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2008 28' Southport Dash Panel Makeover

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2008 28' Southport Dash Panel Makeover

Old 06-15-2020, 08:14 AM
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Default 2008 28' Southport Dash Panel Makeover

We've replaced the dash panels on a a lot of Southports. They seem to have used this same tombstone shaped dash for many, many years... so we've been able to re-use the shape, probably a dozen or more times. We usually can't to that because the OEM's make minor changes so regularly - even within model years. But Southport, thank goodness found what they liked and stuck with it!

This time we have a 2008 28 Southport, and I believe it's the first one we're doing a blacked-out acrylic dash for.

Here's the starting point:


BEFORE the Southport dash panel remodel

Here's a closeup of the old lit tip toggle switches. I'm surprised some of them aren't broken off already... we've seen a fair amount of broken ones. They look metal, but have plastic bats.


Southport toggle switches - soon to be upgraded!


Notice how this Southport has a few extra breakers thrown in there (VACFlush, Trim Tabs... we'll take care of those, but not awkwardly put them next to a switch).

Last edited by NewWireMarine; 06-15-2020 at 02:04 PM.
Old 06-15-2020, 02:11 PM
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Here's some pictures of other Southport boat dash panel's we've done in the past:

This one, I really like... the brushed silver material looks great. I'll try and find the install picture of this one. The white backlit switches you can see how they will be very readable at night. A great project... this Southport boat's dash panel was 3/8" double ABS.


Brushed silver, white backlit rocker switches

This one... and as you can see (even though Southport kept the same shape) has different switches, and more breakers. We really want to make each project custom... we have to. Boats are so customized, so personalize, so tinkered with over the years, that by the time the boat is 5 or 10 years old it has been upgraded and changed, and new things added or taken away. So we make each dash panel to match... both the owners aesthetic preferences, and to make sure we accommodate to make sure the project functionally makes sense with any modifications the boat has undergone.

This one is Carbon fiber print, with a laser etched logo, and little pinstripe design feature. These are our contura II switches, a little more 'classic' than the contura V's. They light up, but are not backlit at night.


Carbon Fiber with Southport logo and etching
Old 06-15-2020, 02:17 PM
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In case you're wondering if this would fit your boat, here's some dimensions of the shape we've used for all of our recent Southport projects.

Double check though... this one keeps fitting, but many hulls don't work that way. It's nice to have this shape on file because that curve across the top is pretty touch to measure.




Here's the before/after of that 28 Southport boat dash I posted before in Brushed Silver:


28 Southport Boat Dash Panel Before and After New Wire Marine

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Old 06-15-2020, 03:07 PM
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Can you fit two Furuno mfd12s on a Southport 26 panel?

I would replace the fish finder with another mfd12
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Old 06-17-2020, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by NOLA in Houston View Post
Can you fit two Furuno mfd12s on a Southport 26 panel?
I would replace the fish finder with another mfd12
NOLA in Houston ... hmm, this one? mfd12_dimensions.pdf

Looks like it's obsolete. But they will fit. Barely. You might have to re-glass the console.

Man, that is a perfect before picture... lets do your Southport too!
Old 06-17-2020, 09:25 AM
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Here's some behind the scenes shots of this 28 Southport dash being built:

Just coming out of laser etching sub-assembly:



Southport logo insert will be backlit blue... fabricating bracket to hold backlights.



Closeup of the Southport logo, lase etched - to be backlit in blue like the switches!


Old 06-17-2020, 09:35 AM
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A few more of this Southport boat dash being put together in our shop:

Jesse is assembling the panel with blue LED rocker switches and starting the wiring for the harness.


wiring dash panel

The output harness will connect with this 2008 28 Southport's load wiring harness. We made it about 2ft, so the customer could cut the 12 year old ends off the wire and even though the new blue LED rocker switches are not in the same locations as the old Southport toggle switches - we can still ensure that they will reach.


Building output harness for southport

Remember above where I mentioned that this Southport boat had a few breakers in the old panel? Since each panel is custom made, we were able to replace this functionality. We inserted two thermal breakers into the acrylic, and laser etched labels for them right into the dash. These labels will never wear off, and look incredible. I love natural etching into acrylic as well as the backlit inserts. This Southport is going to look hot!


breaker's laser etched labels on southport helm plate
Old 06-17-2020, 09:42 AM
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Oh, I forgot to mention something pretty cool. This customer only had one Axiom 12 Pro unit currently, but he wanted to add another one in the near future to his southport boat... so we laid it out for the second one, and pre-cut the hole partially through the back... so when he gets his second unit his installer will be able to finish punching the hole out. Well, not actual punching, probably 100 little drill holes... but at least it will be perfectly symmetrical and aligned with the older unit.

As you can see we have some Yamaha Command link gauges and a Fustin RA70 in here too.


Southport dash panel replacement desig
Old 06-18-2020, 05:54 AM
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Here's a closeup of the Southport logo backlit. Looks spectacular, even better in person.


Southport logo etched and backlit into replacement dash panel
Old 06-18-2020, 01:16 PM
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Oh MAN!!! I would LOVE to do this on my 2008 Southport!!! LOVE THIS!!!

