I have now completed making my DIY console for The Gurnard. I wanted it to be big but light, so my legs could get a little shelter from the wind when Im sitting behind it.
I may add a couple of "panels on hinges" to the sides that will hinge out to give me a bit more of a wind brake when required ..but for now it will do as is.
I built it round a plastic basin for the base which houses the motorbike size battery to power the fishfinder. That way... any water slopping around the bottom of the boat will not get to the battery.
I also wanted a compartment that will hold my cameras so I have easy access to them at any time but also be protected from spray.
I also wanted a drawer to hold my fishing bits n bobs and whatever else I want close to hand. The hand held VHF clips into a bracket on the drawer so its always close to hand too..and close enough to my ear to hear it over the outboard engine.
The compass on top of the console is far enough away from all electrics and VHF so its not affected by them. That is the reason the fish finder is at the bottom of the stack..above the lead acid battery. I find a compass is essential on a boat as I have been out many times when the thick sea mists descend. Its very easy to get disorientated without one..so if you go boating without one.. be aware !
The beauty of a 4.3 SIB is that it is like an empty canvas to a painter. You can create your boat to suit your requirements. My requirement are for long journeys and a little fishing..and this boat should now suit that purpose beautifully. I have now gone 250 nautical miles in her in a month..mostly in the open seas of the Firth of Lorne, Sound of Mull and Loch Sunnart. Not all miles have been on flat seas either. In my opinion, my DIY improvements have made this very easy and also safe.
All "fishbox furnature" made for used in my boat is light.. very functional in more ways than one .. and made in sections which means I can use some parts or all as required.
It is all easily removed from the inflatable and it does not "comprimise the resale value" of the boat in any way :-D
Im taking another large adult and a young lad sea loch fishing in The Gurnard tomorrow.. I will then report back on how well the console performed ..and perhaps a photo or so, of the complete setup in its natural element.. the sea
Thanks to everyone who followed this thread.. and perhaps it has inspired some ideas of your own.