with the half-moon notches, and some very funny looking waste scrap pieces. As can be seen in the picture, the completed interlocking pattern is actually made of several pieces, each one glued and screwed to the inside of the sideboard. I eliminated the parts of the inerlocking pattern that allows the seats to fold flat, as I never use that feature.

          This is the basic order of construction for one seat base:

          1. Cut out the two sideboards with a table saw or circular saw

          2. Fabricate the interlocking pattern pieces as described above and glue/screw them to the inside of the sideboards, centered on the length. The entire top edge of each side pice will be double thick, 1.5"

          3. Cut out the end pieces. The end cuts will need to be mitered on both ends to match the slant angle of the side pieces. Do not cut the storage access holes. You will do this later.

          4. Assemble the end pieces to the side completed piece assemblies, all butt joints glued and screwed. Be careful to keep the whole assembly square as the glue dries.

          5. Cut out three bottom cleats, 2" wide by 13" long, one for each end and one for the center. The two ends will need to be mitered on one side to match the slant of the end pieces.

          6. Glue and screw the bottom cleats in place.

          7. Measure and cut out the center stiffener/divider to size, the finished height should be identical to the height of the end pieces.

          8. Mark the location of the two storage access hole in one side piece. The sides of the holes should align with the cleat edges, the height works out to just a bit more than 6".

          9. Carefully cut the two storage access holes out with a jig saw.

          10. Fill all holes/gaps with bondo or similar. Seal all exposed edges of plywood with one coat of polyurethane.

          11. Rout or file all edges with a 1/4 radius. The carpet will bend easier around a radiused corner.

          12. Trial fit the seats and file/sand any interferences.

          13. Paint the interior. I used latex enamel.

          14. Cover the exterior with marine carpet, glued in place with exterior carpet glue. I glued and stapled one side at a time. Wait until the glue dries, remove the staples, and move on to the next adjacent side. Take your time. It's like wrapping a present. Trim with an exacto knife or razor blade, AFTER the glue has dried. The top end corners are the trickiest - use the existing base carpet as a guide. The exposed seams end up being at each end, where they can't really be seen. Raw edges of the carpet all end in hidden locations.

          15. Screw the seat base to the deck through the bottom cleats as shown, 2 screws to a cleat, 6 total screws per base. Do not drill too big of a pilot hole in the deck. You want those screws to have a good bite.

          Comment


            #6
            Awesome upgrade that makes great sense!

            I like the storage access from the sides....

            Happy boating!
            Boating Supplies

            Comment


              #7
              Longtime lurker, first time poster.

              I have the same model Bayliner 175 - maybe the same year too as it looks very similar to mine. I like what you did especially because I feel the seats are low as well. I often find myself sitting on my leg or a cushion to get a better position.

              Looks great. I'm in Wilmington, DE as well and may have to employ your expertise!

              Comment


                #8
                Fruffy42 wrote:
                Longtime lurker, first time poster.

                I have the same model Bayliner 175 - maybe the same year too as it looks very similar to mine. I like what you did especially because I feel the seats are low as well. I often find myself sitting on my leg or a cushion to get a better position.

                Looks great. I'm in Wilmington, DE as well and may have to employ your expertise!
                Thanks Fruf! Where do you boat? We play on the Chesapeake.

                I was a 2-cushion man myself!

                Hope your 175 has been as kind to you as mine has been to me. If you haven't already done the suggested upgrades, I recommend all of the main ones: Smart Tabs, sound insulation on the engine cover, 3 step ladder. If you only have the time or money for one at a time, do the tabs first. HUGE improvement overall.

                Regards,

                Jim

                Comment


                  #9
                  Wow! Amazing job. Do mine next. Was the floor carpeted under the original seats?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Rickster wrote:
                    Wow! Amazing job. Do mine next. Was the floor carpeted under the original seats?
                    OK. Google maps says it's a 2,829 mile drive from Wilmington to Okanagan, a mere 49 hour drive. If I leave in an hour or so, I'll be there by...Friday morning. Plenty of time for you to assemble the materials.

                    Yes, the carpeting on the deck goes completely under the seat bases.

