1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: New Bits & Pieces Back From the Fabricator

Winter is slowly loosening its grip on the Mid-Atlantic region, so I went and picked up some bits and pieces I’d dropped off with the fabricator before the last snowstorm. This is all part of a grand plan to launch the boat in the fall of 2014. To get ‘er done, a lot of bits and pieces have to be ready to go when it’s their turn to be installed.

WOOT!

The original helm wheel

The original helm wheel

Of course, they make new steering wheels I could have used. But I like the original stuff. And since the steering will not be power-assisted, a big helm wheel will make for lighter steering.

Original bronze wheel-to-steering gear adapter

Original bronze wheel-to-steering gear adapter

Back when we first got the boat, the helm wheel wouldn’t move. We eventually realized that the rudders were completely locked in place–the plain steel rudders running through an aluminum rudder log with a bronze gland nut on top had turned the whole assembly into unimetal, with various kinds of metal oxidize holding everything very firmly in place. When the boat was towed south in the 1980s to Purgatory Row in a southern Maryland boatyard, the guys who towed her tried to force the rudders to move. All they ended up doing was snapping the bronze screws on the adapter (you can still see the screws in the small holes in the wheel hub). But then they pushed even harder and broke the steering gear.

Vetus hydraulic helm pump will replace the OE steering gear

New Vetus hydraulic helm pump will replace the OE steering gear

I sized the pump so the ratio will be about the same as the original: 3.7 turns lock-to-lock.

New helm wheel-to-hydraulic pump adapter

New helm wheel-to-hydraulic pump adapter

My fabricator welded a stainless adapter into the helm wheel hub

The fabricator welded a stainless tapered adapter into the helm wheel hub

Honkin' huge bolt head welded to a metric bolt to fit the Vetus pump

Honkin’ huge stainless bolt head welded to a metric bolt to fit the Vetus pump

Nice, snug fit between the bolt and wheel hub

Nice, snug fit between the bolt and wheel hub

I’ll use Tefgel on that bolt when I finally install it.

Good looking assembly

Good looking assembly…ready for install

Rudder tie rod and tiller arms are all fitted with pins and ready for fit up

Rudder tie rod and tiller arms are all fitted with pins and ready for fit up

New 2" Marelon raw water intake valves and Schedule 80 6061 pipe

New 2″ Marelon raw water intake valves and Schedule 80 threaded pipe

The Marelon valves use National Pipe Straight thread rather than the more common tapered (NPT) thread. So the fabricator had to chuck the pipe up in his lathe and cut the threads. Once I relocate the engines, I’ll cut off the old standpipes and we’ll weld in the new ones.

Marelon valves and fittings

Marelon valves and fittings to point the hoses toward the strainers

Groco hinged clamshell strainers in aluminum

Groco hinged clamshell strainers in aluminum

These Groco slotted strainers should keep grass, plastic and other flotsam out of the main intakes. I like the fact that they can be opened, not only for cleaning blockages but also for barrier coating after the welding is done. They can be attached to the hull with fasteners, but since the Miller Trailblazer 280 will already be running when we put in the standpipes, the strainers will get welded on, too.

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Setting Up Shop.

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One comment on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: New Bits & Pieces Back From the Fabricator

  1. Eric Vardek says:

    The AL Groco strainers look extremely good, only be prepared for insidious green growth inside the pipes despite all. That is to say, the fewer the “L” joints, the better. Life on the Potomac can be a bit “entropic” during those hot, long-lasting, “dog-dayz” o’summer. A common flexible “Grabber” Snake /Pick Up Tool always comes in handy, as does of course 125psi of “air”.
    Don’t forget the CC Emblem on the new steering wheel nut, that or a Bentley/Cummins logo, no?
    Cheers!
    -Eric

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