1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: The V-berth “Throne Room” IV

I left off my last Throne Room article with the side cabinet carcass being mostly assembled and partially insulated. This time I’ll finish up the assembly and insulation. When I’m not at the boatyard working on the Throne Room, I’m spending at least few hours each weekend practicing with my latest toy tool, an AHP AlphaTIG 200X welder. A “gas lens” kit that I bought made a HUGE difference in weld quality on stainless. The gas lens is a ceramic cup on the pointy end of the TIG torch. But unlike the normal cups that came stock with the AlphaTIG, gas lenses are shaped a bit differently, and they have a much larger base with a diffuser screen inside that, as if by magic, focuses the gas (argon for stainless and aluminum) evenly around the weld area. Another day or two of practice and I’ll tackle the first of several aluminum welding projects that need to be done before the Roamer splashes later this year. But first… back to that cabinet.

Insulation was applied after the exposed wood was epoxy coated

Insulation was applied after the exposed wood was epoxy coated

Glued (no screws), then clamped and insulated

Glued (no screws), then clamped and insulated

Looking at the clamping system in the pic above, “Rube Goldberg” comes to mind. But the thing is, each and every clamp and scrap of wood serves a very specific purpose. If I had a bigger selection of clamps, I might not need as many bits and pieces to hold it all together, but given what I’ve got to work with and the need to clamp in the X, Y, and Z axis, this is what it took to get ‘er done.

Crazy clamps

Crazy clamps

The long bar clamps compress against the scrap 1/2″ ply, mooshing the insulation against the bottom of the interior cabinet bottom panel, which pulls it toward the cabinet top. That squeezes the side panels tightly into place between the top and bottom panels, but it also lifts the bottom panel off of the cabinet carcass. So a short bar clamp on the left pulls the long bar clamp end down, forcing the cabinet bottom into contact with the carcass face panel. But the right side long bar clamp isn’t near a convenient edge, so I had to use a 1″ x 1″ mahogany cleat as a lever to push the right side long clamp down, forcing the right side of the cabinet bottom into contact with the cabinet face panel. At that point, I had good squeeze out on both ends of the cabinet interior bottom panel, but the center was floating free. So, I re-oriented the mahogany cleat and added a scrap of 3/4″ ply in the middle. That gave me good glue squeeze out all long the length of the interior bottom panel joint. The other scrap wood pieces (and the chisel) in the foreground are used as weights to keep the Buffalo Batt insulation in contact with the wet epoxy on the panel.

More essential sticks and wedges position the side panels

More essential sticks and wedges position the side panels

plywood scraps keep the insulation in full contact with the epoxy-coated panel back

Plywood scraps keep the insulation in full contact with the epoxy-coated panel back

The stick in the top right corner tightens up the top to side panel joint.

Next up, the V-berth head wall

Next up, the V-berth head wall

Marked out for attachment points

Marked out for the attachment points

Buffalo Batt fabric provides R3 insulation value with 1.5" of loft, and no fiberglass issues

Buffalo Batt fabric provides R3 insulation value with 1.5″ of loft, and no fiberglass “issues”

Fully wet out the area with epoxy

Fully wet out the area with epoxy

Trimmed insulation laid on the wet epoxy

Trimmed insulation laid on the wet epoxy

Insulation all laid in place

Insulation all laid in place

Gravity, scrap plywood, and heavy stuff holds the insulation to the panel until the epoxy cures

Gravity, scrap plywood, and heavy stuff holds the insulation to the panel until the epoxy cures

Every single piece of scrap serves a clamping purpose

Every single piece of scrap serves a clamping purpose

With sticky epoxy everywhere and some not entirely stable clamps holding everything together, I closed up for the day and went back to play with my AlphaTIG.

Next up on our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: The V-berth “Throne Room” Plumbing

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4 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: The V-berth “Throne Room” IV

  1. c says:

    I just read through your blog, very high standard of work.

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Thanks, c! Much appreciated!

      • c says:

        We are looking for a Roamer up here on the Great lakes. The mechanic Who has worked on my Sea Ray for years warned me to stay clear of the old two stroke Detroit diesels( 8-71). Parts are becoming rare and expensive and the motors are loud and obsolete. Do you have a view you can share? We know of a 55 roamer with 8-71’s that we like but don’t want to re-motor. Thank you, Colin

        • 1969roamer46 says:

          Hi Colin.
          I don’t know which parts your mechanic thinks are getting rare or expensive, but I wouldn’t avoid a boat that had a good running set of 71 Series Detroits. They are louder than newer diesel engines, but the 71 Series was one of the longest running, best supported engine lines around. Parts are all over the place, but good-running ones can go for many, many thousands of hours without needing more than oil, filter, and coolant changes. Before buying, you should probably invest in an engine and transmission survey. Just make sure the mechanic is a Detroit specialist. Ask around the docks…somebody will know of one.
          Cheers,
          Q

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