1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Main Raw Water Inlets

With the exhaust system almost done (the high temp resin finally arrived for the insulation hard shell), I’ve started doing the prep work to replace the original 1-1/2″ raw water inlets with 2″ inlets that my Cummins 6CTAs require.

Port engine raw water standpipe

Starboard engine raw water standpipe

Chris Craft used dielectric unions to separate the bronze fittings they used on the inside of the metal (steel and aluminum) Roamer boats from the raw water standpipes that are welded to the hull. I was able to remove the dielectric on the starboard side with a pipe wrench but not the one on the port side. Fortunately, the new standpipes require a hole big enough for the dielectric to slide right out.

Port side, with the genset raw water seacock below

Port side standpipe and dielectric, with the genset raw water seacock below

New raw water standpipes arrived in 2014

New raw water standpipes have been waiting around since 2014

Hole saw is big enough to fit over the dielectric

Hole saw for the new pipe is big enough to fit over the dielectric

First, knock off the strainer, then knock in a block of wood

First, knock off the strainer, then knock in a block of wood

Center the pilot drill in the wood and pull the trigger

Center the pilot drill on the wood and pull the trigger

Hull breach

Hull breach

Standpipe with dielectric

Standpipe with dielectric

Port standpipe test fit

New port standpipe test fit

Repeat on the starboard side

Repeat on the starboard side

OE standpipe and strainer

OE standpipe and strainer

Lotsa gunk packed into the strainer

Lotsa gunk packed into the strainer

Bad design

Bad design

The back side of the original strainers, which appear to be a Groco product, can’t be epoxy coated after they were welded in, and the hull in this area was bare aluminum, too. Add a bunch of dirt packed into the lee side of the strainer, and it’s a recipe for corrosion. Fortunately, there was only one deep pit on each side, and I positioned the hole saw to cut through it. My new strainers are also from Groco, but they’re hinged. Once they’re welded in, I’ll open the hinges and put an epoxy barrier coat on them inside and out. Plus, when I periodically haul the boat for bottom paint I’ll be able to clean out any accumulated gunk.

Interesting comparison

Interesting comparison

On the left we have the welded area where Chris Craft joined 5052 aluminum hull plating to 6061 aluminum pipe. Even though there was no barrier coat here and the boat ran for a while in salt water, there’s very little corrosion in this area in spite of the different alloys. On the right, we have badly corroded pipe where the steel part of the dielectric threaded on. The green suggests that copper from the bronze fitting attached to the other end of the dielectric was playing havoc with the aluminum. I’m glad I decided on Marelon seacocks for the refit!

The view from inside

The view from inside

Port side raw water component test fit

Port side raw water component test fit

I’m still deciding where to place everything. I want to maintain ease of access to the outboard side of each engine, but the inside strainers need to also be accessible for maintenance. I think this arrangement is a pretty good compromise.

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: My Life Is An Old-School Country Western Song.

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2 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Main Raw Water Inlets

  1. anonymous says:

    Are you just going leave the standpipes going up with a ball valve or will you use a proper seacock?

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Hi.
      On metal boats, welded standpipes are the standard. The Forespar Marelon ball valves in the article are NPSM-threaded proper marine ball valves. Flanged seacocks would offer no benefit, since Forespar uses the same NPSM thread for their ball valves and flanged seacocks, and they would involve fasteners going through the hull. The need for fasteners actually makes flanged seacocks the inferior choice on a metal boat.
      Cheers,
      Q

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