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1962 Roamer 35

Discussion in 'Chris Craft Roamer Yacht' started by nemehoto, Oct 19, 2010.

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  1. nemehoto

    nemehoto New Member

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    Oct 19, 2010
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    Location:
    Orangeburg SC
    Hi,
    I just purchased a 1962 Roamer 35 with a steel hull. She has twin 327 gas engines that are running well, the pilot house is sadly history as most of the wood is completely rotten. Mechanically she seems sound. Rudders move freely. I do have a few questions though if anyone could help.

    1) The silvery colored coating Chris Craft used on the interior hull is about 70% intact. Does anyone know if this coating is still available? if not what is a suitable replacement? Roughly 2 feet on each side of bilge around the keel is bare and when I go to restore this ol' girl I would like it to last another 45+ years.

    2) There is no water pathways between the "ribs" of this boat that I can tell can anyone suggest what can be done to have the water accumulate in the lowest part of the forward half so a bilge pump can be more effectively used? (the water in the pictures are accumulated rainwater as this boat sat outside for several years without power and the only bilge pumps I have seen in my examination of the boat was in the engine compartment. In the CC commander I lived on for a bit there were water holes in the ribs but I can't find hide nor hair of any such thing on this one. The orange "rust" is a bacteria, it wipes off. (first thing I intend to do is pressure wash it with clorox!)

    As the pilot house and the deck wood around the windows is rotted rain can freely enter the bilge and until I get this poor beastie home and covered I can't stop it. (I live in SC and am trying to get it moved down from MI where I bought it.)

    3) The back deck was a quite a bit abused by rain and weathering. yet I could find not signs of a deck drain to the empty water off the decks. could someone tell me how there boats were designed to vent water? or was it supposed to be via bilge pump? Steel + water = rust and I am trying to avoid more than she already has.

    4) There are some "questionable" patches on the port side of the hull. And the rear of the starboard side they are rough and don't seem like they are welded. (feels more like fiberglass) It is my intention to grind them off and weld a segment of plate there instead.

    5) I'm not exactly a marine carpenter so I am not familiar with good marine woods other than mahogany. More of a mechanical person and I am working on my welding certificate at the local college (working on my engineering degree but needed classes to fill in the time so until my math is up to date (I hate calculus)) and since I work on a farm I figured welding is a good thing to take up. This rear teak deck is possibly salvageable, just horribly dirty and the supports that hold up the hatches are beginning to rot. What is a good wood to use for the supports? and if I get frustrated enough to trash the teak deck is there a decent replacement for teak? or should I just redo it in teak? (college student budget here.)

    Over all the boat seems to be in fairly good shape hull wise, (lots and lots of elbow grease needed) there is a lot of surface rust in the bilge where the coating has come off, the dark rusted areas don't appear to eat far into the metal maybe a 16th of an inch in the deeper spots. more like 1/32th of an inch in most places. The engines are very clean and don't leak oil, very little rust except where the paint has been rubbed off and appear to be the originals. The wiring appears clean and well cared for. although I need to replace the fuse panel with a breaker box. Sadly I drove 900 miles to take pictures and most didn't come out :( but here are the pictures of a few of the worst problems I could use advice for.

    Attached Files:

  2. Laurence

    Laurence Senior Member

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    Location:
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    Wealth of information

    You have come to the right place here at Yacht Forums. Read through the threads on all the different topics and most of your questions will be answered by owners that have actually done the work and live with the results.
  3. Shangri-La

    Shangri-La Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
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    Location:
    Pensaukee, WI
    On each side of the keel, there is an small opening to allow water to drain down between the ribs. They are probably blocked with crud and rust. What I do on my boat is clean them out with a screwdriver from time to time.

    On each of the aft corners of your deck should be a scupper drain to allow deck water to drain through a hose and out through the transom.
  4. nemehoto

    nemehoto New Member

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    Orangeburg SC
    Hmm, this rear deck had no signs of a scupper nor an outlet for the water nor any plumbing on the underside of the deck for them. The hull sides and transom are smooth without any through-hull fittings until you hit amidships and you have one for the bilge pumps. (I might not be good with terminology of what things are... but I know what the 45 commander had for water drainage and this puppy has nothing at all like that one did) It's not a problem to add this drainage, I just wasn't sure if I was missing something roamer specific. I'm just wondering if a past owner removed them because they weren't "pretty" in their teak deck.

    The ribs are as shown in the picture... everyone I tested and looked at had no drain holes (which was about half of them) Now the stringers had them but not the ribs... I'm just wondering if someone in the past life of this boat decided to seal them or if it was actually not done on this vessel for some reason. I did take a pocket knife and poke at them trying to find a crud filled hole and had no luck with about five of the ribs in a row. They simply aren't there.

