One by one, I’m getting the salon wall panels and vents installed.
Port-side plywood panels
The last bilge vent chute needs to be installed at the corner of the salon, in the upper left corner of this pic.
The vent chute will go in the corner
Sikaflex 291 seals all seams
Lots of welds here, where I need to attach the vent chute
It looks like somebody mis-cut the aluminum gusset here, then they welded in wedges to bring the top edge of the gusset up to the correct deck level. But the welds make it difficult to attach mahogany solid stock that the bilge vent chute will attach to.
Original 1969 cabinet part will be recycled into a vent chute
This is one of many parts of the boat I kept when we dismantled the boat in 2008 because the wood was still in good shape. There’s always a question about whether it’s worth storing parts like this, since they take up space. It turns out this one was worth keeping.
Cut to fit the hull and frames
Router removed 3/16″ of mahogany to make space for the gusset welds
Epoxy sealed and screwed in place
Sikaflex tube failure
I cut and epoxy sealed the 1/4″ Douglas fir marine plywood vent chute panel a few weeks back, but it was so cold it took ten days for the epoxy to finally cure. I’m using Sikaflex to seal up the joint between the “walls” of the bilge vent chute and the plywood face panel. I used up the last of the black Sikaflex 291 sealant and reached for a tube of 291 LOT that I’d last used six months ago. I gave the tube a squeeze and it felt pliable, which told me air hadn’t gotten inside the tube and caused the sealant to cure. But when I put it in the gun and tried to squeeze out a bead, nothing came out. I ran a metal probe down the nozzle, and wet sealant came out. So I removed the tube from the gun and noticed that the bottom half of the tube wasn’t pliable.
The piston seal had leaked air
Half of the tube had hardened on the bottom end, so I used a squeegee to apply the rest along the contact points for the bilge vent chute plywood panel.
The view up the vent chute
There’s good Sikaflex squeeze-out along the joints in the pic above, so I don’t expect water will be able to get in and rot any of the wood. The green light above is 3M 233+ tape that closes up the hole in the mahogany toe rail that runs around the deck. Any water that happens to come in through the vent will find nothing but epoxy, sealant, and bitumastic-sealed aluminum all the way to the bilge. It’s been time consuming doing it this way, but this is a much better approach than the painted pressboard that Chris Craft used.
Port salon bilge vent chute is done
That’s a wrap for the salon bilge/engine room vents on the port side. The salon below-deck wall panels are sealed and insulated on the backside. To complete the insulated envelope in the salon, next I’ll put insulated panels in as a sort of ceiling below the side deck along all of these wall panels I’ve been installing.
Sorry…that’s a very contorted sentence, but I don’t know how else to describe what goes in next. Pictures in my next post will make it all clear.
Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Cutting and Fitting More Port Salon Panels