We extend to you a cordial "WELCOME ABOARD !" Come on in, make yourself at home, we are a friendly group of enthusiasts, and we also appreciate the classic Chris Craft Roamer, Corsair, and Lancer boats too , as they are all on the same family tree and share much in common !
This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on May 17, 2012 12:47 PM This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on May 19, 2007 8:52 AM This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Jul 19, 2006 1:57 PM
Paul I'm sure I've see some 31' scans in the forum...help
June 9 2006, 12:36 PM
I've looked in the index but cann't find the scans of the orginal CC docs on the 31'. I'm thinking about ditching the 27' project for a local 31' and would like to review original CC lit on them, can you steer me to the scanned docs and maybe some interior and engine room photos. I'm sure I've seen them in the forum.
just wanted to introduce myself as the new owner of this beauty
just bought it last week,
Edit Comment: image code modified to remove the th_ which is the "thumbnail code" allowing the photo to be viewed full size. In your photobucket albums, copy the "direct link" and paste the link on the forum, that way the image is full size!
cheers! Paul (full size image below)
This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Oct 15, 2011 9:37 AM
Hi Bill, thanks for sharing the photo and "WELCOME ABOARD"
that is a very clean looking 31 SE and since I see palm trees I am thinking you are a little further south than I am here in Tennessee! Or perhaps, the boat you just purchased was in Florida?
In any case, this is one of my favorite designs by Dick Avery. They are capable hulls, Heidi and Paul run a 31 hull in the North Atlantic between the Channel Islands and France, theirs has diesel power but the hull is the same as yours. Their model is the Commander and not the SE, but again, same hulls. The SE has a "style" of its own, a great sporty look, thus the name Sports Express! The sports part I can see, and the express part signifies speed. It's a great all around Commander. My parents have a 31 Sedan with 327Q power, and that boat will fly. Even with small block power the weight to power ratio is favorable and the boat will go fast enough to water ski behind, although at my age I have not (yet) stepped up to that "hey watch this" moment. There is still time, however.
You may have seen the edit note I added to your original post, this is a standard comment I give to the guys when they first start posting here, pretty simple actually, just look at the codes below the images in your photobucket album and select the code that says "direct link". Bingo, that's it.
Tell us a bit about your boat, what power do you have, hours, how do you plan to use it, any issues, etc., because we have people here on the forum who have basically taken these apart piece by piece and put them back together sometimes better than Chris Craft did.
Hey Paul, thanks so much for all that info,
yes the boat is in Florida, that picture was taken at my dock at my home here in Cape Coral. I purchased this boat about two weeks ago locally in North Fort Myers, about 10 miles from my house. I have always loved the old chris craft cruisers, and we recently moved here to florida a year ago from NJ, where we used to have a 66 Challenger 36 which as Im sure you know is an all wood boat. Having a wood boat in Fla is not a good idea, so we reluctantly sold her to buy a more suitable boat. When I saw this one I had to have it. It was used as a live aboard by a local, that for some reason skipped out on the marina. The boat was "all there" as I like to say, but most def needs some TLC. Its powered by 327qs and when I purchased it I was told that only the port engine ran well, but the starboard needed some attention. The marina mechanic said they installed new heads , distributor, and all kinds of items to try to get it running correctly. I had so many people at that marina tell me so many conflcting stories , that I decided to just start from the begginning. Im 51 and have been an import car mechanic my entire life, and do most of my work on exotics , so I do know a little about engines etc, but def not an expert on the old v 8s. At any rate, I had to do some preliminary work on the "running" engine, and I use that term loosely ( is that spelled right?) by completely rebuilding the carburetors, which looked like they have been sitting in mud. I had to send out both heat exchangers as they both were leaking like wild, and both fuel pumps.
and most def, clean fuel.
I motored the boat approx 15 miles to my dock without issue, on one engine, in some pretty crappy weather, but safe and sound.