    So it wouldn't structurally harm the ribs if I drilled them?

    I like a clean and super dry bilge myself. (I made shelves in the bilge of the commander for long and difficult to store items such as fishing poles, paddles for the dingy, etc. ) People think it is funny when the first thing I do when I look at a boat is pull up the floor hatches.
  5. q240z

    q240z New Member

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    zsedr
    Hi, and welcome to the forum!

    Sounds like a good place to start, if you ask me.

    In the pix here, there could easily be small limber holes buried in the crud where the frames meet the keel. Are you saying that even in places where there is no crud and you can see the entire area where the frame meets the keel and hull, the frame welds are continuous in that area? If not, get rid of the crud and give it another look. On every other Roamer I've seen, Chris Craft didn't do something as stupid as forgetting the limber holes.

    As far as marine lumber goes, I'm partial to mahogany. Sapelle is another option that has similar properties and appearance but is a bit cheaper.

    The aft deck scuppers on my Roamer, which admittedly is a different model, are all the way aft and the outlet is on the transom in the vicinity of the fuel tank vents (i.e. up higher than the bilge pump discharge ports around the rest of the hull).
  6. q240z

    q240z New Member

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    zsedr
    Oh, and the silver hull coating is a tar-like substance called (help me out Bill) bitumen that was painted silver after it was applied. It's great stuff, but degrades when soaked with oil and/or submerged. I would recommend removing all of the loose stuff and cleaning the bilge extremely well (lightly grinding the surface would be better), then roll on a few coats of Devoe 235 epoxy primer being certain to leave no voids.
  7. artwork

    artwork Member

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    Feb 19, 2006
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    Location:
    Underway
    around the keel

    On my Alum Roamer there was no coating in the deepest bilge, nor under the engines. I believe this is because the coating absorbs oil and /or water as Q240 says. I second his recommendation on painting those areas.

    Also - my roamer did NOT have limbers thru every frame, but always had a path to the lowest bilge area (thru the stiffeners).
  8. nemehoto

    nemehoto New Member

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    Thank you for the suggestion on the primer! (there's like 100 different varieties out there I was getting very confused as which would be appropriate for steel).

    When I get it home I fully intend to sand, grind or blast if necessary the rusted areas asap since the one thing I know about rust is it likes making more! I'm sure there are some problems I will find along the keel as I do this.

    The limbers in the frames (thank you for letting me know proper terminology) might be just clogged solid with rust and I will only find them with hard work and cleaning. I was just surprised that I couldn't locate them by touch or probing with a pocket knife. When I get the boat home where I can work on it hopefully my fears for the bilge will ease.

    I've decided to name the boat "Remembrance". It doesn't have a name now I thought it was fitting. (my father was huge fan of Chris Crafts our first restoration project was a 30 foot Connie? when I was a kid back in the late 60's) I wish he was still here to help me on this one, I know he would enjoy it.
  9. q240z

    q240z New Member

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    zsedr
    Art, your 58 doesn't have limber holes on either side of the keel plate at every frame? You sure that's not just some Black Beauty that hardened up? lol
  10. m2m

    m2m Senior Member

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    Location:
    newport ri
    After you clear the limber holes you can get a very small diameter chain and run it thru all the limber holes loosely, when you get a clog you can work the chain back and forth to clear them. As far as the primer is concerend I would use a coal tar epoxy which won't breakdown with oil. The top coat is ,more than likey Silver Primocon which is a primer but I have seen and used it as a top coat. Most marine coating manufacturers have these paints.
  11. Savasa

    Savasa Senior Member

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    Iqaluit, Nunavit, Canada
    Greetings,
    If I may expand on m2m's excellent suggestions...Leave the chain IN the limber holes. Fasten a spring to one end of the bilge in line with limber holes and fasten chain to it. To clear the limber holes, go to the unfastened end and just pull on the chain a few times allowing the spring to provide the return motion.
    Please correct me m2m if this is not something like you were suggesting.
    Don't have a clue as to what the best material should be.
    Peter
  12. artwork

    artwork Member

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    clarification

    Q - took me 2 months to dig all the black beauty out of my underwaer - could still be some in the bilge - LOL.

    Seriously tho, YES every one of my frames has limbers at the keel - both sides. Of course I have a crash bulkhead and two watertight bulkheads that do not have limbers, but that's another story. I was speaking of the frames at the stiffeners. Not all those frame locations have limbers, but the stiffeners do. The real test of 'need' is watching the water flow. It MUST get to the keel; and it is here that it MUST go fore and aft.

