For the boat to splash in 2016, all of the portholes have to be installed. Which means that all of the plywood that goes between the porthole flanges and their mounting points on the hull have to be installed, sealed, and painted/finished. For the aft stateroom that will be fairly easy, since I only need to cut more five more 1/4″ African mahogany panels that can all be clear coated off-site. But the V-berth poses bigger challenges. The hull curves up there make panel layout very challenging–even a straight line up a bulkhead has to be cut on a curve on a flat piece of plywood that will conform to the hull shape once installed. But the V-berth head is the most challenging of all. Unlike the aft head, which has a jet bath that will function as the shower pan, the forward head needs to be an all-in-one toilet, sink, and shower stall because it’s a very small space. We’ll use the same basic approach as we used in the aft head, but the fillets and final paint will go everywhere…even the floor, which will act as a shower pan and drain.
There will be a step-over panel to enter the head, since the space in front of the wood-colored cabinet will be the shower pan with a drain integrated into the floor. All inside corners except the countertop will be filleted. The entire space will be fiberglassed, faired, primed, and painted with Awlgrip Matterhorn white, since I’ve got quite a bit left over.
I’m not too keen on this modern marine-grade Douglas fir plywood…the old stuff that originally came on these boats didn’t have footballs and other patches in the face veneers. For the price, I’d expect these marine-grade panels to be uniform.
Next, I recycled some of the original 1″ x 1″ mahogany cleats, which I’ll attach to the galley bulkhead and forward walls so the edges of the new 1/4″ panel have something to attach to. The cleats have to follow the curve of the hull, so I’m going to cut kerfs along their length so they’ll bend easier.
Once the kerfs were cut, I had to put the panel into position and scribe the edge line. But I’m holding off installing the cleats until the end of the day, when everything gets glued and screwed together.
The shot above shows why there’s got to be a step-up for the head: there are two big hull bottom frames that rise up quickly and join the hull side frame. The platform for the toilet has to be high enough to clear those. Once the step up piece was fitted, I drilled pocket screw holes.
The wall panel isn’t screwed into place so the panel naturally wants to flatten out, which makes it look in the picture like there are big gaps on the edges. But it’s actually a nice, tight fit. Next I’ve got to run 12v lighting wires for the overhead, and then make cleats and cut the overhead panels. I’ve also got to make the toilet step floor, but because the hull frames here are so tall I have to make yet another step-up for the toilet base…which means I have to order the toilets, so the toilet base I mold into the step-up will conform to the shape of the toilet itself. If that makes no sense, don’t worry…it should all come together in the next couple of articles. 🙂
Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: The V-berth Head Ceiling