1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: “Throne Room” Ceiling Panels

I’m making good progress on the V-berth head (AKA the Throne Room), which has to be fiberglassed, faired, and painted (just like the aft stateroom head) before I can put the portholes in, which has to happen before I can splash the boat hopefully later this year. As with the aft stateroom head, I’ll be fiberglassing and fairing the ceiling panels prior to gluing and screwing them in place, since it’s very difficult to fair overhead panels. One thing that’s different about the V-berth head, though, is that the whole room will be a shower. We’ll need a shower curtain to control flying spray from getting into the cabinets, but we don’t want any unsightly hardware. It’s also a small space, so the curtain needs to be easily removable when the room isn’t being used as a shower. I’ve decided to use rare earth magnets as invisible shower curtain hardware.

Rolling out and cutting the 1708 fiberglass

Rolling out and cutting the 1708 fiberglass

Fully saturated with epoxy

Fully saturated with epoxy

After the fiberglass is wetted out, I waited until the epoxy got tacky and then applied a coat of homemade fairing compound using a 7:3 mix of glass bubbles to cabosil.

A light coat of epoxy fairing compound

A light coat of epoxy fairing compound

By putting a coat of epoxy fairing compound on the FRP while it’s still tacky, it develops a perfect chemical bond since the same epoxy is used for the FRP and the compound. When we apply the Alexseal waterproof fairing compound over the top, we won’t have to grind the surface of the fiberglass. Just hit the epoxy fairing compound with 80 grit on a 7″ sander, and spread the new stuff on. This keeps the FRP matrix stronger, since we don’t break any glass fibers, and it also means there’s no itchy fiberglass dust to deal with.

Eureka Zone track saw cuts the excess fiberglass off perfectly straight

Eureka Zone track saw cuts the excess fiberglass off perfectly straight

Ready to install magnets on the backside

Ready to install magnets on the backside

A stick of 1/8" thick rare earth magnets

A stick of 1/8″ thick rare earth magnets

Good sign: the magnets grab each other through the full panel thickness

The magnets grab each other through the full panel thickness

My magnet curtain holder plan passed the first test here. There are a bunch of different strengths of rare earth magnets, so I’ve been wondering if the ones I selected were too weak or too strong. These feel about right.

1/2" router bit set to 5/32" depth

1/2″ router bit set to 5/32″ depth

Holes are cut

Holes are cut

Magnets fit just inside

Wet out the hole with epoxy and a dab of epoxy thickened with wood flour

Wet out the hole with epoxy, then add a dab of epoxy thickened with wood flour

Moosh the magnet to the bottom of the hole, then smooth with a squeegee

Moosh the magnet to the bottom of the hole, then smooth with a squeegee

I wonder if magnetic forces alter cure times...

Magnetic forces do not appear to affect epoxy cure times. 😉

I'll put some magnets in the wall, too, so the curtain keeps shower spray in

I’ll put some magnets in the wall, too, so the curtain keeps shower spray in

Just a couple for good measure

Just a couple for good measure

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Throne Room Wiring, Plumbing, and Final Panel Install

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One comment on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: “Throne Room” Ceiling Panels

  1. boatnut23 says:

    That’s a great idea. Nice work.

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