1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Trim Tabs

Winter 2014 just won’t let go. We got another dump of snow last week, which Tent Model X fortunately shrugged off just like it has all of the others. Best Tent Ever! Today it will be 71°F, but tonight it will drop to 25° and not go above 33°F tomorrow. Sheesh! Somebody tell Mother Nature to quit flipping the danged Season switches back and forth!

With my target of getting the boat functionally seaworthy so I can splash her in autumn of 2014, I took advantage of a rare 60° day last weekend and made some patterns for the “Roamer Cruise Control” trim tabs. I gave the originals to my previous machinist/mechanic so he could replace the steel plate, which was pitted. But when we parted ways in 2013 and I asked for my things back, he said he had either lost them or threw them away. So, I get to reverse engineer a set…yea!

Scrappy remains of the (hopefully) last snow storm of 2014

Scrappy remains of the (hopefully) last snow storm of 2014

Tent Model X...Best tent ever!

Tent Model X…Best tent ever!

Set up shop and get busy

Set up shop and get busy

I’ve got a pile of moldy 1/4″ luan plywood that I use for patterns. I use my EZ track saw to ensure the initial cuts are perfectly straight. The track saw is overkill here, but I figure the more practice I get with it the better off I’ll be when it comes to interior joinery.

The original Chris Craft Roamer Cruise Control tabs in as-found condition in 2008.

1/4″ steel plate has a little pitting, but they were plenty good enough to be used as patterns

It really was too bad the previous mechanic “lost” them. It’s a lot easier making replacements from patterns than it is from scratch.

Brace up the trim tab pattern, then run inside the boat and drill the holes.

Brace up the trim tab pattern, then run inside the boat and drill the holes.

Next, scribe the trailing edge

Next, scribe the line marking the trailing edge

Shop Smith bandsaw and 12" disk sander to finish the job

Shop Smith bandsaw and 12″ disk sander to finish the job

It's a tight fit up under the bow!

It’s a tight fit up under the bow!

By flipping the pattern this way and that, I managed to get all of the edges sanded.

Radius the corners and the pattern is done.

Radius the corners and the pattern is almost done.

Test fit looks good...time to mark the actuator pin location

Test fit looks good…time to mark the actuator pin location

The Chris Craft Roamer Cruise Control actuator

Once I had the port trim tab pattern built, the starboard one was a snap. I dropped them off at the fabricator’s shop on the way home. They ought to be ready to install before Spring returns for good this year.

Next up on our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Disassembling the Bow Hatch

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3 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Trim Tabs

  1. Eric Vardek says:

    Careful now, too much “trim” and she’s liable to “pop a-wheelie” coming out of the hole.
    Sheesh, everyonez a critic.
    Cheers!
    -Eric
    (irellylikethe”flush”fittrimtabs-socustom)

  2. William B. Kelleher says:

    I know this a little to late, LOL but since Chris Craft is still in business wouldn’t they have those dimensions for you tab’s ?

    Bill Kelleher

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      I think the Mariner’s Museum bought or took possession of all of Chris Craft’s archive material, Bill. I’ve been in contact with them a few times–in fact, during one of those discussions, my description of 6061 and other grades of aluminum led to their identification of material spec sheets for the metal-hulled boats. They didn’t realize that a line item that read “Keel…..3/4 6061″ meant the keels were spec’ed out for that grade of aluminum and 3/4” thickness. But even if somebody had a set of NOS tabs sitting on a shelf, there would still have been custom work involved to make them fit.

      Having said that, making the basic patterns didn’t take all that much time. It was getting the holes and mechanism pin marked right that took a while, which was a bit more challenging since I was working solo. And–wouldn’t you know it–they’re different from side to side.

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