1969 Chris Craft Roamer Refit: New Galley Plywood Panels

With the salon stained and varnished and that galley board made pretty and installed, next I had to make, varnish, and install mahogany plywood panels to replace the rotten stuff around the galley windows.

As found in 2007

Rotten angled plywood between side and bow seat windows

The angled plywood panels on both sides of the galley were rotten from leaking bow seat windows.

Starboard panel removed in 2008

Starboard panel removed in 2008

I didn’t save the old panels, which would have made good patterns. No problem, though, because I’ve got a Eureka Zone EZ-One woodworking center that makes cutting perfect angles on ply a breeze.

Cutting the panels on my EZ-One

Cutting the panels on my EZ-One

Measuring and marking the panel took longer than the actual set-up and cutting with the EZ-One. Given the space I have to work in, there’s no way I could have done this with a table saw. The first panel needed a fraction of a degree of additional material cut from the angle. No problem–just put the panel under the track guide edge and position it so the saw cuts nothing on one end and 1/16″ at the far end of the cut. Set-up and the cut itself took less than a minute. Try that with a conventional table or panel saw!

New plywood panels stained and ready for ICA base coat clear

New plywood panels (fore and background) stained and ready for ICA base coat clear

Removing old bonding compound and roughing up the surface for the new panel

Removing old bonding compound and roughing up the surface for the new panel

Rough up the primer on the original cleats

Rough up the primer on the original backing blocks

Buffalo Batts provide R3 insulation on the backside of the panels

Using Buffalo Batt scraps to insulate the backside of the panel

Buffalo Batts provide the biggest “bang for the buck” when it comes to insulation that’s appropriate for the humid marine environment. I put the Buffalo Batt scraps on the panel in the pic above after coating the back with epoxy, yielding R3 insulation on the backside of the panels. The ICA clear on the face of the panel was already cured.

Wood flour-thickened epoxy coats the backing blocks and panel edges

Wood flour-thickened epoxy coats the backing blocks and panel edges

Chris Craft used bungs to cover screw holes that held their interiors together, but I’m trying to avoid bungs wherever possible. Like most new boats, this panel will be just glued in place with epoxy.

Fitted and clamped in place

Fitted and clamped in place

The new wood isn’t quite a perfect match to the 1968-era mahogany, but with the Pettit 1095p stain it’s pretty close.

Samsung custom panel clamp

Samsung custom panel clamp

That refrigerator has been a pain in the but ever since I moved it aboard after I got the paperwork SNAFU resolved back in 2012. It came in through the salon roof hatch hole on the same “crane day” as the Cummins 6CTAs and the washer and dryer that are in the aft stateroom, and the fridge has been in the way ever since. It was nice to finally have a use for the thing!

Looks good!

24 hours later, epoxy’s cured and clamps are off

I’ve got the starboard side mahogany panel ready to install, but some other things are calling for my attention. Motion Windows tells me my helm station windows are on the way, and winter is coming so it’s time to get the window frame installed. Also, I need to install the port engine before it gets too cold.

Next up on our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer Refit: Installing the New Helm Windshield Frame

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