1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Salon Windows

With the hull finally painted in shiny Awlcraft 2000 Matterhorn White and the cabin top coated in the shiny a few months back, I’m starting to shift my focus to putting the boat back together. This is so much better than mixing sticky epoxy fairing compound every weekend only to make tons of dust sanding it off. I was starting to run out of enthusiasm there for a bit. 🙂

Since winter is coming fast, one of my top post-paint priorities will be to get windows and portholes back in the boat. It’s a lot easier to keep the relatively small boat interior warm than it is to heat a whole shrinkwrap tent. Fortunately, I’d been planning for this for a while and I already had the new window tracks in stock.

1-1/4" wide, 2 window + screen window track in a crate

1-1/4″ wide, 2 window + screen window track in a crate

A fellow by the name of Scott Pullin (pullin760@gmail.com) sells the track.

First, I marked and rough-cut the pieces

Small scraps help make sure the spacing is correct

Small scraps help make sure the spacing is correct

Then mark the opposite end to match the cut on the next segment of track

Then mark the opposite end to match the cut on the next segment of track

There are lots of miter cuts to make tracks for concave irregular hexagonal window openings

There are lots of miter cuts to make tracks for convex irregular hexagonal window openings

Special trimming was necessary at the center window supports

Back in April 2013, I wrote about how we improved on Chris Craft’s approach for the salon roof center supports that are part of the window structure. Basically, we fiberglassed the solid mahogany support in, making it a structural element in the cabin top. But the additional thickness of the fiberglass where it joins to the window track slot meant that I had to trim the tracks so they’d fit. This results in a somewhat inelegant looking window track in that area, but I think we can let that slide since it doesn’t affect functionality. In retrospect, a better approach would have been to grind more of the original fiberglass matrix out of the area so the new FRP channel would end up being identical to the original. This was a planning and communication fault of mine–the Boatamalans couldn’t have known how these windows go back together.

If anybody complains about it though, I do believe I’ll invite them off the boat for being too damned picky. 🙂

Original glass fits and slides well

Original glass fits and slides well

The original salon glass is in good condition, but some of the panes got broken by flying debris during a wind storm back in 2008 and will have to be replaced. I think we’ll go with tinted rather than the original clear for all the new glass, then replace the original panes later in the project after all of the high-dollar work is done. For now, the OE panes will work just fine.

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer Refit: Bow Seat Windows


2 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Salon Windows

  1. John Casteel says:

    Really a pleasure to see you bring this boat back to life. I posted the following back in August but to a much older entry. In that entry you showed a receipt for the engines (Seamaster ?) that you removed:

    I’m enjoying reading your articles on bringing this beauty back to life. I live here in Savannah and was curious about the Frank Harris name. We have a Frank Harris that was a restraunteur from California however, the address at 215 Whitaker (now a beauty supply shop) didn’t match any of his restaurant locations. Tonight I found your previous owner. Frank B. Harris owned All Make & Reliable Typewriter Company located at 215 Whitaker St. According to archived yearbooks from Armstrong College, a local university, this company also sold office files and desk supplies. I can’t wait to see this Roamer come out from under all of that plastic.
    Best wishes,

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Hi John, and thanks for the comments…and research! I remember your post on the Engines (the wrong ones) article but something must have distracted me. Sorry for not responding.

      Did your research happen to discover if Mr. Frank B. Harris is still around? On my previous 52′ Connie, I knew the original owner’s name but couldn’t find the man himself. But the marina that sold the boat was still in business and they had ALL of the original paperwork, including very detailed build sheets from the factory that not even the Mariner’s Museum had. Unfortunately for my Roamer, it seems the dealer has gone out of business.

      I hope to hear from you again!

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