1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Tent Model XXX 2

I got the vapor barrier installed under the boat and the uprights and scaffolding positioned on one side of the boat in my last article on Tent Model XXX. Now I need to get the other side done and lift the skirt/wall shrink wrap plastic into place.

Dawn Breaks on Tent Day 2

Dawn Breaks on Tent Day 2

Explosion damage from the Searay that blew up

Explosion damage from the Searay that blew up

The tent frames are broken here, and the side and top skins got slashed by flying shrapnel. Even the top of the top skin got slashed by shrapnel that flew way up above the tent, then crashed back down on top of it.

First, cut down the old plastic, move the uprights, and add a layer of vapor barrier

First, cut down the old plastic, move the uprights, and add a layer of vapor barrier

The old skirt plastic makes a great vapor barrier, and it’s the perfect size to cover just past the keel to the edge of the new tent footprint.

Convert the uprights from "3rd leg" to scaffolding version

Convert the uprights from “3rd leg” to scaffolding version

Position 2"x12" scaffolding boards, then screw in the skirt strips along the top

Position 2″x12″ scaffolding boards, then screw in the skirt strips along the top

I use separate pieces of shrink wrap for the skirt/walls and the top. Welding two pieces of shrink wrap together and taping while the plastic is hot makes a pretty strong joint, but eventually they fail if they’re not reinforced with wooden battens. I installed battens every 3~4 feet on Model X, but I eventually learned that it was a mistake not to use continuous battens all the way around. When I shrunk the tent, the plastic was nice a tight for a few days, but then it stretched at the screw holes in the battens and got kind of floppy. It got even looser when snow loads and wind had worked on it for a year. So for Tent Model XXX, I’m tying the top of all of the uprights together with strips of scrap 1/2″ plywood, and I’ll use continuous battens around the bottom of the skirt and over the top of the joint between the skirt and the top skin.

Roll out the new 26' shrink wrap all the way to the front

Roll out the new 26′ shrink wrap all the way to the front

In the picture above, you can see where the Searay’s hull blew apart from the explosion. That’s in addition to the hull to deck joint being blown out all the way around.

Slice the 26' shrink wrap at the center for a 13'-wide sheet, and get ready to lift.

Slice the 26′ shrink wrap at the center for a 13′-wide sheet, and get ready to lift.

The sun’s going down…gotta get on it!

Battens on the bottom and tacked along the top

A batten or two on the nose and the bottom, and clamped along the top…time to go home

Dawn Breaks on Tent Day #3

What a mess! Time for some house cleaning

What a mess! Time for some house cleaning

Secured with some battens, the skirt is 70% done ...but the sun is going down!

Secured with some battens, the skirt is 70% done …but the sun is going down!

Slice off the old skirt and get ready to hang the new one

Slice off the old skirt and get ready to hang the new one

I have to leave the top part of the old skirt in place because it’s fastened to the tent’s 1-1/2″ PVC pipe rafters. Without that, the top skin would fly away with a puff of wind. Because the old plastic is covered with grit, it can cause serious damage to the paint if the plastic is allowed to rub up against it. This all makes the process more complicated and labor intensive, but there’s only so much I can do in a day.

End of Day 3, the skirt is ready for shrinking

End of Day 3, the skirt is pretty much ready for shrinking

By splitting the 26′ shrink wrap, I was able to do the 12′ high skirt with practically no waste. Next time, I’ll finish up the battens, then cut off the top, reposition the rafters, and get the new shrink film top sheet installed.

Next up on our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Tent Model XXX 3

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4 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Tent Model XXX 2

  1. Oscar says:

    Oops….. I’ve come to the end……

  2. Marty Molloy says:

    Ship in a bottle! Merry Christmas, Q! ;0)

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