Could you possibly give a HIGH level of how the connections are made ?? Are there single large gauge positive / negatives brought to the new switches assembly to power them all ? and then the existing load runs terminate on a pole of each new switch ??

Maybe you could message me with a ballpark on what a panel similar to this would be ? Understanding that I would not expect that ballpark figure to be written in stone
Old 06-22-2020, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Maybe Tonight View Post
Oh MAN!!! I would LOVE to do this on my 2008 Southport!!! LOVE THIS!!!

Could you possibly give a HIGH level of how the connections are made ?? Are there single large gauge positive / negatives brought to the new switches assembly to power them all ? and then the existing load runs terminate on a pole of each new switch ??

Maybe you could message me with a ballpark on what a panel similar to this would be ? Understanding that I would not expect that ballpark figure to be written in stone
Absolutely Maybe Tonight - we'd love to help you with a simlar project. Shoot us an email to sales@newwiremarine.com - or give us a shout at (843) 297-8348 to get one started!

Regarding the wiring, this might help others also, so I'll post it here.

With rocker switches, like we did on this Southport, there's basically two wired options... jumpers, or "fully wired":



With jumpers only, you can see above that there's one open terminal on each switch... you would just push your old wire back onto the new switch. They are 0.250" Quick Connects, the same connectors you have on the back of your toggles (at least this Southport did).

With "Fully Wired" we build a harness that goes off the panel. This is helpful if you're changing the position of the switches because the old wires may not reach.

It's also nice to connect to a terminal block so you can easily ID and troubleshoot and modify or add loads to switches from the block.

They are terminated with ring terminals and labels with professional Heat Shrink labels:



It also allows you to use jumpers, like this, and send one switch to multiple loads... for example if this 28 Southport boat had multiple courtesy lights, you could wire it this way.



In some cases we may also provide an input fuse block... like this Contender panel with push button switches. In this case the customer wanted all new blocks and devices, so it came pre-wired with fuse block, terminal block and negative bus bar.



Here's some of our assembly techs wiring up some panels. These guys are real pros, do this all day, everyday with many custom projects daily... they've seen it all.


Old 06-22-2020, 05:48 AM
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So here's this 28 Southport replacement switch / dash panel finished:

First off, you can see how the blue LED backlit switches work and are dimmed using the built-in dimmer, starting at 0:15 in this video. Around 0:25 you can also see how awesome the logo looks at night... it's linked to the dimmer.


Okay, here it is... with the switch covers on it. Southport logo looks great during the day, and...



... even better at night. The blue LED rocker switches are dimmable of coarse, as shown in the video above.



Here's a closeup of the logo backlit:



And not backlit on this Southport boat logo.



Just a few more pictures of this aftermarket southport dash panel:





And this is how we back it up... with protective plastic, and a mounting template precision laser cut, so this Southport owner or his installer will be able to cut out only what fiberglass is necessary.



Last edited by NewWireMarine; 06-22-2020 at 05:57 AM.
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Old 06-23-2020, 01:16 PM
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Very nice I will let finadvisor know about this . He will be upgrading electronics this fall/winter
Old 06-23-2020, 04:41 PM
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ok you have my interest as I just repowere with f-300s and have trouble with my sight line. would love to have a new one done as I have an 08 -28 southport and going with the new f-300s so not machanicle and gonna go with a second screen . whats your e-mail address and phone # so I can get in touch
Old 06-25-2020, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by finman View Post
ok you have my interest as I just repowere with f-300s and have trouble with my sight line. would love to have a new one done as I have an 08 -28 southport and going with the new f-300s so not machanicle and gonna go with a second screen . whats your e-mail address and phone # so I can get in touch
Sounds great, happy to help!

Email: sales@newwiremarine.com
Phone: (843) 297-8348

Our job number for this project was PP9640, if you want to reference that when you call it would be a good starting point. Thanks!
Old 07-16-2020, 06:45 AM
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We got some AFTER pictures! Customer loves the project! He's excited to get the second screen soon, and finish it up. This 28 Southport looks 10 years newer from the helm now... great job John!


Southport Blackout Dash AFTER


And here you can see the improvement, what a great Southport boat project!


Before and After Southport Dash Panel Upgrade!
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:47 AM
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Oh yeah - if you want a project like this for your boat - be it a Southport or not, that's what we do... all day, everyday:

(843) 297-8348
sales@newwiremarine.com
https://newwiremarine.com/contact/
Old 07-30-2020, 08:42 AM
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Can you give a ball park price on one of these panels with the switches for a 28 SP?
Old 07-31-2020, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by eye2bocu View Post
Can you give a ball park price on one of these panels with the switches for a 28 SP?
eye2bocu They are so, so custom... but ballpark: Between about $800 and $2,000 depending on the options you choose. Contact us for anything more specific please: (843) 297-8348, sales@newwiremarine.com.

Thanks!
Old 07-31-2020, 07:22 AM
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Okay, this one went out... yesterday I think. This customer wanted to stick with white on his 28 Southport. We did the logo in black. Same blue LED rocker switches. Two instruments, autopilot. Merc display, Fusion stereo.

We have a 33 SP going into production now too what will have push button switches. Laser etched text/logo, etc... another black dash this time.

What do you think? Black or white on these Southports?


White Southport Dash Panel

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