1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Transforming Tent Model IX, Helm Door & Fillets

Tent Model IX served its winter-time purpose extremely well, holding up without a hitch when Hurricane Sandy came calling and providing lots of space to get work done on the interior. Model IX was the culmination of years of shrink wrap tent-making failures and successes. With winter finally past us (maybe! It is, after all, only April!), it ‘s time to transform Model X into a paint shed.

I began by adding scaffolding aft and working my way around to the other side.

Since we’re not doing any heavy longboarding on the hull this time around, the scaffolding deck is down around where the water line will be. This should give the painter sufficient access to apply nice, wet coats of Awl Craft 2000.

Time to build the second story scaffolding.

The second-story scaffolding is just below deck level.

This scaffolding will allow the painter to step off the deck and paint the exterior of the aft deck enclosure, then step back onto the boat at the transom. A couple of cross braces make a huge difference in stability. The tent plastic itself will greatly add to stability, too, once it’s shrunk.

Reusing concrete forms for the scaffolding deck.

Back in 2008, when we first got the Roamer, I got a good deal on phenolic-faced 4×8 sheets used in concrete forms that are made with waterproof, boil-proof glue. I planned to use it as sub-flooring throughout the boat. But after buying it I found that the phenolic isn’t smooth and doesn’t stay attached very long–it cracked and peeled after a year or two just sitting inside the boat while I was straightening out the paperwork SNAFU. So I ripped it into 24′ x 96″ pieces and used it for the scaffolding deck.

The scaffolding decking is supported lengthwise with two 2x4s per section and more lumber at the ends. You can dance on it! I used screws so it will be easier to sectionally dismantle. If anybody needs a portable paint shed at a bargain price in a couple of months, let me know!

Scaffolding around the bow

There’s a step up in the right side of the pic that allows the painter to reach all the way to the rub rail at the top of the stem.

The long view down the starboard side looking back.

The step up at the bow.

Reused the old bow seat for scaffolding.

The white section of the scaffolding deck is the old bow seat that I cut off and replaced with something better. It follows the curve of the hull pretty good!

From the bow seat to the stern, the decking is all phenolic-faced plywood.

Putting up the paint shed skirt.

I’ll put a new sheet of shrink wrap over the top, but I need a skirt from the ground to about 12″ up because shrink wrap doesn’t come in 60′ wide rolls… and it would be extremely heavy if it did!

I cut this clear shrink wrap plastic off of our 1968 Chris Craft Commander 42 last weekend, in preparation for a spring cruise to see the cherry blossoms. The cruise happened but the blossoms have been delayed by unseasonably cold weather.  By splitting the Commander tent in half, I got enough plastic to do 2/3 of the skirt. Once all the pieces are in place, I’ll weld the plastic together with the shrink torch and tape up the seams. That should happen next weekend, unless the wind continues to blow like the dickens.

Meanwhile, on the inside of the boat…


The helm station door openings are now ready for fiberglass.

Since I last reported on the helm station door openings, we added strips of marine plywood to the steel uprights to make a pocket into which the doors will slide to keep out the weather.

Ready for FRP and fillets!

At the helm station, the dashboard fillets are also done and ready for sanding and primer.

Before: original dashboard pod seam–a great place for dirt to gather and hang out.

After: a nice and smooth fillet

FRP tape and epoxy holds the pod to the cabintop under the fillet.

That’s it for last weekend. Next weekend I’ll finish converting the tent to a paint shed, sand the fillets and prep the helm roof for primer.


2 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Transforming Tent Model IX, Helm Door & Fillets

  1. Steven A. Smith says:

    I have to ask this as my admiral & I are looking into buying a CC Roamer, what was the spendometer of the refit of yours?

    Steven A. & Jackie G.

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Hi Steven. The spendometer has wrapped fully around the pin! When we’re done, this refit will cost about 1/2 of what a new build would have in the same size, power, etc. But, given what’s happened to the market since the Clinton-era housing bubble (predictably) imploded, it would have been more cost effective for us to buy a nice, running and driving boat in today’s market.

      Which Roamer are you looking at?

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