In the autumn of 2010, we got a request from M/S Hydrograf for a bridge console replacement. The existing console was the original one installed when the ship was new, plus a wooden extension for the X-band radar. They wanted a more modern console design with a raised back facilitating flush mount of ECDIS- and radar displays and other instruments, to achieve a less cluttered, more ergonomic and functional layout of the navigation workstation.
From the initial onboard survey we found that the best and most cost effective solution would be to move/rebuild the chart table, do a combination modifying existing console top plate and adding new console extensions on the sides, and keeping the rest of the existing console unchanged.
We designed the new console sections to match the shape of existing consoles, and had them split up into smaller parts in order for them to fit through the very narrow light opening in the bridge entrance door. The new console section assemblies are bolted to the steel floor below the wooden floor plates, so the installation is very rigid.
We replaced the large and bulky X-band radar CRT monitor with a Hatteland LCD for flush mounting, and hid the radar processor unit inside the new console section.
In a second upgrade stage a little later, we replaced the old JRC PPI S-band radar with a new Furuno S-band radar, and extended the console on the port side for flush mounting ECDIS 2 computer and the new radar.
The result is a straightforwardly, functional and greatly improved instrument layout, and a much less cluttered bridge overall. By flush mounting the X-band radar and ECDIS panel computers in the new consoles lower height, the view from navigation chair out the bridge windows became almost unobstructed. Another benefit is a significant reduction of the rather intrusive fan noise generated by those units, further improving the work environment for the navigators on the bridge.