1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Gantry Time

I’ve been having a heck of a time finding a mechanic I can trust. I would have preferred to have somebody come in and install the engines, but the three mechanics who have come out have failed to impress. When competence isn’t the concern, the prevailing attitude seems to be “Meh…it’s an old boat,” and that attitude manifests in the quality of work being done. It’s frustrating.

Anyway, the time has come to move the engines back into their final resting place. I’ll need a gantry to move them, since the Cummins 450 Diamonds with gears weigh about one ton each. I’ve been looking online, but all of the ready-made gantries are too big, too small, too tall, or too beefy to be lifted up onto the boat and then into the salon where the engine hatches are. So, I decided to buy a trolley from Harbor Freight and make my own gantry. I messed around with Google Sketch-up and came up with a structure that can be disassembled into manageable pieces, is just the right size for this application, and will have no problem supporting one ton.

Gantry plan

Gantry plan

Gantry leg

Gantry leg

It turns out that you can buy the steel (cut-to-size from shapirosupply.com) and trolley, including shipping, for less than half what a Harbor Freight gantry costs. While it will take some time to weld together and drill and tap holes, I’d spend about the same amount of time modifying the HF gantry to work in the boat.

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Laying Out the Aft Cabin Walls


5 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Gantry Time

  1. Kent says:

    I just started reading your Blog the other day– I have a long way to go to get through it.. Your Blog that is..

    I could post about some thing about every thing you have posted– That would be to much.. I was part owner of a 1967 45′ Constellation.. When you are done with the 46′– I am sure it will be the best in the world!! Better than New– No Doubt..

    Thank you for sharing this incredible story..

  2. Fred Schweighardt says:

    I’d use nuts and bolts and forget tapping

  3. david@puthoff.us says:

    What an adventure!!! I just found your blog and fell in love with old Chris Crafts. Great work and thanks for sharing it with us. Looking forward to your next post. Dave

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