1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Wrapping Up the V-berth Bed Foundation

It’s been brutally hot recently, but I’m still making fair progress in the V-berth. The bed foundation frames are done, so the next step is to cut and fit the plywood the mattress will lie on. That same plywood will also provide the base for the cabinetry that ties the foundation to the curvy V-berth side walls. But when it’s 89°F outside with 50% humidity and 123° inside the tent, it takes longer to complete every step.

Rough fit of the port bed foundation

I made the port panel out of a half-sheet that was left over from years ago when I modified the bow seat. It roughly fits the bed foundation, but the original aluminum attachment points aren’t level. The port side is higher than the starboard, so I had to make some room on the under side of the panel so it would lie flat on the foundation frames.

Routed out a notch to fit the aluminum hull framing

As I was routing the panel, I was surprised at the quality of the plywood top veneer.

Ugly Douglas fir

I’m not a professional woodworker, and I don’t have years of experience working with plywood, but the top veneer on this marine grade Douglas fir ply is really poor quality. It looks like the wooden veneer itself has been coming apart. I’ll be epoxy sealing the whole thing and insulating the underside, and the epoxy should bind all of these fibers back together. But if anybody knows what causes this sort of thing, please post a comment.

New plywood panel looks different

I ran out of 1/2″ marine grade Doug fir plywood, so I went to the local lumber supplier and got another sheet. The glue, veneer thickness, and veneer count are all consistent with other marine ply I’ve seen. But the wood sure looks different. On the up-side, the surface veneer looks much better than on the older panel.

I was initially planning to just use two panels for the mattress foundation, but I decided to make a removable hatch for access to the shore power isolation transformer. It’s unlikely I’ll ever need to access it, but making a hatch now is easier than having to cut one after everything is assembled and done.

Looking good!

In case anybody is wondering…yes, as soon as the three panels were fitted, I laid down on it to check it out. LOL

There’s plenty of room lengthwise for a person up to 6′ tall or so, but if there’s a significant other she better be petite! Since this will primarily be used as an office/computer room, I’m more interested in a generous desk than a big bed.

Final touch

After drilling and countersinking all of the screw holes, I figured I might as well leave a clue about what’s under the hatch. My freehand router writing skills are about the same as the rest of the stuff I do: not perfect, but not too bad either

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Insulating and Final Install of the V-berth Bed Foundation


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