1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Recycling the Old Toe Rail Mahogany

I’ve been lugging around the old mahogany toe rails since 2008 when I first removed them from the boat. They worked well as patterns for the new toe rail installed in 2013, which ended up looking sooo much better than the originals. But I couldn’t bring myself to toss out the old stuff, if for no other reason than that I figured I could resaw it and use it as…whatever. After the theft in May 2014, I found myself without most of my tools, so I decided to make myself feel just a little bit useful and finally do something with the old toe rails.

Old mahogany toe rails, unchanged since 2008

Old mahogany toe rails, unchanged since 2008

The top two boards in the pic above are upside down. The white stuff is aluminum oxide that formed when when water made its way to the aluminum deck. The grey stuff, which I believe is butyl tape, is still pliable and in some spots sticks like crazy…in other spots, it comes off in sheets but is still sticky, even after 45 years. The orange stuff is the barrier coat/primer Chris Craft used on the aluminum hulls, which peels right off where there was white aluminum oxide powder growing underneath it.

Pretty mahogany where the stanchion bases attached

When we got the boat, the big holes had bungs that covered the 1/4-20 stainless steel machine screws that secured the wood to the deck. In the center of the stanchion base is a big hole that, for some reason, Chris Craft didn’t bother to coat with varnish or anything else. This seems inconsistent with other areas of the boat, like the interior joinery, where practically every piece of wood got coated on all sides to protect it from water intrusion and, eventually, rot.

The old barrier coat peels off the butyl tape pretty easily

The underside of the rail where a stanchion base mounts.

In the pic above, the wood at the bottom of the big hole in the center of the stanchion was only about 1/16″ thick. Though there was no rot in this area, the crack along the screw holes was ripe for failure.

In other spots, the rot killed the rail pretty completely

Another stanchion base hole filled with mysterious white powder

And on the underside, the wood at the bottom of the hole was razor thin.

So…after stripping off  the sticky butyl tape, I brought the rails over to the wood shop and ran them through the resaw mill. And when they came out the other side…

That's some pretty, old mahogany!

That’s some pretty, old mahogany!

They’re clean enough to lay on the new toe rail to mark the holes for the stanchion bases

Punky spots

Mucho punky spots

Mucho punky spots

Now that they’ve been resawn, I’ll use the old toe rails to mark the holes for the stanchion bases (once I find stanchion bases to replace the ones that were stolen). Then I’ll run them through the table saw, most likely to make 1″x1″ cleat material. We’ll be seeing this wood again as the interior build-out moves forward.

Next up on our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Final Install of the Rudders

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One comment on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Recycling the Old Toe Rail Mahogany

  1. Mark Young says:

    Home many stanchion based do you need? Mark
    Regards, Mark Young

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