1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Making the Battery Switch Mount

I’m still waiting for the exhaust riser insulation to show up, but I have plenty of other things to do. I was working on the engine electrical during the summer, including running the battery cables. To complete that installation, I need to install battery cutoff/combiner switches, and I wanted to install them in a place that will have reasonably good access from either the engine room or the salon. I think I got a good spot figured out, so the next step was to make the switch mount.

Scrap okume marine plywood, a sour cream container, and a jigsaw is all it takes

Scrap okume marine plywood, a sour cream container, a sharpie, and a jigsaw is all it takes

I didn’t want to have to disassemble the new battery switch to mark the circle on the plywood, but a sour cream container I’ll use as an epoxy mixing cup worked fine as the template.

Sanding the end pieces

Sanding the end pieces on my Shopsmith

Pocket screw holes are drilled

Pocket screw holes are drilled

Next, I rounded the edge

Next, I rounded the edge with a router

Nice fit...ready to glue & screw

Nice fit…ready to glue & screw

Wet out all contact surfaces with epoxy

Next, apply wood flour-thickened epoxy and screw it together

Next, apply wood flour-thickened epoxy and screw it together

Next, I mixed up another batch of epoxy and wetted out the surface of the mount–front, back, and sides, but not the edges that will eventually attach to the boat. The edges tend to soak up a lot more than the faces, so it took two applications before they were close to fully wetted and no bubbles were forming. Then I added white colorant to the epoxy and brushed on more.

A little colorant goes a long way

A little colorant goes a long way

Two coats yields good coverage

Two coats yields good coverage

This is the first time I’ve used colorant, and it does something funny. When you brush it on, the coverage is great. But over ten minutes or so, the colorant flows out and thins in spots, revealing the grain of the wood below. Rebrushing (without necessarily adding more) changes it back from translucent to opaque. So I rebrushed it three times until it set up enough to hold.

Good shine

Good shine

Good fit...read to install

Good fit…ready to install

The switch mount is ready to install, but I’m not too keen on going to the boat this weekend. It’s going to be 16°F and windy starting Thursday and won’t go above freezing on Friday. The weekend isn’t looking much better. It was just a few months back that it was too hot to work in the tent, now winter is coming on hard a full month earlier than the pattern for the last few years. I may end up staying home in the garage and working on polishing all of those stainless stanchions.

Next up on our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Main Raw Water Inlets

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4 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Making the Battery Switch Mount

  1. Chris Kiefer says:

    Are you doing a two battery one engine setup for a total of four batteries?

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Hi Chris.
      I’m leaning toward using one battery for starting the starboard engine and two or maybe three 8Ds for the house and starting on the port side. When we’re on the hook, I prefer to run appliances on batteries and solar through the inverter rather than running the genset all the time.
      Cheers,
      Q

  2. Kent says:

    One more Project Done– Nice as all the others have been..

  3. Jim Frens says:

    I liked the panel before the white epoxy went on. There’s nothing more beautiful than stained and varnished okume / mahogany. You’re quite good at cutting a circle with a scroll saw!

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