Things have been busy, so I haven’t been posting as much as I probably should. But lots of stuff has been going on behind the scenes, including some excellent progress on the hateful portlights and bow hatch.
It wasn’t just the hundreds of stainless screws that broke off in the cast aluminum frames that were a pain, the gooey butyl they used to seal the portlights (sort of) to the hull added to the challenge. Once the screws were out and the butyl removed, I sent the whole shebang out to be blasted in preparation for paint.
The old cast aluminum cleaned up pretty good. Turns out the hardest thing to remove was that DAP-like window sealant that had hardened. The blaster called and said the aluminum was softer than the hard sealant. I thought about it for a while and remembered that some of the old sealants were oil-based…linseed or some such. So I recommended putting some vegetable oil on the stuff that just wasn’t coming off. The blaster called back two days later to report that the oil did the trick, softening up the rick-hard sealant.
I wasn’t sure what material the V-berth round portholes were made of, though it was obvious from the weight they weren’t aluminum. I also knew paint didn’t stick to them at all. Turned out they were heavily galvanized steel. We’ll find out if modern epoxy and urethane coatings work and look better than the ol’ zinc on steel.
We used the same process on all of these aluminum parts as the rest of the boat: mechanically prep the surface with blasting, then Alumaprep and Alodine, followed by Awlgrip Max Cor CF, 545, and then Awlcraft 2000.
The interior-facing parts are white, while the exterior screen flanges match the blue of the exterior accent stripe.
Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Reassembling the Bow Hatch.