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

With the aft stateroom head walls fiberglassed and faired, the ceiling panels cut, fiberglassed, and faired, and the overhead wiring done, the next step is to install the ceiling panels, prime, and prep for paint. What we’re ultimately going for here is a nearly waterproof unit bathroom, in which the ceilings and walls are fiberglassed together, like an oversized shower enclosure.

1/4" marine plywood, fiberglassed and faired

1/4″ marine plywood ceiling panel that’s been fiberglassed and faired

It’s a lot easier to do flat fairing work on a table than it is overhead, but the epoxy, fiberglass, and fairing compound make these panels heavy and awkward to move around.

Panel 1 in place

Panel 1 in place

I didn’t have time to take pictures with sticky epoxy in play, but prior to installing the panel I wetted out the top side of the panel with epoxy, then applied epoxy thickened with wood flour and cabosil to each overhead frame. With a little help from a friend, I marked off the overhead frames and countersunk the screw holes before fastening the panel in place with stainless screws.

Panel 2 in place

Panel 2 glued and screwed in place

Corners and panel edges are glued and screwed all around

Corners and panel edges are glued and screwed all around

The joint between the panels will get a strip of fiberglass

The joint between the panels will get a strip of fiberglass

Thickened epoxy topped with wetted out fiberglass mat

Thickened epoxy topped with wetted out fiberglass mat

Edges get a strip of FRP, too

Panel edges get a strip of FRP to the longitudinal mahogany beam, too

Home-made epoxy fairing compound is hot-coated over FRP

Home-made epoxy fairing compound is hot-coated over FRP

It’s a lot easier to hot-coat tacky fiberglass with homemade fairing compound made of the same epoxy + a 70/30 mix of 3M microballoons and cabosil than it is to sand cured fiberglass and apply fairing compound. Hot-coating saves a really miserable step in the process.

After sanding the fairing compound, it's fillet time!

After sanding the fairing compound, it’s fillet time!

I do love my fillets. Seriously. Can’t get enough of ’em. Awlfair is a great product for fillet work, and it sands pretty easily, too.

Once the Awlfair sets up, we’ll hit it with Awlquik, sand, then Awlgrip 545 primer, and then final sand before painting with Eggshell Awlgrip.

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Prepping the Aft Head for Paint.

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