1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Wiring the Aft Head Lights

With the aft head moldings and corner/door pocket piece done, next I have to run the wires for the overhead lights and light switch. I have to wire it now because once I install the ceiling panels and do the fiberglass and fairing work, access to the overhead frames in this head will be rather challenging.

Overhead light wiring--original supply is fine

Overhead light wiring–original supply is fine

Since our Roamer 46 had been on dry land for about 25 years prior to us finding it on Purgatory Row of a southern Maryland boatyard, the original wiring is largely in good, serviceable condition. I’ve already removed all of the wiring that showed any sign of corrosion, so for the aft head overhead lights I just needed to add a new leg to go between the 12vdc LEDs we’ll be using and the light switch.

Slot the edge and route for the switch

Slot the edge, drill the hole, then route for the switch

Chris Craft had a variety of ways of installing the wiring to switches. In a situation like this, with both sides of a panel being in living space, they usually just routed a groove in the face of the panel, straight from the ceiling to the switch. They installed the wire in the groove and covered it with a mahogany or teak trim piece. It’s not a bad approach, but I wanted a cleaner look. So I’ll run the wire up to the ceiling inside the slot that I cut in the panel edge.

Stuff the wire edgewise into the slot

Stuff the wire edgewise into the slot

Epoxy thickened with wood flour and cabosil along all bonding curfaces

Epoxy thickened with wood flour and cabosil along all bonding surfaces

More thickened epoxy on the corner piece

More thickened epoxy on the corner piece

Clamp together and rest overnight

Clamp together, clean up, and let it cure overnight

Leave no epoxy outside of the joint

Leave no epoxy outside of the joint

The 1″ x 1″ mahogany cleat I’m using for clamping is set back just far enough from the joint to allow me to wipe the area with a rag soaked in alcohol. Since the wood is already coated with ICA base coat clear, the wet epoxy wipes right off.

Et voila!

Et voila!

The aft head switch wiring is done and the panel corner piece/door pocket is installed!

In other news, you know your beater truck is suffering from deferred maintenance blues when you’re driving down the road on the way to the boatyard and the muffler comes off!

Salt in winter vs cheap steel muffler

Salt in winter vs cheap steel muffler

Salt wins!

Salt wins!

Funky rusted lettering

Funky rusted out lettering

Now the muffler's nicer than the truck!

Now the muffler’s nicer than the truck!

It turned out that the exhaust pipe from the catalytic converter to where the muffler used to be was rotten, too. So I fired up my Millermatic 35 and welded the new parts in. $35 and an afternoon later, we were back in business.

Truck's still ugly though, and getting worse by the year.

Truck’s still ugly though and getting worse by the year.

The old Ford only needs to hang on through next summer. Once the boat splashes, I won’t need it anymore.

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Installing the Aft Head Ceiling Panels (more fillets!)

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One comment on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Wiring the Aft Head Lights

  1. Kent says:

    Ya know.. A few Budweiser cans cut in half and some hose clamps– That muffler would be fine..
    Launch the truck with the boat..

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