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The question of the day ( motor rotation )

December 26 2009 at 10:57 PM
Paul  (no login)

Response to Chris Craft Sea V

Hi Glenn, Hi guys,

I see the Sea V is getting some attention, and rightly so. It's a rare bird and there simply are NOT a lot of these left. If you drive around the countryside you'll see boats in back yards, boats in pastures open to the elements, boats in junk yards, boats out behind barns, etc., and I would dare say that most of them will never float again. The Sea V series is so old now, that most of them have long ago been lost behind barns and in pastures, so the ones that still exist in restorable condition are going to fit the definition of "rare", because there just were not all that many of them made 40+ years ago in the first place.

Looking at the Essential Guide, I see 130 of the 18' Sea V outdrive boats were built, with power options including the Buic 225B, Eaton 140, or OMC HUE 150. Guys, these things belong in the Smithsonian. Now I see 220 of the 20' inboard versions were built with 283 power, very similar to my 20' Sea Skiff design, and then another 425 of the Transdrive units were built during model years 1964 - 1968 and all of these Transdrive boats were offered with the same power as the 18' Sea V. Even with a production of 425, which is considered a lot of boats in Chris Craft lore back in this era, the attrition rate starting immediately has certainly taken a toll and it probably peaked many years ago. Now the remaining boats are being lost at a slower rate simply due to the fact that there are less out there to lose now.

So now Glenn, you are digging into the rare of the rare, which is the outdrive system used by CC back then, which I guess is a Volvo system as noted by some of the others. This is not the most complicated device ever built, but quite honestly, it intimidates the heck out of me. I know you are in the machine shop business so this sort of device is probably childs-play for you, and if you are able to fix this thing or adapt it, whatever, my hat is off to you. From my Volvo experience, most all good during the 7 of them I've owned, expecially the solid lifter B18 versions, I would think the drivetrain may well be good for another 40 years, as they had (and have) the reputation for durability for sure.

And now for the "question of the day", with the outdrive (Transdrive) system like that, I am wondering if CC took the power from the front or rear of the crankshaft, and whether or not the motor had to be a RH or LH rotatioin. I see from the photos that the prop, itself, is a RH rotation, but did the motor spin LH on that application or was it spinning RH? I ask the question for general awareness and also to get you thinking in the event you are going after the power too, or going to swap out the whole thing.

Regards, best,


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