Once I got to my home base, I ran some tests on that not running engine, and I guess if you have the firing order wrong, for that type of rotation engine, I wont run will it? lol. Once I corrected the firing order and replaced the carb with a fresh rebuild, the starboard engine runs well.
Im sure it will need some other work as well, but it sounds strong.
The interior of the boat is remarkable, with mostly everything in place. I love to have things , "factory correct". so I will be doing some research on what to do with the floor? as there is a really bad carpet in there which is screaming to be thrown out.
If you know what originally was installed, I would appreciate it.
The old owner, also put up a partition, at the cabin entry with plywood and two by fours, to put a window air condtioner in there (I know super trailer park ish), so as you can imagine the first thing I did was remove the entire set up and amazingly enough I found all the what look like original looking snap covers, along with what looks like a brand new set, complete with screens and roll up door, so with a little TLC this boat will look original in no time at all.
Right now Im working on sprucing up the flybridge, trim etc, and have to work on getting a shifter cable from the inside cabin to the port engine, as the handle is locked up from a frozen cable, but the upper helm is fine.
any information on what flooring people are putting in these would help, I would like to do something period correct, but not sure.
I will try to post some pictures at some point maybe this week,.
I couldn't help but notice your 31 FB on the recent post. If you have additional photos, feel free to post away. We're trying to fully document various models in order to provide future and present owners with good references. I suspect you're running 327 or 350 Q series motors. What's the scoop?
The 31’ Commander is a fast and roomy design, with model variations to meet just about any boating style. The Commander was offered with an optional flybridge, the sedan was offered with an optional flybridge, and the Sports Express was offered with an optional convertible dinette. In addition to model differences, you could specify power all the way up to a pair of 300s in the Sports Express.
These models were produced on an assembly line, but so much of the work was done by hand, it was relatively easy for custom work or deviations to be made for a particular customer. It sure would have been fun being able to check the boxes and send in an order for one of these boats !
31' Commander Sedan ( brochure scans ) a 35-mph boat !
January 23 2007, 5:33 PM
I am quite familiar with this model, as my Mom and Dad have one of these, and they've had great fun with it. They've had scores of guests aboard, they've had Alan Jackson drift by as they were at anchor and say "I like your boat". They run it on the Cumberland River near Alan's fish camp, and he's an avid Chris Craft guy. We enjoy seeing his boats, and we're glad he takes note of ours too!
Years ago my parents had a very important guest aboard, and he had us over to his house a week or so prior to getting the boat ride. We were wined and dined, and after dinner we went into his den, where he gave us a tour of his wine cellar. He then pulled out some fine cigars, and we had a smoke while enjoying a great after dinner drink.
So as the story goes...........Janet and I were already out and at anchor on the back side of Gower Island. I think we were reading the sunday paper at the time, and all of a sudden we heard the faint sound of a 31' Commander Sedan motoring in slowly. We were on a protected channel, and the 31 would be gliding right by our boat. Knowing Mr. "VIP" was on board, I decided to put a couple of my cigars in a zip lock bag, and tape them to the end of a long adjustable boat hook. Here came the 31, gliding by ever so slowly so as to exchange hello's and all, and there was "Mr. VIP" sitting out front on a deck chair just enjoying the day. As they approached, I hung the cigars out over the side toward him, and he couldn't believe his eyes! As he took the gift, he was exclaming all kinds of platitudes, and I know he really enjoyed the remainder of the trip. That's just one small day in the life of the boat, and if boats could talk, there would be so many interesting tales. It's part of the allure of owning a vintage boat, rather than something new off the showroom floor!
The 31' Commander Sedan my Dad runs, is powered by a pair of 230-hp 327Q motors. It gets up and goes just fine, and here's a shot over the transom during a recent test run we made together.
