1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: The V-berth Bulkhead

Paneling, building out the cabinets, and varnishing the V-berth (forward bedroom) is one of the bigger items remaining on the honey do list for this refit. I didn’t want to expose bare mahogany to the possibility of primer or paint overspray while we were prepping and painting the V-berth head. But with the Throne Room painted, I can finally get to work on building out the V-berth itself. The first thing to get done is the forward bulkhead. But first, a little rant about another real-world problem created by absurd regulations.

Back when I was cleaning up the Cummins intercoolers, I wrote about how Department of Transportation placarding and paperwork regulations result in a $198 shipping cost to deliver a $58 gallon kit of Devoe epoxy primer 200 miles away. If it was something other than a gallon of “listed material,” it’d cost ~$25. This time around, the rant is about EPA regulations promulgated under the Clean Air Act.

I arrived at the boat early. Winter is still upon us, so it was pretty cold on the boat. I cranked up the bazooka kerosene heater, and within 15 minutes or so it was toasty on board. That spray foam insulation really makes a HUGE difference.

70,000btu heats the place up quickly

70,000btu heats the place up quickly

But the heater was running low on kerosene, so I went and bought a few gallons. When I came back and tried to fill the tank, the stupid EPA-mandated jerry can nozzle destroyed itself.

5th time I've used this jerry can

5th time I’ve used this jerry can

Busted

Busted

I get that the intention is to keep fumes from escaping or accidental spills from happening with jerry cans. But this most recent spout iteration, which I’m sure works perfectly in the EPA’s Office of Air laboratories so long as they don’t actually use the thing, blows itself up almost immediately. This is the third of these things I’ve bought, and all of them broke very quickly. One broke the first time I tried to use it! And once it breaks, that’s it…no fluid passes through the spout. If you run out of gas, you can have a full jerry can, but you’re still outta gas!

Another bad design, but not as bad as the latest one

Another bad design, but not as bad as the latest one

The spout with the green lever works OK, though it passes fluid at such a slow rate that it’s a real pain. Also, the plastic hose that attaches to the nozzle doesn’t seal up very well so fuel splashes out from it, which is why I end up throwing them away. Fuel splashing from these spouts that are intended to keep fuel fumes out of the air is a very common theme. Ask anybody what they think of these EPA-mandated jerry cans, and you’ll get an earful about how crappy they are. Everybody complains that they spill far more fuel than they ever did with the old-style straight tube spout. I keep a funnel around and just in case the spout blows apart so I can pour fuel direct from the can into the tank. I’m pretty sure the most expensive part of these modern jerry cans is the fancy schmancy spout that blows itself apart when you try to use it.

The Clean Air Act requires EPA to reduce fuel fume release, and I’m sure the people who came up with the regulation intended to comply with the law, but the real-world outcome is exactly the opposite of the intent of the law. I’d be very happy to see these stupid regulations rolled back to something sensible. Maybe EPA should ask welders, landscapers, mechanics and other deplorable fly-over people to beta test these things to make sure they work before they finalize their regulations. Just because it works in a laboratory doesn’t mean it’s going to work reliably in the field.

Rant over. I feel better.

While the V-berth was heating up, I sealed up the Throne Room.

First, button up the Throne Room

Plastic should keep dust out of the Throne Room

The forward bulkhead

Sometime prior to 1985, nasty latex paint was rolled on over the original Chris Craft paint that coated the forward bulkhead. It appears there was no prep done at all…just roll the rubber paint on over unsanded, dirty enamel. It peels off very easily in spots, but sticks tenaciously in others. So I put down some plastic to catch the dust and hit the bulkhead with 36 grit on my Makita sander.

Sanded back to the 1969 douglas fir marine plywood

Sanded back to the 1969 douglas fir marine plywood

Next, I made a pattern of the bulkhead

Next, I made a pattern of the bulkhead

I use a hot glue gun and 1″ wide strips cut from old 2×4 lumber to make patterns.

Delamination on a new African mahogany plywood panel

Delamination on a new African mahogany plywood panel

I bought some 1/4″ African mahogany plywood from a reputable supplier in the spring of 2016. The panels have been stored flat on the aft deck since then. But when I brushed off the back side of the top panel, I found a football-shaped delamination.

They certainly don't make plywood like they used to...

They certainly don’t make plywood like they used to…

Since this 1/4″ panel will be epoxied to the bulkhead, I’ll just add a bit more epoxy here. Hopefully the panel won’t delaminate any more than this. Once the wood is stabilized with epoxy sealing the back and sides and ICA clear coat on the face, it should stop moving around…I hope.

94" across the top

97″ across the top

Marked off and ready to cut

Marked off and ready to cut

Makita jigsaw with the orbital setting on zero makes quick, smooth cuts

Makita jigsaw with the orbital setting on zero makes quick, smooth cuts

Test fit

Test fit

I’ll use screws around the perimeter and clamps pushing on scrap lumber to press the new panel into the epoxy on the bulkhead. But first, the face needs to get a base coat of clear to protect it from epoxy and oxidation.

All of the perimeter screw holes are ountersunk

All of the perimeter screw holes are countersunk

Nice fit

Nice fit

Ready to go to the paint shop

Ready to go to the paint shop

Next up on our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer Refit: Sealing Up the V-berth Floor

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8 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: The V-berth Bulkhead

  1. Agree with everyone else that I love seeing all of the attention to detail. Have to mention a compliant gas can that actually works. It pours relatively fast, has lasted me a few years already, and isn’t too expensive. Look up the “No-spill 1405” Think I prefer it to the old-fashioned ones.

  2. Dave Reyment says:

    I just spent the last 2 weeks reading your entire blog start to now…Really appreciate your attention to detail. I’ve learned a lot about materials and techniques on doing things. I hope to start my build in ~2yrs. Lot’s of research, planning, and saving to do! Can’t wait to see you splash your masterpiece this spring!

  3. While I haven’t chimed in from the peanut gallery in quite some time, I look forward to your updates and read each one ! Your craftsmanship in the field is outstanding. We have in essence watched you build a new boat. The few inches you haven’t touched can still be called original ! Anyway, I appreciate the fact that you haven’t succumbed to dumping the thing in the drink until it is substantially complete. We all know the degradation process will start immediately when its bobbing in the drink. It would be a shame to not have it all new at once. Anyway, keep up the great updates and forward momentum. I hear it might be snowing back there !

    Tracy

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Thanks Tracy! I really appreciate the compliments!
      There was some snow…at least 1/16″, I’d guess. All told, it’s been a mild winter so far. That’s allowed me to make progress on paint projects that I couldn’t have otherwise.
      Well…back at it tomorrow.
      Cheers,
      Q

  4. Kurt S says:

    I can’t stand the Crappy spouts– I have two nice old metal 2 Gallon cans with good flexible spouts on them.. For there age– They are nice condition..

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