Teak Console Bubble

"Zero Cavity"  Teak Console Pod

The bridge Teak Console Bubble, housing single lever controls makes one of the most striking custom design elements that can be added to the Bertram 31.  While the concept of this type of helm has it's roots with Rybovich and Merritt, it is seen on many custom sportfishing rigs, including Buddy Davis, Ricky Scarborough, and Jim Smith.  It's addition to the Bertram 31 brings about the custom appearance without abridging the traditional classic design.

The console shown here was designed and built for Dr. Gerry Santiago, fitted on his highly customized FBC "Zero Cavity".

The following group of images and text will explain, from start to finish, the construction, finishing, and installation that took place.

The principle item that dictated the dimensional design of this console was the Ray Marine E120 GPS and Digital Display unit. Other elements include the Teleflex Palm Beach Style electronic engine controls and the Hynautic H21 helm.

The teak plank was selected from World Panel Products and measured 4/4" x 25" x 7'. Being a very large width plank the price of the rough cut board was breath taking at $600.00 & had to be milled on a large surface sander at a local millworks shop. Approximately 60% of the board was used to create the console.

The next step was to make a 3/4" plywood mock up of the intended design, prefit it to a B31 locally, and then take it to Gerry's B31 in Miami for a more accurate templating and adjustment to fit Gerry's personal preferences. The resulting model could now be dissembled and used as patterns for the teak.

 Rough fitting is done a buck in the shop.

 Side templates being checked on the buck.

 Final check on another B31.

 Glue up continues...

 Notice the heavy cleats used on all joints.

 Joining the edges.

 About 1/2 way there...

 Ready to go. Remaining paint falls into the round over.

 Inside surface of side is also sanded flush.

 Sides epoxied and Clamped. Note angled clamp fixtures...



 Round overs are laid out in pencil.


 A little practice on scrap never hurts...


 Round overs are a series of straight planes.

 Keep your planes parallel and watch the radius lines.

 Round overs are smoothed out with a 9" sander.

 Then with 80 grit on a 6" dual action sander.

 Corners are blended in with the 6" dual action sander.

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