1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Installing the Bow Seat Hatches

If I’m going to splash the boat in the fall of 2015, certain things have to happen: All bulkheads and main walls have to be installed; all exterior openings have to be weatherproofed; insulation needs to be sprayed; and the engines have to be installed. Within those four broad topics, there are all sorts of big and small jobs that need to get done, some of which I’ve already knocked out while others are teed up and ready to go. The main aft stateroom walls are in, as is the galley bulkhead. The bow hatch is installed. The Cummins engines are sitting patiently in the engine room, though I do visit them on occasion to bump the crankshaft around a bit. But I’m holding off on moving the engines around until later in the summer, when it’s too hot in the tent to work top-side. Around July will be a good time to head into the cool ER and get the mechanicals in order.

But now it’s time to get the bow seat hatches installed.

Not so useful in the original design

In the original configuration, the space under the bow seat was an  empty void. So I cut out the original bow seat and remade it using a completely different approach, raising the seat, adding crown to it, and bracing it from below, coincidentally creating partitions for storage space. But rather than having hatches on top of the seat that inevitably allow rain water to enter, necessitating drains that inevitably leak, I opted to put the hatches on the underside of the seat. They’re less convenient, but since they’re for line storage I think they’ll be fine.

Bow seat hatch openings

First hatch frame installed

When we were fairing the cabin top, we also faired a lip around these hatch openings because the hatches are flat but the mating surface on the boat is a compound curve. These hatches have been sitting around taking up space since…2010, if I remember correctly. It’s nice to finally get them out of the way, right where they belong.

Nice fit and function

Nice fit and function

Not a perfect color match

Not a perfect color match, but they’re on the under-side so it doesn’t matter

If, at some point, I decide I just can’t stand having hatches that are a couple of shades off from Matterhorn white, I can always remove these and have them painted. I suspect that in 20 years, they’ll still be the same color. 😉

And that’s a wrap.

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Interior Hardware (Chrome!)


4 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Installing the Bow Seat Hatches

  1. Kent says:

    All “Lemons” will go bad with age– If Unloved..

    There is no doubt you are making Lemonade!! Chris Craft did build a good boat back in the day though.. I had a 1967 45′ Connie and she was well kept– I don’t know about her now though.. Her name was “Pandora” Hull #13 out of the 20 that was built that year..

    You could of just bought this– But you must LOVE making Lemonade!!
    Your Boat Will Be A Head Turner when you are done– I’m sure she’s the talk of town already and people just can’t believe what you have done..


    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Actually, when this project began back in 2008, boats like that Commander were selling for 4-5x what they’re asking now. The boat market tanked when the real estate bubble popped, and it hasn’t come back as of 2015 nor does it show any sign of coming back. If I’d known that Bill Clinton’s bubble was going to fail that spectacularly, I would never have started this project. But now that we’re this far in…what else can a man do but make lemonade?

  2. John Longwell says:

    The storage under the seat is a great idea. We were always hauling seats up front.

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