1969 Chris Craft Roamer Refit: Aft Head Mahogany Wall Panels

My main focus now is getting the portholes installed. My painter’s schedule hasn’t synched with mine yet, so I’m temporarily stalled in the V-berth. The new mahogany panel that I’ll bond to the bulkhead there is ready for paint, but until that happens I don’t want to cut the hull side pieces. Any change in that bulkhead panel position will affect the fit to the side panels, and I don’t want gaps. So, I went back into the aft stateroom and started cutting the 1/4″ mahogany plywood that will surround the rest of the porthole openings. I did this before on the two aft-most holes a while back. This time, I started with the aft head.

The aft head

Shiny Awlgrip in the aft head

The jet bath is awaiting installation

The jet bath is awaiting installation, but it’s in the way

First, protect the walls

First, protect the walls

That floor plastic is expensive, so I reuse it when possible

That floor plastic is expensive, so I reuse it when possible

The Dust Deputy and remote control are excellent vacuum upgrades

The Dust Deputy and a remote control are excellent vacuum upgrades

The tub is finally out of the way

The tub is finally out of the way

Next, I need to pull a sheet of 1/4" mahogany plywood from the stack

Next, I need to pull a sheet of 1/4″ mahogany plywood from the stack

What a pain in the @55! The wood sure is pretty, though

What a pain in the @55! The wood sure is pretty, though

Mark the plywood and line it up with the Eureka Zone track

Mark the plywood for length and line it up with the Eureka Zone tracksaw track

That tracksaw is a great tool. You get super precise cuts, and the setup for each cut is very fast.

Almost ready to cut

Almost ready to cut

Adding tape here drastically reduces dust

Adding tape here drastically reduces dust

Ditto for the other side

Ditto for the other side

With the vacuum on, that's all the dust that escapes

With the vacuum on, those few little flecks are all the dust that escapes

After cutting to the right length, the next cut splits the panel

Port and starboard porthole surround panels

Port and starboard porthole surround panels

Too long to fit

Too long to fit

This is a boat, so nothing is ever perfectly square. I learned a while back to cut panels like this slightly oversized, then trim to fit as necessary. Once you make the cut, you can’t add material back if the panel it joins to has a slight curve or angle to it.

Knocking off 1/16" at the top, tapering to zero at the bottom

Knocking off 1/8″ at the bottom, tapering to zero at the top

The tracksaw is great for making quick cuts at any angle. You can’t easily do this kind of cut with a tablesaw.

Nice fit

Nice fit

I ran around to the outside, and traced the porthole outlines onto the panel.

Traced outline

Traced outline

Ready for the jigsaw

Ready for the jigsaw

Boom! Done. Ready for ICA clear coat

Boom! Done. Ready for ICA clear coat

Nice fit!

Not a bad fit.

Once this panel is clearcoated with ICA, I’ll epoxy seal the edges and backside, then insulate the back of the panel like I’ve done on all other panels that face the hull. Since the bathtub/shower will be a source of high humidity here, I’ll bed the edges of the panel with Sikaflex and cover the joints to the walls with mahogany quarter-round molding.

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Aft Stateroom Porthole Surround Panels II

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2 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer Refit: Aft Head Mahogany Wall Panels

  1. stingrayl82 says:

    Q, she’s starting to look like a boat! I’m getting excited for you. Quick question, the triangular space above the panel you cut in the aft head…what do you do to fill it?

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Thanks!
      The space above the panel has three frames that attach the hull to a longitudinal support beam 2′ or so inboard of the hull. One flat panel of mahogany will attach to those frames and the beam. I think the triangular appearance was a trick of the camera.
      Cheers,
      Q

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