1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Installing Porthole Screens

If I’m going to splash the boat in 2016, I need to get it water-tight. That means I’ve got to get windows installed. Last year I did a lot of work bringing the hateful portholes back from the dead. They turned out pretty good once they were painted, but what a bunch of work. Now I need to install the screens in them in preparation for the new tinted glass I’ll be ordering soon.

Shiny portholes are ready for re-assembly

Shiny portholes are ready for re-assembly

You’d think that factory-made portholes would be cookie-cutter affairs…all the parts are cast in the same molds, then drilled and tapped one after the other in the same fashion. But if you thought that, as did I, then you’d eventually find yourself as frustrated as I was when I tried to reassemble the pretty portholes.

It turns out that the castings are all the same and the big holes are all the same, but the small holes around the perimeter of the glass flange and screen flange were drilled only in the same general location. Each flange only fits its original porthole. Having assumed they were all the same, I didn’t mark them on disassembly. With 12 portholes and two flanges each, the screen flange can be oriented two different ways, and 20 screw holes per flange that all need to be checked for fit, let’s just say it was a tedious afternoon sorting them out. Some of them would have a perfect fit for 18~19 holes, but somebody on the line hiccuped on the last hole and put it 1/16″ off. So…out come the screws and try it again on the next porthole.

Porthole with matching screen flange

Porthole with matching screen flange

Sikaflex 291 LOT caulk goes in the trough

Screen flange will moosh the screen into the caulk

Carefully lay the screen in place

New 316 stainless screws get a shot of Tefgel before being started one hole at a time

Nice!

Screws in and tightened down, with good Sikaflex squeeze-out indicating a leak-free seal

Carefully trim with a razor knife

Carefully trim with a razor knife

Done! Only 11 more to go!

Done! Only 11 more to go!

Next up on our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Measuring For New Glass

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2 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Installing Porthole Screens

  1. John Longwell says:

    I learned some time ago to remember to keep the matching components together after taking them apart.
    Location tolerances were very generous in the 60’s?

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      On the location tolerances, it depends on the hole. The corners, for example, are all in the same place, as are most of the side holes. It’s the top and bottom ones that had the most variation.
      Go figure…

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