1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Transforming the Tent (once again)

Back in May 2014, some lousy bastards came on my boat in the middle of the night and cleaned me out. They took practically every tool I owned. They grabbed all of the materials on the boat, including gallons of epoxy, cases of tape and sandpaper, leftover Awlgrip products from the paint job. And they took all of the parts that weren’t bolted down, including new stainless strainers, shaft couplers, the stuffing boxes, and other parts I needed to complete the installation of my Cummins engines. The also took OE Chris Craft parts that haven’t been made in many decades, like all of the chromed bronze pieces on the exterior and various aluminum extrusions. My guess is that the metal went to the recyclers, since bronze was worth ~$2.70/lbs in May 2014 and aluminum was around 80 cents a pound

Fortunately, between my homeowner’s and boat insurance policies, everything was covered except for my rather large deductibles. Because there were two insurance companies involved, there were two claims, so I got stuck with deductibles for both. Still, given the magnitude of the loss, I’m very glad to have had insurance. I replaced all of the tools over the course of several months last year; my homeowner insurance provider was very quick in settling the claim. The boat insurance provider was a bit more challenging because I had trouble completing the claim. The new parts were easy enough to document and provide replacement prices for, but the OE parts were very difficult, especially the aluminum extrusions for the windshield frame and the drip rail around the hard top.

I eventually decided to have  fabricator make a new windshield frame, and he got started on that back in October 2014. He’s still not done with it though, and I’m once again getting nervous about my choice of a fabricator. The drip rail was more challenging, but we finally came up with a solution that involves breaking open the brand new Awlgrip paint on the hardtop and applying fiberglass to the unfinished seam of the hardtop perimeter.

Since we’re back to doing paint work, Tent Model X, which over years of trial and error (some of which were monstrosities) has become the best and most versatile boat shed/paint booth in the universe ;-), needs to once again be converted to a paint booth.

Tent Model X

Dawn breaks on Tent Model X — survivor of the brutal winter of 2014-15

It ain’t pretty, but it’s perfectly functional.

Off with the old shrink wrap top

Off with the old shrink wrap top

The battens (wooden strips secured with screws) at the seams and at regular intervals around the outside are  the key to a large shrink wrap tent that can take abuse.

Take off only what's necessary and leave the rest untouched

Take off only what’s necessary and leave the rest untouched

Next, bump out the sides and raise the top frames

Next, bump out the sides and raise the top frames

Bump out the sides far enough to make stable scaffolding part of the structure

Bump out the sides far enough to make stable scaffolding part of the structure

Lift the new plastic up, up, UP over the top frames

Lift the new plastic up, up, UP over the top frames

Add additional lumber frames as necessary

Add additional lumber frames as necessary

The better the fit, the stronger the structure

The better the fit, the stronger the structure

Ditto for the stbd side

Ditto for the stbd side

Don't forget to add padding to every corner the plastic will contact

As the sun sets, don’t forget to add padding to every corner the plastic will contact

Some time around midnight, the new top plastic is on, battened, and shrunk

Some time around midnight, the new top plastic is on, battened, and shrunk

Done

Done

Actually, not done. Before leaving for the night, I reset all of the passive infrared motion sensors and motion-activated video cameras in and around the tent (just in case the thief bastards come back), then set the alarm and went home.

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: The Stolen Hardtop Drip Rail Solution

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5 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Transforming the Tent (once again)

  1. Kent says:

    Engine Installer that you fired?

  2. mike says:

    MAN I give you a lot of credit for what you have done AND still DOOing with all the crap you have gone through ,hans name of my boat DOO TWO nothing worst then thiefs, get er in MAN get her in.

  3. Art Gauthier says:

    Q

    Maybe I asked this before. Considering the theft, do you need 1 ¼ or 1 ¾ stuffing boxes? I have two of each (Buck/ Algonquin, I’m pretty sure). I’ll get pictures and specs if you are interested. If I asked before, forgive my CRS. Make me an offer. I bought the 1 ¾ for my rudder glands only to find out CC used Algonac castings (made sense considering they were just down the street). My packing nuts were screwed onto the aluminum rudder logs resulting in the expected degradation. Threads were all but gone. Considering that was 40 years with (likely) no grease, I decided to re-build the same way, only judiciously grease the logs. I’ll be taking the ‘dirt nap’ before the next 40 years comes around.

    We are winding down and can see a lot of things on the shelf we won’t need. Truck comes end of May to move us to the water.

    A

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Hi Art!
      I already replaced my stuffing boxes, but thanks for the offer. I had some old ones I put on ebay. They went pretty quickly. It sounds like yours were the same style as the OE ones on my boat.
      Way to go on getting her splashed. Send me pix! Or post ’em online somewhere.
      Cheers,
      Q

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