Boat Console Doors

Console doors provide important protection and immediate access to the inside of the console of your boat. With weather and use, they may need to be replaced. Shop Boat Outfitters’ wide selection of OEM replacements and custom-made console doors, or continue reading below to learn more about console doors.» Read More

The Importance of Console Doors

Console doors for boats go mostly unnoticed until they begin to fail. They protect the contents of your console while also allowing you to access the storage and rigging inside, as well as the head and sink found inside the consoles on many larger boats. Whether it is the hardware, latches, or the door itself, console doors can eventually deteriorate. When they do, they can be difficult to open, allow moisture into your console or become completely unusable.

Console Door Boat Parts: Frames, Hinges, Panels, Latches

Console door assemblies are made up of four different parts. The first part, and the part that holds everything together, is the door frame. This piece of the door attaches to the console. Frames are typically made of aluminum or Starboard.

The next part of a console door assembly is the hinge. This can be one long continuous hinge called a piano hinge or multiple smaller butt hinges. Hinges can wear out over time from constant opening and closing as well as from corrosion.

The third part of the console door assembly is the door itself, or panel. On older boats, console doors were typically made of teak or another type of wood, but on new boats, console doors are most often made of King Starboard, a kind of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) sheet that will never rot, delaminate, or deteriorate. Console door panels are often louvered to allow airflow.

The last part of the door is the latch or latches. Slam latches are a common fixture on many console doors. These latches allow the door to be pushed closed without using the latch. To open them, the user simply pulls the latch out. Other latches include push button latches, traditional handle latches, and soft draw latches.

Of the four components of console doors, hinges, and latches are the most prone to failure. Latches have the most moving parts to fail and are constantly being abused. Hinges can fail as well from being pushed on while open, or being trailered with the console door open. It is rare for a hatch door or console door itself to fail since Starboard and acrylic are such strong materials. Of the two, acrylic is more susceptible to UV damage and can become crazed over time.

OEM Replacement Console Doors

Should you choose to purchase a replacement console door due to failure, Boat Outfitters has a huge selection of boat doors for many popular boat brands. Brands for which we offer direct OEM replacement console doors include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Boston Whaler
  • Everglades
  • Glasstream
  • Hydra-Sports/HCB
  • Key West
  • Regulator
  • Robalo
  • Sailfish
  • Scout
  • Sea Fox
  • Sea Hunt
  • Sea Pro
  • Sportsman
  • Tidewater

Since Boat Outfitters' parent company (Teak Isle) supplies access doors for many boat builders, they have designs for doors that may not even be on the website.

Custom Console Door Design Considerations

If Boat Outfitters doesn’t have a design file for your console doors or boat hatches, a custom console door may be the answer. For simple shapes, you can simply specify your height and width. For more complex or irregular shapes, you may need to send a tracing or template of your original door or even the door itself so that designers can duplicate it.

Starboard vs Acrylic Console Doors

After that, choose whether you want Starboard or acrylic as your door material. Starboard has a lightly textured finish and does not offer the high gloss shine that acrylic can; however, Starboard is more durable and UV-resistant. Starboard also has more flex than acrylic, so if your design calls for widely spaced hinges, acrylic may be the better choice.

The next item to choose is your color. Starboard is offered in a variety of whites, off-whites, gray, tan, and black. Acrylic is offered in white, Arctic white, and seafoam. Boat Outfitters has a customer-accessible database of the Starboard colors used by various boat builders, or you can order a sample chain of all the Starboard colors to make sure you select the right one.

Console Door Hinges

Hinges are the next item to pick from. On Starboard, you can choose from a normal piano hinge or a friction piano hinge. Friction hinges will stay open unless closed. This can stop any unwanted slamming and can allow you to work in the console without the door closing on you.

Which side of the door you want the hinge on is another option. Pick what works best for your boat’s layout. Boat Outfitters also offers the option of predrilling for an inside mount or a face mount. An aluminum inside mount frame conceals fasteners better for a cleaner look, while a face mount allows easier and more flexible installation.

The next items to pick are your latch color, material, and locking mechanism. There are a few options such as non-locking plastic, locking plastic, and stainless steel, both locking and non-locking. Locking console doors can provide theft deterrence for any items stored in your center console.

The last item to choose is whether you want louvers or not. Louvers are vents installed in your door to allow for air circulation. This can reduce mold and moisture buildup in your console. 

Console doors can provide great protection and security. When these doors fail Boat Outfitters has you covered with OEM replacements and custom-made fixtures to get you back on the water. 

Need More Help Deciding? Give us a call!

For the last 40+ years, we’ve perfected the art of upgrading boats and helping boaters better enjoy their time on the water. If you have a question about a product or project give us a call! Our team of experts is here to help!

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