1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Return of the Bow Seat Windows

Back in early November, I took delivery of my bow seat windows from Motion Windows out in Washington State. There were a few surprises with the quality of the windows, the biggest one of which was that two of them didn’t fit into the window openings! Motion stood behind their product, though, and in mid-December 2013 I shipped them back to the manufacturer for a do-over. The crate showed up again a week ago, so I took them out to the boatyard to see if they fit.

The ol' crate has got some miles on her

The ol’ crate has got some miles on her from 2 trips across N. America

No plastic film around the windows this time

No plastic film around the windows this time

The first time I got them, the windows were all wrapped in clear plastic film to protect them from abrasion…not this time though.

Much bigger screws this time

Big screws

The center windshield inner clamp ring was secured to the frame with #12 wood screws, which are about two sizes larger than the slots into which they were screwed.

Galled screws

Galled screws

The screws were too big for the slots, so the screws galled when they were installed at the factory. And the screws aren’t even fully seated against the clamp ring here. I have no idea why they used #12 screws in slots sized for #8 screws.

Two different sized fasteners

Two different sized fasteners

Galled trim ring from oversized fastener

Galled trim ring from oversized fastener

Properly sized screw fits the slot nicely

Properly sized screw fits the slot nicely

Since the oversized screws were only on the center window, which opens, I’m guessing Motion used them because of the forces associated with an opening window. But I think they could have accomplished the same thing by simply using more screws of the right size. Otherwise, they should size the slots for the screws they intend to use. Forcing screws into slots or holes that are too small doesn’t strike me as the right approach.

How many times I gotta say no stickers or badges?

How many times I gotta say no stickers or badges? lol

It’s a little thing, and they only put a small badge on the center window instead big ones on all three like before, but “no badges” was one of the things I asked for on the re-do.

TWANG! went the port side clamp ring when I removed the screws

I removed all of the screws from the port window above, starting on the side nearest me. When I removed the last of the screws along the top, leaving only the two on the far end, the clamp ring made a kind of TWANG sound. If you look at the pic above, you can see that the clamp ring is held in place by two screws on the far side, but on the near side it’s offset. The screw slot in the clamp ring should be directly over the slot in the frame into which the screw should thread. But instead, it’s tweaked 3/8″ or so to the left. They had to see this at the factory but just forced it into place.

~3/8" offset to the left

Screw slots in the clamp ring are ~3/8″ offset to the left of the threaded frame slot

On the plus side, the welds and finishing at the corners looks very good. The welds don’t protrude from the extrusions, which was the case the first time around and the reason why the windows didn’t fit.

Definitely not square

Looking at it from the other end…definitely not square

You can also see in the pic above that the left side screw is as far as the slot will allow toward getting the clamp ring centered over the frame. So, by my counting there were two mistakes at the factory: the first was the fabricator cuttin the clamp ring parts just slightly too big. The second was forcing the assembled clamp ring onto the window frame that it didn’t quite fit.

Screws removed…the clamp ring sits square over the frame

But the screw slots don't line up with the threaded slot in the frame

But the screw slots don’t line up with the threaded slot in the frame

It’s only 3/32″ or so off…but that matters!

Starboard side window was perfect

Starboard side window was perfect

Next came the dry fit into the window openings….

Drumroll, please…

TA-DAaaaa!

TA-DAaaaa!

They slid right in the openings. Perfect fit.

I've been waiting six years to see the center window open!

I’ve been waiting six years to see the center window open!

Is that slick or what?!?

Is that slick or what?!?

It will be sooo nice to be able to open the window when we’re at anchor to let the breeze waft through the galley and salon. 🙂

On Motion Windows, I have to say I really like the concept for their product, and their front office customer service is outstanding. But…their prices were 15% higher than the competition, which is fine if the quality is there. One out of three of my windows was perfect, which tells me that they have the capacity to do it right every time. So it’s a bit disappointing to see problems, especially since this was a do-over from quality and dimension problems on the first set. Granted, the company badge came off with a scraper, I can use a die grinder to make the clamp ring screws fit, and I can go buy more properly sized screws for the center window. None of these problems are deal-stoppers like the first set, where Motion made the windows larger than the templates. But for the price, I think they should be getting this stuff right from the factory the first time around.

I won’t install these permanently until I have some other things ready to go that will also be bedded in white polysulfide. No point in opening a tube if I’m not going to use it all up. Speaking of polysulfide…

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Installing the Aft Enclosure Glass.

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9 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Return of the Bow Seat Windows

  1. Art Gauthier says:

    Q,
    As others have mentioned, I anticipate every post and enjoy following along. this will be my first comment.
    First of all I am sure you are happy to finally get the windows installed, and I appreciate the frustration you have gone through, but I would like to add two cents regarding my experience with Motion Windows.
    Five years ago we ordered a total of 20 windows from Motion windows in two orders. As you mentioned they are not the cheapest, nor the most expensive. They were recomended by another boater and I had the opprotunity to visit the facotory when visiting my daughter on the west coast (we also toured Freeman Marine). We sent autocad drawings with our order, and specified 3/16 clearance on all edges.
    All our windows had radious corners, three were 3/8 safety glass, the others were 1/4 inch; and five were sliding windows with screens, and siz were trapezoid. Every window fit perfectly and were matched to their approprate locations. The trim rings were not pre-screwed. All screws were the right size and they event sent an extra bag of screws. Something worth mentioning to M. W. might be “what changed over the last 5 years? A change of QC people? perhaps a new shop forman?” As you said, they have the capacity to do things right, but it takes people who are proficient and who care about their product.

    Art in Michigan

  2. Bob says:

    Benefit of the doubt on the first inspection.Everyone makes mistakes. NO excuse for the second. Any manufacturer worth their existence would have made sure the complaint was rectified and all was perfect. They have to know that a good portion of the boating community will have access to the results. Your a better man than me. I would have been in their face!
    Bob.

  3. Sean says:

    So happy they fit this time ’round. Keep building, I’ll keep watching. I have 1 big project ahead of me on my hole in the water, the fuel tank. Keep on inspiring!

  4. Scott Horslin, Markham, On, Canada says:

    Fantastic! Hallelujah! Finally, bow seat windows! Still amazing that it took so long to get sorted, and still there are issues as they arrived. Completely agree, being able to open that centre window at anchor will be highly desirable, and well worth having persued the ‘operational’ function My first comments to you, but I’ve read your entire blog/Chris Craft chronicles. Absolutely incredible read, and journey. Congrats, and carry on! If not being said by others, let me say that wwe await each and every segment.

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Hi Scott, and thanks for the comments.
      I’m off to the yard again today. Winter is still playing havoc with us down here, but today it won’t be as brutally cold has it has been.
      Then again, you’re in Ontario! Brutal cold is a relative term, I suppose!
      Cheers,
      Q

  5. William B. Kelleher says:

    I would hope that you are sending a copy of these pictures and comments to the company.

    Bill Kelleher

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Hi Bill, and yes, I’m sending them a link. The owner and front office at Motion Windows seemed very concerned about their product and reputation the first time around. I’m sure they’ll appreciate input that can help them improve.
      Cheers,
      Q

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