1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: The Hull is Shiny!

Our Roamer hull is finally painted in Awlcraft 2000 Matterhorn White. 🙂

Man…I’m beat.

First, let’s quickly review what this 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 looked like when we found it in late 2007 languishing in Purgatory Row of a southern Maryland boatyard, where it had been sitting unloved since roughly 1985.

As found in 2007

As found in 2007

By August 2008, she was sandblasted.

By March 2009 she was getting faired

By July 2009, she was fully barrier coated, faired, and primed to the rub rail, with three coats of bottom paint.

Then there was the Paperwork SNAFU in 2009, and I moved the boat to a different marina. After the paperwork SNAFU was resolved in 2012, we painted the cabin top, the aft enclosure and the decks over the spring and summer of 2013. Then, we longboarded the hull once more and did some touch-up fairing. After applying the final coat of Awlgrip 545 primer, we cleaned up the boat and tent in preparation for what came next…taping up the boat and spraying “the shiny” on the hull! Talk about fast forward!

The day started before dawn, rolling out Sharkskin plastic, 3M hand masking film and lots of 3m 233+ masking tape. It took until 3pm, but we finally got the boat and tent taped up.

The hull was fully cocooned

As a precautionary measure, we taped Sharkskin plastic over everything from the rub rail up that we’ve already painted. Then, after taping 14-foot wide plastic to the rub rail, we pulled it over a guy wire we strung 18 inches above the rub rail all the way around the boat. From there, we taped the plastic to the walls of the tent and let it drape down to the scaffolding. This creates a sort of hallway around the boat with a low ceiling, but not so low that the plastic interferes with spraying. With vents near the front of the boat and the exhaust fans at the back, the relatively small cross section of the hallway should maximize air flow and move overspray out of the space quickly. This is important, since overspray can make “the shiny” dull and we don’t want to have to sand and polish this boat.

Next, we taped 24-inch handmasking film around the bottom paint line and pulled it over to the scaffolding. Doing so creates a plastic film envelope all around the hull. This is super important at this phase of the paint job since, in addition to air flow concerns while spraying, there’s an awful lot of sanding residue under the boat and no practical way to clean it up with the tent in place.

At the bow, we left the plastic film envelope open so we could paint the shiny under the chine. There’s no way to reach it from the scaffolding otherwise.

The view up from the bow.

The view up from the bow.

The final step for covering the boat was to tape down the diamond tread blue plastic (Cover Guard Fire Rated Temporary Protection). This stuff is awesome because even when it’s covered in tacky, fresh paint spray, it doesn’t pull up when you walk on it.

With the taping all done, we wiped the hull with Awlgrip pre-cleaner twice, then hit it with tack cloths twice. After that, we mixed the paint, suited up, fired up the fresh air system, replaced the filters and turned on the exhaust fans. Time to spray!

The results are quite nice, if I do say so myself. 🙂



Since the plastic walls of the “spray booth” are covered with overspray, the shine doesn’t show so well in these pix. But it looks good. No bugs. Only a few specks of dirt. No runs, and very nice flow. My chief Boatamalan painter says it turned out nicer than what they get when they spray multimillion dollar sportfishermen over at his day job at Weaver Boatworks. For all the effort we’ve put into this thing, that’s great to hear. 🙂

Like a mirror! A big, curved mirror!!

Three coats of “the shiny” Awlcraft 2000 should make for a durable paint job

We left the boatyard just as the sun was setting….a very long but satisfying day. We’ll leave the tent in “hull spray booth” mode until next weekend, when we’ll tape it off for the blue accent stripes in the evening after our day jobs. Can’t wait to pull the tape! 🙂

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Salon Windows


6 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: The Hull is Shiny!

  1. Well then, “Dominoes” it is (’cause whenever you start fixing one thing on a boat, six others arise).
    And yes, my paint job still awaits final buffing/compunding – what you saw there was results of wet sanding out to 1500/2000 — i.e.,paint “powder” needing to be washed away.
    Understand about the transom (free heat in winter) but very glad she’ll be wearing proper Roamer stripes again.

  2. alloyed2sea says:

    Congratulations and great work.
    While it may have seemed like a Sisyphian task, you successfully got the rock to the top.
    Time to bask in the reflected glory of her “shiny” sides.
    Stripe/transom next?
    Do tell.

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Sisyphus…if it wasn’t so hard to say when you’re panicking, it’d make a great name for this boat! 😉

      It’s been too cold to do the accent stripe at the windows and bootstripe. We hope to knock that out this weekend. I am so happy to be past the dusty exterior phase…

      I know the transom on mine was originally green, but I’m sticking with white. A couple of years back, I pointed a thermometer at a bright white FRP hull on a 90* summer day. It read 109*. Then I shot a Hatteras hull that was creme white, about maybe just a touch more yellow that CC Commander gelcoat. It read 119*. That pretty much convinced me that anything other than brilliant white doesn’t belong on a metal boat. Especially on the transom of one with an aft cabin. The accent stripe I can justify because 1) I really like ’em and 2) if you don’t have it, you’re a bleach bottle.

      btw, I saw the pix of yours. Congrats on getting her painted. I’m sure it was just artifacts in the pictures, but it looked like the white was almost textured. Did you see that in the pix, too?


  3. John says:


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