1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Fitting the Aft Stateroom Walls

With the rough cut aft stateroom wall panels back from clear coating at the paint shop, it’s time to fit them to the boat.

I’m all giddy.

Cutting stringer notches without scratching the wood

Cutting stringer notches without scratching the wood

That ICA base coat clear is some tough stuff. The plastic base on my Makita jig saw glides right over the top.

Nice notches, and no scuffs on the veneer

Nice notches, and no scuffs on the veneer

First trial fit = panel yoga

First trial fit = panel tai chi

After cutting the panels more precisely to the height of the ceiling, the next step is to figure out how to  get the panel into position between the frames overhead without bumping into the frame and the standpipe below. After tipping and flipping the panel this way and that, I finally figured out the order of operations to get it close to where it’s supposed to go.

A little tight at the top...gotta trim a bit

A little tight at the top…gotta trim a bit

So, I repeat the panel tai chi in reverse, trim the top a bit, and do the panel tai chi again to check the fit.

OOPS! Stringer notches need adjusting

Stringer notches need some refining

Again, repeat the panel tai chi…

The closer it gets, the smaller the trimming gets

The closer it gets, the smaller the trimming gets

More panel tai chi…

Niiice

Niiice

Good fit

Good fit!

And pretty wood…too bad this will be the inside of the hanging locker.

Big, irregular gap between the panel and the hull frame

Big, irregular gap between the panel and the hull frame

Chris Craft just screwed the original panels straight to the frames, inducing warp in the panel even when the cabinetry in the room had square corners. I prefer not to induce warp in the panel, since that’ll make my joinery work all the more challenging. Since I’m pretty much guessing on all of this, the easier the better! I’ll make spacers out of scrap plywood so the panels stay nice and square.

Good gap at the top

Good gap at the top that I’ll fill with scrap aluminum plate

Next up: the washer and dryer cabinet wall

Next up: the washer and dryer cabinet wall

There were fewer fancy tai chi moves to get this panel into place, since there wasn’t a standpipe to deal with.

Gotta knock a bit off the top

Gotta knock a bit off the top

The panel is laid over a bit, so once I cut the top off it should slide right up into place.

And a bit more

And a bit more

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Practice makes perfect…or pretty close

After some lessons learned on the first panel, the stringer cutouts were much more accurate on this second one.

Real life vs the plan

Real life vs the plan

I transferred the dimensions from the interior concept drawings to the floor, but hadn’t accounted for irregularities in the frames or the thickness of the welds that kept the panel from lining up with the transferred lines once the panels were square to the floor. There’s plenty of width for the washer and dryer, though, so the 1/2″ shift to the right is no problem at all.

Repeat the process for the head wall

Repeat the process for the head wall

There was all kinds of panel tai chi going on when I fit that panel on the starboard side. The washer, dryer, and jet bath boxes are seriously in the way, but there’s no other way to get this done. Fortunately, by the third panel I was getting pretty good.

Big gaps between this panel and the hull frame, too

Big gaps between this  starboard-side panel and the hull frame, too

I got walls!!!

I got walls!!!

With the fitting done, I did some more panel tai chi and pulled them all out to seal the edges that face the hull.

Edges sealed with West epoxy

Edges sealed with West epoxy

And because the panel faces were clear coated, little drips of epoxy cleaned right up with alcohol on a rag.

More edge sealing with epoxy

More edge sealing with epoxy

Leaving epoxy on the edges to cure overnight

Leaving epoxy on the edges to cure overnight

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Fitting the Aft Stateroom Walls II

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4 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Fitting the Aft Stateroom Walls

  1. Bob, the Dad of Daughters. says:

    BET it’s much harder to fit those panels in a Chris Craft then in a home. 🙂

  2. William B. Kelleher says:

    Putting those panel’s up has to give you a very good feeling. :))

    Bill Kelleher

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