1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Aft Stateroom Windows

Like the exhaust system, the windows are another seemingly unrelated item that had to be attended to before final primer or paint could be applied to the hull. In particular, the aft stateroom portholes needed some work.

Chris Crafts came with cast aluminum portlights and on the larger Roamers they’re screwed into 3/4″ marine plywood that surrounds the porthole in the hull. The plywood around two of my portholes was severely rotted from where the original teak deck had rotted. The other pieces of ply were in very good condition, but the paint was old and cracking…they could use a freshening.

While removing the plywood pieces though, I discovered a problem. Chris Craft had used butyl tape to bed the portlights, which pretty much came off with the portlights. But when I removed the plywood I found another tar-like material used as a bedding compound for the plywood.  The primer in the window openings covered about an 1/8″ of that tar-like material that was stuck to the inside edge of the aluminum. When I removed the plywood the bedding compound and primer came with it, revealing a slightly corroded aluminum edge in spots around the porthole and some places where the corrosion had crept under the new primer while the boat lay fallow during the paperwork SNAFU. Better to find it now and fix it right than to have the paint fail prematurely a couple of years down the road.

Plywood porthole surround in good condition

Plywood porthole surround in good condition

In the pic above, you can see the bedding compound Chris Craft used to seal the plywood. The wood itself is in good shape, needing only a light sanding and fresh coat of paint.

All the plywood came down easily

All the plywood came down easily

I expected a real fight from the fasteners, which are hardened steel self-tapping screws that are threaded into aluminum. All but a few came out very easily though.

Some of the frames weren't so nice.

Some of the frames weren’t so nice.

This frame was immediately below the hole in the teak deck. All of the water that fell on the deck would have gone past this frame on its way to the bilge.

Not much wood left in this one.

Nothing a little Git Rot won’t fix!!!

Slight delamination...

Slight delamination…

Even rotten plywood works as a pattern

Even rotten plywood works as a pattern

I saved all of the original plywood that was still sound from the demolition phase back in 2007. The “new” porthole surrounds are made from what used to be the galley bulkhead, 44 year-old very high quality plywood that just needs a good sanding.

New porthole surround coated with US Composites 645 epoxy

New porthole surround coated with US Composites 645 epoxy

Edge sealed and water resistant

Edge sealed and water resistant

After the first coat, I went back and sanded the frames then hit them with one more coat of resin. The next step was to clean up the inner edges of the aluminum portholes and prepare them for paint.

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Aft Stateroom Windows II

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