1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Mid-Atlantic Blizzard 2016

With up to 30 inches of snow forecast over a single 24-hour dump for the Mid-Atlantic blizzard of 2016, I  was very concerned about Tent Model XXX. We were hunkered down at our house, fully stocked with heating oil, propane, seasoned firewood and a terrific wood stove, a fully charged inverter battery bank, and two back-up generators, to say nothing of the rum, Jagermeister, wine, beer, pizza, canned goods, dried beans, and other survival gear any sensible person would have around during a blizzard. Overnight, 14″ of snow fell. At roughly 15 pounds per cubic foot, the tent has sufficient area on top to catch 7 tons of snow for every foot of white stuff that falls. That number–7 tons–and the “thundersnow” show at 3am got me up early and kept me up. I decided to gear up at sunrise and make the run out to the boatyard, assuming all the way that the tent would be collapsed upon my arrival.

Good news...very few people on the road

Good news…very few cars on the road

One fewer car on the road

Better news: one fewer car on the road

Nobody was inside. I assume the driver lost control overnight and walked out.

Finally...the exit

Finally…the exit

The moment of truth...the boatyard driveway

The moment of truth…the boatyard driveway

My old Ford F150 beater would have gone through to the end, but in the parking lot the snow was deep enough to stop the missus’ little SUV. I walked the rest of the way, expecting to see a big mess…

Tent Model XXX wins the battle with Blizzard 2016!

Tent Model XXX wins the battle with Blizzard 2016!

40" of snow piled up around the perimeter

24″ of snow piled up around the perimeter

Oil disposal shelter did not fair as well

Oil disposal shelter did not fair as well

Standing proud

Standing proud…knock on wood!

I thought about staying and getting some stuff done, but the forecast was for 3″ falling per hour until the afternoon. So I decided to get back to the house before things got uglier. The lull in the snow ended as I headed back home. Wind was really picking up, with gusts to 50mph. It’s an interesting sensation, hitting an open stretch of ice-covered road just as a 50mph crosswind hits. The snow plow-thrown berms of snow on the side of the road come up pretty quick as you slide sideways. But I’ve always enjoyed drives in the snow, and flinging the car around is like riding a bike–if you got the reflexes when you were young, it all comes back in a while.

The next day, I made another trip to make sure Tent Model XXX made it through the wind storm part of Blizzard 2016. An additional 7″ of snow fell overnight, and the wind was so strong it was coming down sideways. But in the morning, the sky was perfectly clear and there was almost no wind. The roads were clear almost the whole way, and most people obeyed the authorities and stayed home. It was a great drive.

Last of the Blizzard ready to fall

Last of Blizzard 2016 ready to fall

There was more accumulated snow on top of Tent Model XXX from the last blast of snow that fell on Day 2 than in the much bigger dump from the night before. But it was all sliding off anyway.

Behold the grandeur that is Tent Model XXX!

Behold the grandeur that is Tent Model XXX!

It’s a testament to battens at all seams, joints, and around the bottom that the tent is still drum tight. I wish I’d figured out how to make a right proper tent back when I started this project…would have saved a lot of heartache and trouble. Ah well…lesson learned.

The aftercoolers I took apart in the last article are sitting in a bucket of water-based degreaser that froze up a bit, so I’ll get them cleaned up and reassembled when it thaws.

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Reinstalling the Isolation Transformer


3 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Mid-Atlantic Blizzard 2016

  1. NormanB says:

    Pity you cannot monitor your tent/boat with a strategically positioned webcam.

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Hi NormamB.
      I’ve got several cams set up, but they’re optimized for catching bastard thieves of the sort that cleaned me out in 2014. It would take a bit of work and $$ to install more for tent condition monitoring. Hopefully, she’ll splash later this year and all of my tent worries will be over.

  2. Scott Horslin says:

    Nice! Congrats on the tents’ survival.
    It is 40 degrees F here in Toronto today, raining, and not even a hint of snow on the ground! Weirdest winter in years…..

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