1969 Chris Craft Roamer Refit: More Tinted Glass!

Back in January 2016, I measured all of the old, clear glass in the salon and also the side window openings at the helm. I used rulers, framing squares, and protractors to measure the old panes, then added and subtracted fractions of an inch in certain dimensions in the hope that the new glass would fit better than a couple of the originals. For the side glass at the helm, I used my Bosch laser measurer to take the dimensions of the window opening, which reportedly has accuracy to within 1mm. I can’t use the original glass as a template because the shape of the window opening has been changed. I put all of the dimensions into Sketchup drawings, and sent them off to Baltimore Glass, which supplied the glass for the aft enclosure. Prices were very good from Baltimore Glass, roughly 1/3 of the quote from the local retail glass shop. Unfortunately, the price quote I got back in February showed a 200~300% increase over the order I placed in 2013! When I contacted Baltimore Glass about the difference, I got some mumbo-jumbo response about inflation and a “change to the pricing structure.” I believe the price structure change was that the previous sales manager extended wholesale pricing to big boat owners but the new guy doesn’t. I checked with other glass suppliers and found one in North Carolina that was cheaper than Baltimore by 1/3, but that was still a lot more than I’d paid in 2013.

Finally, I discovered Consolidated Glass Corporation up in Pennsylvania. I had to set up an account with them, but their pricing was slightly less than Baltimore Glass in 2013! The one additional complication was that CGC needed me to send the dimensions in CAD files. My version of Sketchup has an add-on that is supposed to be able to export in the .dxf format, but when I tried it the files just had a single straight line, not a 2-D outline of the glass. So, I downloaded LibreCAD and started learning a new CAD application. Finally, in June, I finally send the files off to Consolidated. They filled the order faster than the estimated time. The crating and quality of the glass edge treatments was far better than Baltimore Glass.

Solid crating

Solid crating

Brilliant use of expanding foam

Brilliant use of expanding foam

The glass

The glass

Nice contrast in porthole glass

Nice contrast in porthole glass

Very different edge treatments

Very different edge treatments

I had all of the panes pencil polished to give them a nice, smooth, and slightly rounded edge. That makes them safer to handle and stronger, since rough, unpolished edges (like the originals) reportedly fracture easier.

Salon glass edge treatments

Salon glass edge treatments

It appears as if Chris Craft didn’t polish glass edges unless the windows were sliders. I guess that makes sense, but when handling the panes I find the new, pencil polished glass to be much better…gloves aren’t required.

New vs Old

The old glass is nasty by comparison

I don’t know what the white stuff is on the old glass, but it doesn’t come off with anything I’ve tried, including water, vinegar, alcohol, lacquer thinner, or acetone.

Nice fit on those salon fixed panels

Nice fit on those salon fixed panels

All of the adjustments I made to the original panes worked out, in spite of having taken the dimensions using a bunch of cobbled together framing squares, rulers, and protractors.

No more gap!

No more gap!

Nice!

Nice!

Out with the old salon sliders

Out with the old salon sliders

In with the new!

In with the new!

All of the salon glass fit perfectly, as did the round and rectangular porthole glass. Unfortunately, the fixed panes and sliders for the helm side glass were all the wrong size. The glass matches the .dfx files, which match the original Sketchup renderings I made, which means I screwed up on the measurements. The helm is the place I used my super-accurate Bosch laser measurer, so I have to assume operator error was the problem. I’ll need to re-order those, but this time I’ll go old school and make patterns, then take the measurements off of them rather than just measuring the opening.

It’s always something… Anyway, I’ve got new glass, and the stuff that fit looks great!

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Assembling the Forward Hatch

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4 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer Refit: More Tinted Glass!

  1. Tim says:

    Hey, just wanted to say excellent work so far! It’s been a really interesting project to follow. At some point in time would you consider discussing some of your favorite resources you’ve used to teach yourself stuff, learn about suppliers, plan the job, etc.? I’m guessing you must spend hours researching online for every hour out at the boatyard.

    I would also love to hear something about what your boat & mechanical background was going into this project. It’s obvious this isn’t your first rodeo. I’m guessing you don’t want your personal information out on the web, but just general stuff. What sort of work have you done in the past that’s prepared you for this? Have you done other major boat projects? Has your career been in the marine industry? Just curious because I would love to tackle a project like this at some point in life.

    Thanks
    Tim

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Thanks, Tim!

      I don’t really have favorite resources to learn stuff. Like you said, I just read lots of stuff and then just jump in and go.

      On my background, I’ve never worked in industries that have anything to do with boats, woodworking, etc, but I’ve always messed around with mechanical/electrical things…I’m a bit of an armchair engineer, I suppose. I’ve had several boats, including a Chris Craft Constellation 52 and a Commander 42, neither one of which needed anywhere near the level of effort as the Roamer.

      Anyway, stay tuned!
      Cheers,
      Q

  2. Kent says:

    I’m sure you will figure it all out– Hopping to see the O’l Girl when she’s done one day.. That seems to be a way down the road though..

    Would love to see pictures of your 42′ Chris– Engines/Galley/Salon/Berths and Helm.. Etc.. Don’t go to far out of your way though– It seems you enough to do now..

    Who ever follows this Blog– I’m sure they appreciate you sharing this project..

  3. William B. Kelleher says:

    Darn those operators and there errors. LOL

    Take care

    Bill Kelleher

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