Prior to making the run noted above, I was in the bilge with a bright hand held spotlight, carefully looking at the fuel pumps, gasket connections, hoses, and the shaft-to-hub connection. I found a problem with the hub, it was eroded out so the key wouldn't hold things taught, so we tightened things down, took it for a spin, and ordered a new hub. Here's a photo of your forum host down there hugging a Chevy motor, prior to the test run
I'm quite impressed with the smoothness and speed of these motors in a 31' Commander. This boat is faster than my 427-powered 38, and we've had some fun documenting that point in the past.
I think this is the way they discussed a dual voltage refrigerator 35+ years ago. The 12v refrigerators weren't necessarily the best thing for long term use, but they would "hold over" long enough to get through the week-end.
If you ordered one from the factory you could get just about anything you wanted
February 11 2007, 10:53 AM
If you were willing to wait for the stock to clear the manufacturing floor and placed an order to your specifications, it would have been an easy task to leave off the hardtop on any of the models. I have never seen a open top 38, but there may be some out there. I have seen a couple of open top 31s and they look like a lot of fun in the sun.
Although there was a production line, these boats were built by hand. Changes to the customers specification would be relatively easy as long as it was a deletion or standard addition. It would depend upon the particular dealer you were working with too.
hello all again,
anybody here know what was used for flooring for the 69 31 express? of course someone decided to put shag carpeting in mine, and needless to say, Im going to do something about that . I was originally going to use a synthetic wood flooring like pergo or something like that, but doesnt seem right doing that,
any suggestions? Im even thinking of linoleum, actually in my head, there is some pretty groovy looking period correct linoleum with a cool pattern.
I think they used low pile carpeting originally but not sure
any info will be appreciated
Believe it or not, shag carpet was SPECIFIED by Chris Craft back in the era when it was first introduced. I have to laugh when I see some of those manufacturers brochures mentioning the carpet. It looks like a 1970s college dorm, but hey, that is what society and boat manufacturers were doing back then. If the original boats had shag, which I will look into specifically for your model, or even if the previous owner knew another CC owner who had it, then it would be a possibility the shag was added (or replaced) at some time. My 38 has a commercial carpet I got from a interior build-out project, its very stiff and tough to work with and will last ten lifetimes on that boat so when I get tired of it I'll just pull it out and use it as a template for the next color preference.
There have been a few people who have added the holly and teak flooring, and virtually all of the examples I've seen look great. These are of a lifestyle that is a little different than mine, because carpet works for me due to the fact that it is easy on the feet, it won't scratch, it takes a tremendous amount of abuse, it can get wet, it can be easily cleaned, you can replace it, it has sound deadening properties, its low cost, easy to install, and you just don't have to worry about damage. Those floors I've seen done in the beautifully varnished teak and holly, and some with mahogany too, just present a higher grade approach to boating, and I'm more utilitarian rather than a luxury boater. For instance, I can slide my tool box out onto the carpet and I don't have to worry about scratches, and I can even put a wrench or clean boat part gently down on the carpet. Yes, you can even sit on it! The one detraction, is it can't hold a candle to the varnished wood when it comes to the WOW FACTOR. If you want the wood look, there have been some very nice teak parquet installations I've seen too.
wow............ those are some intense photos you posted,
Im surprised about the shag carpet,,,, well , Im going to assume that if I ordered this boat back then, I wouldnt put shag carpet in it lol. thanks so much for all the visual reference. Some of those boats look outstanding however I think it would be a bid overkill for me to do something like that. I was thinking of a period correct vinyl floor or carpeting as you mentioned. Seems it is more practical, affordable and does like neat and clean as well. It wasnt so much that the boat had shag carpet, but rather the way it was installed. It looked like someone threw it in there with no regard to making it look correct.
After removing all the carpet from my boat the other day, its pretty clear that this boat has had some type of "Major " renovation at some point of its life as everything else including the cabinets etc are in top condtion. looks like it was relaminated and rebuilt at some point.( I have to get some pictures today). Ok, thanks again, will update some pictures soon. Maybe tonight