1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: The V-berth Head

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.

Fwd head plan: packing a lot into a small space

Fwd head plan: packing a lot into a small space

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.

Laying out 1/4" marine plywood for the hull-side wall

Laying out 1/4″ marine plywood for the hull-side wall

After fitting the panel, I marked the porthole cutout

After fitting the panel, I marked the porthole cutout

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.

Porthole cutout

Porthole cutout

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.

Set the depth of cut on the Dewalt miter saw

Flip the lever and set the depth of cut on the Dewalt miter saw

Cutting kerfs

Cutting kerfs

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.

Fitting the step up for the head

Fitting the step up for the head

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.

Kreg Pocket Hole Jig R3 makes it easy to fasten panels

Kreg Pocket Hole Jig R3 makes it easy to fasten panels

30 seconds to set up and drill each hole

30 seconds to set up and drill each hole

West epoxy wets out the joints, wood flour glue holds them together

West epoxy wets out the joints, wood flour glue holds them together

Glued, screwed, and clamped toilet step floor supports

Glued, screwed, and clamped toilet step floor supports

Wall panel fits nicely; just waiting for epoxy to kick

Wall panel fits nicely; just waiting for epoxy to kick

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

Advertisements

4 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: The V-berth Head

  1. Q – You have become the Dick Proenneke of boat refits! For reference… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYJKd0rkKss

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      I dunno, Bill…the missus helps out and a bunch of people keep saying they want to go for a ride once the Roamer floats. I didn’t get the sense that Proenneke’s family and friends were dying to come up and check out what he’s doing. lol
      The solitude of the boatyard in winter is a good thing. Now that it’s spring, the rat bastards around me are all coming and using power…tripping breakers. Gimme Alaskan solitude!!! 😉
      Cheers,
      Q

  2. Bill Large says:

    Makes perfect sense to me because I did the toilet install in our Silverton. I’m sure you’ve planned all of this but you’ll have a waste discharge line probably coming out of one side of the toilet base and a fresh water inlet line on the back or side. You’ll also have a flush control to mount and wire somewhere and the one on our new head didn’t appear to be really waterproof.

    Also, when you test fit the toilet, sit on it and see where you legs and feet end up. I built up the floor under the our toilet because the toilet seemed to be less tall than a domestic model. I made ours just a little bit too high because I didn’t spend enough time measuring and test fitting.

    Also (and I know you probably don’t need to be reminded), the sanitation hose is a bitch to work with. It won’t make nice close 90-degree bends even with the use of a heat gun. I used 90-degree plastic(?) fittings and the best hose clamps I could buy. It took forever to get all that under deck plumbing and the line to the pump-out fitting on the deck installed properly.

    Fascinating blog. I’ve followed every chapter.

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Thanks, Bill! Yup, I’ve been “test sitting” the height along the way. On the hose, I stopped using it on my boats about ten years ago–the first time a sanitation hose started stinking and needed replacement–except for very short runs to 1-1/2″ PVC pipe that goes all the way to the holding tank. Holding tank odors haven’t permeated the PVC pipe yet!
      Cheers,
      Q

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