1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: The Helm Station Windshield Frame

When I last wrote about that bloody windshield frame, things were not going well. While it looked great outside, the frame fit very poorly to the boat. If this was a typical Chesapeake crabber’s boat, a 3/8″ gap between the windshield frame and the hard top might not be a problem–just fill ‘er in with urethane sealant. But since this isn’t a work boat, I wanted (and paid for) a frame that fits. When the fabricator declared he’d do no more work on the frame, I had to call in my Boatamalan* painter to fix the southern Maryland fabricator’s handiwork.

* Boatamalan = joking portmanteau referring to the Central American origin of the fairing crew and painter (boat + Guatamalan). In fact, the Boatamalans are mostly from Honduras, but Boatduran doesn’t roll off the tongue like Boatamalan does. 🙂

Here’s what we’re dealing with:

3/16″ irregular gap at the port side bottom

Starboard upper corner was waaaay off

One of three high spots contacting the hard top

Zero contact at the port-side inner upright

Brand new Awlgrip got dinged up

The paint getting scratched really added insult to injury, since tape is cheap and I put a whole case of it out for the fabricator to use when the tape needed replacing. Instead of spending five minutes replacing tape, he let it get worn out and then got sloppy installing the frame (over and over again because it didn’t fit right because he welded it together off the boat). Sheesh

More dinged up paint on the port side

Swiss Cheese from all the holes the fabricator drilled

Swiss Cheese from all the holes the fabricator drilled…and note the scratched paint

More Swiss cheese...too many holes!

More Swiss cheese…too many holes!

Also in the pic above, note the chip in the brand new Awlgrip paint that would be visible above the windshield frame. The fabricator’s proposed solution: “Cover it with urethane sealant.”

Sheesh…whatever happened to “American quality?”

We’ll see if Boatamalan skills and an amateur American boat refitter can put some quality back into the job. 😉

The repair process begins with blue tape and a grinder

The repair process begins with blue mold release tape and a grinder to knock down high spots

Same on the starboard side

Blue mold release tape on the frame

Blue mold release tape all across the frame

Blue mold release tape covering the top and bottom contact areas of the frame

1810 fiberglass will fill the gaps

Heavyweight fiberglass will fill the gaps

1810 'glass cut into strips

Wetting out the fiberglass mat

Wetting out the fiberglass fabric

Epoxy fairing compound tops the frame, followed by wetted out 'glass

Epoxy fairing compound tops the frame to fill in any imperfections, followed by wetted out ‘glass

The fairing compound is the same homemade stuff we used when we faired the cabintop. It’s epoxy thickened with a 70/30 mix of 3M glass bubbles and cabosil.

Top the first layer with more fairing compound and another layer of 'glass

Top the first layer with more fairing compound and another layer of ‘glass

Areas with big gaps get a 3rd layer of 1810 'glass

Areas with big gaps get a 3rd layer

Top the layers of fiberglass with another layer of fairing compound

Fairing compound on the lower frame landing will fill the gaps there

Fairing compound on the lower frame landing will fill the gaps there

Ready to slide up in place

Ready to slide up in place and fasten

 

Nice fit at the top starboard corner

Nice fit at the top starboard corner

Good fit along the bottom

Good fit along the bottom

Looking good at the uprights

Looking good at the uprights

On the inside, no more high spots

On the inside, no more high spots

Huge gaps? What huge gaps?

Huge gaps? What huge gaps?

Good contact all the way across the top

Good contact all the way across the top

100% contact all the way across the top and bottom should eliminate pressure points that are prone to cracking

With the sticky epoxy dripping everywhere, we slowly backed away from the helm station and let everything cure. Time will tell if the plan works… 😉

Next up on our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: The Helm Station Windshield III

Advertisements

9 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: The Helm Station Windshield Frame

  1. Victor says:

    Ok lookin good, leaving room for windshield wiper motors? I am figuring a setup for my penn yan now , what length shaft do I need……

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Victor, I’m impressed! I wondered if anybody would pick up on theThe WS wipers have been on my mind for a while. I still have the originals and intend to use them. Ideally, I would have drilled the holes and welded in tube so there would be no chance of water getting inside the frame through the wiper hole. But because I’m not using the original windshield scheme (I’m ordering the set from Motion Windows, same as my bow seat windows), I’d be guessing where the wipers will need to be and whether or not the OE mechanisms will fit the new frames (both the welded super-frame and the Motion Windows frames). So, my plan now is to rely on Rain-X and someday think about installing the wipers.
      Cheers,
      Q

      • Victor says:

        My experience here in South Fl with salt water splashing on the windshield treated with rainx. lasted one day never again, so Im springing for decent motors and arms, its nice to see shaft lengths going to 3 1/2 inches on some of the motors, fancy panotropic sweeps, parking positions, control.panels, adjustable speed control knobs, covers for the motors, motors.up to $400 each…..gotta do it for safetys sake…..

        • 1969roamer46 says:

          That makes sense. I’m up on a river in fresh water. The boat will see salt once when I transit the Chesapeake, then I should have several years in fresh water to figure out if my original motors will work before it sees salt again.
          Anyway…something to keep in mind.
          Cheers,
          Q

  2. Stephen says:

    Nice work!

  3. Will says:

    It just keeps getting better. I love it when there are updates. I hope to retire and do exactly what you’ve done to my old Commander. It’s all a labor of love.

  4. Bob, The Dad of Daughters. says:

    Looks like your doing a GREAT job, to bad others have messed up.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s