I built a center console for my Jon boat a while back and since then i have wanting to build a dry box to match it. I have also been wanting to play around with fiberglass some so i decided to combine the the two and build the dry box using fiberglass.Most center consoles have a dry box or cooler built in to the front of the console but my boat has a middle bench seat. The seat has a lid that allows access to the battery stored inside so i had to devise something that would let me mount and secure the box to the bench seat and still have access to the battery.after some discussions with my dad and with Nathan (tree bass catcher)we came up with a wood "mounting plate" that works pretty well. But, first things first - building the box. I used one quarter inch plywood to build a frame to fiberglass to.
I added a piece of one by to the top to give some extra support since the box will also be used as a seat. Then came the fiberglass.
After a whole lot of sweating, cussing, wondering if i should start over, wondering if i should quit and do something different, then more cussing, i finally started to get the hang of it. I figured out there is a LOT more sanding involved than actual glassing.
Next, i made a lid to match outside dimensions of the box. I wanted the box to be reasonably watertight so i used a router to cut channels into the one by brace and i glued weather stripping into the channels.
After some finish sanding i put two coats of oil based paint, color to match the console, on the box. I have a forty eight quart cooler in my boat that i glued a piece of plywood to the top and lacquered it heavily ( it is sometimes used as a seat or a table to make sandwiches on for those long days on the water). I wanted the lid on the dry box to match the cooler so i did not paint it. coats of lacquer on both the box and lid.
I put four coats of lacquer on both the box and lid then i mounted stainless steel hinges and latches i bought at Academy.
This is the "mount" that we came up with. It will keep the box sliding around in the roughest of water yet allow easy access to the storage area under the bench seat. The mount is bolted to the deck lid and i made a face that is bolted to the bench in front to keep the box from sliding forward. the face is bolted in front of the hinge on the deck lid so the lid can still be opened. You just have to remove the box and raise the mount, which is bolted to the deck lid, to open the lid. Then i routed pockets on each side of the mount and added o-ring plates. I did the same thing to the box - added o-ring plates to the outside of the box handles. Now i can turnbuckle down the box to the mount.
After too much time and too much money ( i could have just bought a small cooler to put up there, but,at least, it matches ) here it is.
There is enough room for a boat bag, couple of towels and a jacket.
Now its ready for sea trials, which is perfect timing because i'm heading down to the coast next week. then we will see how it holds up to the rigors of saltwater. I did take it out to Roberts the other day. Tree bass catcher said it rode pretty well.