1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Removing the windshield

With the cabin top stripped, it was time to remove the windshield.

I started by removing the center and side windows.

After removing the screws from the perimeter frame, it takes some careful prying to get the frames out. The safety glass had begun to delaminate, so I wasn’t particularly concerned about breaking anything.

Braced for removal.
The helm roof is supported at the back and in mid-span, but with the windshield gone all of the forward support will be gone.

Windshield fasteners on the under-side of the cabin top.

The nearest one is properly seated, but the far one is 1/8″ or so away from the fiberglass. It was never installed properly.

What the hell were they thinking???
The first screw could have had a few more turns on it, I’d say.

From the looks of the cracking pool of resin around it, I’d say that washer has never been seated.

Four screw holes…three screws.
The second hole has never had a screw in it.

There’s no evidence of a screw or washer having ever contacted the FRP there. On the upside, the pool of resin doesn’t go all the way across.

A veritable ocean of resin.

What we have here is about 1/2″ thick resin pooled up along the bottom of the windshield support. The fiberglass in this area is light boat cloth sans roving…not exactly the best FRP layup for a high stress area like this.

This is a patch, right at the base of the port-side center windshield support.

The entire area appears to have broken at some time in the past, but the repair is extremely shoddy.

Again, missing fasteners. At least the FRP looks like it was done well here.

With all of the fasteners out, the frame came out pretty easily.

The upper edge was sealed very well to the helm station roof. The lower edge…not so well.

The leading edge of the frame was sealed, but none of the screw holes were.

Sealed up in spots, but mostly not at all.

Of course, we also had the obligatory line of silicone spooged into the leading edge. It doesn’t keep rain out, but it sure plays havoc with any paint you try to put on the boat!

The steel corner supports had long since turned to rust.

While it made removal easier, you have to wonder what was holding the windshield in!

The windshield is out and the area is almost ready for fiberglass.

But back to that repair at the base of the windshield.

I don’t know what to make of this. The FRP layup wasn’t very good. The whole thing was swimming in resin, and that was obviously Chris Craft’s doing when they made the cabin top upside down in a mold. But that patch at the base of the windshield was obviously done after the cabin top was made. From the inside, the patch is barely held in place with a few strips of light boat cloth. It seems unlikely Chris Craft would have done this in the factory.

Then again, there were 6 screws actually fastened properly long the bottom edge of the window frame, and some of the holes that didn’t have screws also had no scratches around the holes…as if no washer or screw had ever pressed against the under-side of the fiberglass. If the FRP repair happened after the boat left the factory, it would make sense that the windshield had to come out. But then I’d expect there to be signs of fastener damage to the FRP from Chris Craft’s original install…unless this was a “Friday” boat and they did a shoddy job of it in a rush to get to a beach party.

In any event, it’s amazing the thing held together. We’ll just have to make sure it’s done better than the way it was done before!

With the salon roof hatch back in, the cabin top stripped and the windshield out, the next step on our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit is to ‘glass the cabin top!


One comment on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Removing the windshield

  1. Great diagnostic work – cant wait to see how you approach the restoration of this key “piece” of the boat. Itz showing me alot of things that will need to be addressed (here in Washington DC we address not solve problems) in the future aboard Tin Tonic.

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