1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Making Spacers for the Swim Platform

In 2014, I refinished the original teak swim platform then let it sit in my shop at home while I recovered from the bastard thieves who stole all of the parts, tools, and materials from the tent that year. Installing the platform got delayed again in 2015 when the boat next to mine exploded and damaged my paint and and the tent. But if I’m going to splash in 2016, I’ve got to get the platform installed since many of the bolts that attach it to the boat are below the waterline.

Original salon hatch frames, saved for re-purposing

I started out by cutting the old mahogany salon hatch frames into useful lengths, getting rid of all of the splits, cracks and other bad parts.

48 year-old mahogany frames show no rot

Right side of the mahogany frame shows a hint of rot…cutting off another  1/2″ should do

Next, rip each board with my Eurekazone track saw

Next, rip each board with my Eurekazone track saw

Looking good...ready for the bandsaw

Looking good…ready for the bandsaw

Shopsmith bandsaw easily handles the board width

Shopsmith bandsaw easily handles the width when truing the board face

Getting the angle just right

Tapered pine pattern will guide the cut, transferring the taper to the mahogany

Starting the cut

Starting the taper cut

The board is 3″ wide, and I don’t want the blade to twist when I push the wood through. So I’m using a 1/2″ 3tpi blade.

Second pass

Second pass

First spacer done

First spacer done

Once I worked out the steps, the rest went pretty fast

Once I worked out the steps, the rest went pretty fast

Next, drill the bolt holes

Next, drill the bolt holes slightly oversized for 3/8″ bolts

It’s really unfortunate Chris Craft didn’t manufacture the swim platform brackets to fit the boat. The transom is very close to perpendicular to the waterline, so all they had to do was make the top of the brackets (where the platform attaches) 90° to the upright mounting point. Instead, they made them 82°, which is why I need the tapered spacers.

Encapsulate in epoxy, then fiberglass

Encapsulate in epoxy, then fiberglass

I fully saturated the mahogany with epoxy, including the inside of the bolt holes, then laid on a layer of medium weight fiberglass. When the epoxy started getting tacky, I hot coated it with homemade underwater fairing compound.

Next day, touch up the fairing compound

Next day, touch up the fairing compound

Redrill pilot holes

Redrill pilot holes

Drill final holes with a 3/8" bit

Drill final holes with a 3/8″ bit, then chamfer the hole edge

The spacers are mahogany, but they’re completely encapsulated in plastic, even inside the bolt holes. With no breaks in the epoxy, once I get a barrier coat on them water won’t be able to attack the wood inside. But before I can apply barrier coat, I need to get a gallon kit of Devoe Bar-Rust 235. The local supplier stopped carrying it, and I’ve been having trouble finding a distributor in the area. So I’ll put the swim platform on hold and get to work on something else.

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Helm Windshield is Finally Done

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s