    Also on the chain suggestion. My Grand Banks had the limber chains (brass)with the springs - great tool. They were made like an antique keychain - folded over links. Each link was made of thin sheet brass. I think brass chain would be OK on the steel boat, not on the Alum.
  13. q240z

    q240z New Member

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    zsedr
    True, dat. Wooden boat technology might transfer to fiberglass, but only a fool would put brass in the wettest part of the bilge of an aluminum boat. Hell, I had pitting under the copper fuel lines on my boat, and that was just from condensate dripping off the lines after the bitumen failed!

    I would dismiss anybody who says coal tar is oil-resistant. Modern epoxies whoop a$$ on any 50+ year old coating technology.
  14. m2m

    m2m Senior Member

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    In my post I recommended a coal tar "epoxy" . Also aluminum chain can be purchased to clean the limber holes, which should alleviate the disimular metal problem.
  15. nemehoto

    nemehoto New Member

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    Enjoying my welding course and looking forward to digging into this old girl come Spring break from school. Buying a little something for it every month and getting my truck in shape for the long haul to Detroit with my tools, genset, air compressor, sandblaster, welding gear, wiring, primer paint, tarps, batteries, and necessary gear it's missing (bilge pumps, blowers, tubing for the fresh water system and water intake hoses. etc) Figured I would do what I can for the week to see how much I need to do to it to get it sea worthy. Will make the decision then whether to attempt to float it down in May (depending on what works and doesn't) or truck it down to South Carolina. I will need to take the cockpit apart if I am trucking it. I hated being separated from it all winter since I could have been working on it in the reasonably mild weather here. But the marina is shut down from nov-march so I couldn't move it if I wanted to.

    Need to get accurate measurements so I can finish building the trailer for it if I intend to haul it. I'd rather float it down if I can, but we'll see what all is wrong after power is actually running in the old girl. Wiring looks good, but looks are deceiving. Need zincs installed, and the shore power plug replaced (it's corroded and I made no attempt to use it last time I was there.) New pumps and blowers need installing, need to fix those three small holes, and get the bilge cleaned and primered before I do anything else to it to find out the extent of the hull problems. it "sounds" solid as it rings well when struck with a hammer... only about 3 areas equaling about 3 square feet are suspect and pitted. The deck has some issues around the cabin but I will worry about that when I get it home. Wood work can also wait until I get it home... driving 800 miles to work on it is rough. Will post again after I see what I am getting into come Spring Break from school.
  16. nemehoto

    nemehoto New Member

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    Oh forgot to mention got the info package on it from the mariner museum. Its a 1962 36 Riviera. Hull number RXB-36-140. The engines are the original 283 185 hp gas engines the sn match the worksheet.

    Will post better pics when I get there next month
  17. q240z

    q240z New Member

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    Excellent! Definitely post pix!

    I agree--800 miles is a long haul to go work on the old girl. That's love, man.
  18. nemehoto

    nemehoto New Member

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    Well I finally got the beastie home. Had problems getting it here and scrapped the idea for making my own trailer since neither of my trucks can pull it, it was the same cost for someone to haul it on my trailer as it was for hauling on theirs... so saved the expense of building a trailer for now. I have a good 12 months of work to do on this boat before it ever sees the water again anyway. After looking under the "patches" the previous owner did on this boat I have to remove them all and redo every single one of them right. From the looks of the cleaned up patches and the "rippling cracked paint" I found the shock I wasn't expecting. About 1/8 of the entire hull below the water line is coated with about 1/4 inch of body putty... like a bad car repair. The patches are 1/16 inch steel plates "glued" to the hull with body putty and screwed in place with self tapping screws. I have already removed two patches and found a total of 3 holes in the hull the size of quarters to 50 cent pieces. Not to mention about 3 dozen screwholes.

    As body putty retains and absorbs water the metal has surface rust below the areas I chipped out already. So far the metal cleans up beautifully and is smooth underneath. Although now I have to totally strip the hull inside out and out to make sure all the weak places are replaced... what I expected to be 8 square feet of repairs is turning into about 60 square feet. but once it is done it will be a boat my grand kids will inherit. I've been making a pictorial history of the work and problems I am finding on this boat so I will post more pics later...

    I did manage to find the limber holes in most places and have them cleared now... they were sealed with body putty of all things... The areas I couldn't see when I bought this boat as they were under water at the time are... sigh... depressing... but hey... if your gonna do something like this you want it last another 50 years. Or at least thats what I keep telling myself.

    Here is a couple of pics of my boat a few days after it arrived. Currently it has patches of primer on it where I have been sandblasting surface rust and priming it as I finish for the day. SC is very humid so I am not taking any risks on rust spreading.

    Attached Files:

  19. Laurence

    Laurence Senior Member

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    Stell Hull

    My 38 is in the yard also for new steel. Welder starts Tuesday.

    Attached Files:

  20. wscott52

    wscott52 Senior Member

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    Looks like you have a beautiful diamond in the rough. Good luck to you. Please post pictures of the progress.