1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Classic Chrome Bits & Pieces

Shiny chrome is awesome.

Waaaay back in 2008, after we dissassembled the Roamer, I sent quite a few of the original bits and pieces off to be rechromed. Thinking the boat only needed “engines and a paint job,” it seemed reasonable to get the chrome done because we’d be on the water in a year or so.

Yeah…right. What the heck was I thinking???

So the chromed bits have been sitting in a box in a corner of a room in my house ever since. For a while there, during the paperwork SNAFU, I thought I might sell everything on ebay. But eventually the paperwork problem got resolved and we’ve been working on that “engines and a paint job” thing ever since. With the paint job done last year, I’ve been wanting to install some of the shiny bits–especially ones that keep water out. To do that, though, I needed the right tool to make sure that every screw hole I drill and tap is perfectly centered in hole in the chrome component.


Clockwise from the top, that’s one stanchion base, handrail ends and center supports, the One Mile Ray spotlight, a fabulously rare Edison built-in Toaster, the mast base, a period-correct sea horse towel holder, the helm switch plates and hourglass knobs, and the Morse control levers and covers are in the center.

Installing the flag pole base

Installing the flag pole base

I picked up this flag pole and base on ebay. The original  was one of the few bits that had been liberated from the boat while it was on Purgatory Row in the Southern Maryland boatyard where we found it. Before drilling the screw holes for the base, I brought the pole to the boat and fitted it to make sure it was pointed in the right direction. A degree or two off on the base can make the pole very far off.

Essential tool

Vix drill bits: essential tool for centering screws in countersunk holes

Drill bit in a tapered, spring-loaded sheath

Drill bit in a tapered, spring-loaded sheath

The taper centers and the sheath retracts, allowing the drill to enter the work.

This works pretty good!

This works pretty good!

The tapered Vix bit centers the drill

The tapered Vix bit perfectly centers the drill

Et voila!

Et voila!

I’ve got another box of classic parts to send off to the chrome shop, but there’s one item I’m a bit stumped on.

1960's nautical themed ashtray

1960’s nautical themed, fully gimgalled ashtray

Yes, that wire part is sized and shaped to hold cigarettes on the outside and a cigar in the middle. Try finding THAT at your local chandlery!

Dorade top...how yachty

Dorade-shaped top…how yachty

Chrome is a bit rough, but it's all there and solid, too!

Chrome is a bit rough, but the ashtray itself is all there and solid, too!

The thing is, I used to smoke. But ever since I quit, I pretty much hate the smell of it (unless the cigarette is freshly lit…but don’t tell the missus). If I have this chromed and install it, it might come across as an invitation to light up…and we don’t want that. But it’s such a cool period piece. What to do, what to do…

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: BURGLERIZED!!!


3 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Classic Chrome Bits & Pieces

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

    Re Shiny Bits…Awesome Edison toaster! And really like…no, love the ashtray! Completely understand yr dilemma, having finally quit smoking myself 14 mos ago, after a 36 year run!! Definitely chrome it, but hold off on install?? … I dunno. Best wishes. Scott.

  2. Harbor MasteRob says:

    Wow! This restoration documentary is awesome! I have always admired these Roamers for their lines and classic styling. After reading over these pages of restoration, I feel like I know them better than many owners do 🙂 Be sure to publish a book on this project! I can’t wait to see the interior and some sea trial videos.

    Huntsville, AL

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s