                    Like moving a piece of furniture that has been in the same place, you can see the imprint/outline of the original seat base location, no biggee. You can also see in the picture the stains from where the previous owner left a rusting jack handle under the seat for awhile, and then thoughtfully moved it to the storage cubby between the seat base and hull. Nice!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Ok, you don't have to do mine. Again, beautiful job.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        fish21121 wrote:
                        Thanks Fruf! Where do you boat? We play on the Chesapeake.

                        I was a 2-cushion man myself!

                        Hope your 175 has been as kind to you as mine has been to me. If you haven't already done the suggested upgrades, I recommend all of the main ones: Smart Tabs, sound insulation on the engine cover, 3 step ladder. If you only have the time or money for one at a time, do the tabs first. HUGE improvement overall.

                        Regards,

                        Jim
                        Thanks for the ideas. Pretty new to boating with any regularity so I'm learning. What did you use for the sound insulation and where did you get it locally? Also, did you need a new ladder or could you find an extension?

                        We trailer the boat so upper Chesapeake, DE Bay, and Rehoboth Bay are where we end up around here.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Jim,

                          I am new to boating, and purchased my first boat last summer ( 2008 Bayliner 175). My only regret is that I did not buy a boat 10 years sooner! Can you provide more info on the smart tabs, and where to get the sound insulation? After only 1 season, I know those are upgrades I want to do.

                          Thanks in advance for any info you can provide,

                          Robert

                          fish21121 wrote:
                          Thanks Fruf! Where do you boat? We play on the Chesapeake.

                          I was a 2-cushion man myself!

                          Hope your 175 has been as kind to you as mine has been to me. If you haven't already done the suggested upgrades, I recommend all of the main ones: Smart Tabs, sound insulation on the engine cover, 3 step ladder. If you only have the time or money for one at a time, do the tabs first. HUGE improvement overall.

                          Regards,

                          Jim

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Robert,

                            Smart tabs are available from many sources: West Marine, Overtons, you name it. For the 175, you want Smart Tabs SX-40 (40 lb actuators):

                            http://www.overtons.com/modperl/prod...view&from=grid

                            Shop around for the best price. Check out the "epic thread", much discussion, installation experience, and pictures. Installation is easy, but like everything, take your time. You will also need to call Nauticus the manufacturer to get a different pair of fittings for the actuators, necessary because of the 175's unique transom shape. They'll know what to send, and they'll send you a pair for free.

                            For the sound insulation, you need a foil backed heat resistant material, like this:

                            http://www.amazon.com/CSI-25070-Heat...5400075&sr=8-2

                            Similar items are also sold at auto parts stores. Use spray on adhesive, and foil heating duct tape for the seams. I believe the "Completed Projects" section of this board has a post about this project, with pictures.

                            If you have not gone through the epic thread page by page, I recommend you do so. Pretty much every improvement you can make has been done and documented in some way shape or form. It might spark some ideas of your own. That's basically how my seat base idea was born.

                            Jim

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Thanks Jim!

                              I will definately chock out the rest of the forums.

                              Robert

                              fish21121 wrote:
                              Robert,

                              Smart tabs are available from many sources: West Marine, Overtons, you name it. For the 175, you want Smart Tabs SX-40 (40 lb actuators):

                              http://www.overtons.com/modperl/prod...view&from=grid

                              Shop around for the best price. Check out the "epic thread", much discussion, installation experience, and pictures. Installation is easy, but like everything, take your time. You will also need to call Nauticus the manufacturer to get a different pair of fittings for the actuators, necessary because of the 175's unique transom shape. They'll know what to send, and they'll send you a pair for free.

                              For the sound insulation, you need a foil backed heat resistant material, like this:

                              http://www.amazon.com/CSI-25070-Heat...5400075&sr=8-2

                              Similar items are also sold at auto parts stores. Use spray on adhesive, and foil heating duct tape for the seams. I believe the "Completed Projects" section of this board has a post about this project, with pictures.

                              If you have not gone through the epic thread page by page, I recommend you do so. Pretty much every improvement you can make has been done and documented in some way shape or form. It might spark some ideas of your own. That's basically how my seat base idea was born.

                              Jim

                              Comment

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