There was a sailor dude in the area when I started digging into the refit after the paperwork SNAFU was resolved back in 2012, and several people said he was a good woodworker. He described himself as “good but slow.” As he started doing individual projects, though, I found that while he was slow he definitely wasn’t good, so I fired him. Every once in a while, as the project continues, when I end up in areas he touched I inevitably end up having to deal with poorly fitted major wall panels, complex panels that don’t line up, and panels that hang suspended over the floor instead of being solidly attached to it. Turns out the V-berth door opening was another opportunity for “Mr. Good-but-slow” to cause me grief even years after I fired him.
The weekend began by installing the right-side panel of the ‘desk-like structure’
The mattress will be trapezoidal
I’ll use 1/4″ marine Douglas fir around the last V-berth porthole
I used up the last of the 1/4″ ribbon striped mahogany panels I had in stock, so for the porthole surround I’ll use Doug fir with a ribbon stripe veneer. I’ve only done veneer work once before on one small panel in a 1967 Chris Craft Constellation 52 I used to own, so this ought to be a learning experience.
Getting close to fitting
Need to trim off a bit more
Next, I marked off the opening from the outside.
But the more time I spent in this area thinking about how I’d do the lower cabinetry, the more things just looked…off.
“Mr. Good-but-slow” Strikes Again!!!
The door opening is several degrees out of square in the X axis…
And it’s not square in the Y axis, either.
Why does everything have to be so difficult?
New okume isn’t the same dimension as the old stuff
I bought and paid for 3/4″ (19mm) okume from Boulter Plywood back in 2012, but it appears that what I received was actually 11/16″ (17mm). There’s no 17mm okume to be had locally, so I had to run the new 19mm stuff through my Dewalt thickness planer.
Taking off very small increments with each pass on both sides
Proper thickness, and square to the floor
Square from top to bottom
Routing out a slot for the spline joint
Dry fitting the spline
Pocket screws will secure the bottom
Clamped, glued, and screwed
Next day…looks pretty good!
The view from the galley
While working on fixing this panel, I was thinking about the path forward. I have to make the last lower cabinet under the port V-berth porthole. That cabinet will have to be deep enough to provide access to the raw water outlet thru-hull and hose for the V-berth air conditioner. There will be a sliding door for the V-berth, so I have to make a molding for the door to slide into on the port side. I also have to make sure the molding and the cabinetry work together. I think the molding should cap the end of the plywood bulkhead, too. And then it occurred to me that I have to put veneer (or thin mahogany panels) on both sides of the okume bulkhead, since rotary cut okoume isn’t the prettiest wood, and the molding will cap all of that. But there is an unfinished cabinet in the galley just above the V-berth door, and if I’m doing veneer in the area I have to finish that first.
That’s right: to finish the woodwork in the V-berth, I have to finish a storage cabinet in the galley!
I understand that it’s all progress toward the finish line. It’ll be good to get that galley cabinet finished. And I’ve got many sheets of 1/8″ mahogany ply that I bought from Boulter in 2012 specifically for this task. But still…I thought I was a lot closer to getting the V-berth done than it turns out. And we’re rapidly making the transition from scorching hot summer to fall, which means our very narrow window for exterior painting has arrived. Mother nature’s the boss, so we’re shifting gears, taping up the whole boat, and getting ready to spray the last coats on the mahogany toe rail.
Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Final Coats of MS1 Clear Coat on the Toe Rail