1969 Chris Craft Roamer Refit: Sealing Up the V-berth Floor

I actually sealed up the V-berth floor last year, before we got to work on the Throne Room. I knew there was going to be a ton of dust and wanted to keep it out of the bilge spaces as much as possible, while still allowing for some airflow after the refit is finished. To do that, I added 1/4″ marine plywood panels between each frame that extend from the floor to just before the hull. Chris Craft used this approach in the salon to keep engine room sounds and smells from coming up into the living space, and I think it will be a good thing to do in other living spaces, too. It’s not exciting work, but I wanted to document it anyway.

Floor to hull gaps

Floor to hull gaps

Those big, open spaces let a lot of dust enter the bilge, not just during the refit but as the boat is used, too. Cleaning the bilge is one of the jobs I really dislike, and closing those gaps will reduce maintenance in the long run.

Gap-filling panels in the galley

Gap-filling panels in the galley

This is a perfect place to use some very old 1/4″ marine scraps that have been taking up space for years.

More gaps on the V-berth steps

More gaps on the V-berth steps

Panels cut and dry fitted

Panels cut and dry fitted

Gaps filled at the V

Gaps filled at the Vee

Last of the panels are cut and dry fitted

Last of the panels are cut and dry fitted

After dry fitting, I mixed up some epoxy and coated the back and sides of each panel to make sure those surfaces would remain impervious to water. Then I mixed in some wood flour and glued and screwed each panel in place.

The last step: glue and screw

The last step: glue and screw

Done!

Done!

These little panels did a great job keeping sanding dust out of the bilge when we were prepping and painting the Throne Room. I have the new V-berth bulkhead veneer panel ready to paint with ICA clear coat, and I’d really like to get that berth ready to use since sleeping overnight on the boat would save me lots of travel time that I could put into getting the refit done. But unfortunately, my painter is swamped with work at his day job and hasn’t had time to get to it. That’s alright, though…there’s plenty of other stuff to get done.

Next up on our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer Refit: Aft Head Mahogany Wall Panels

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