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 !
I'm a proud new owner of a 27 commander (FXA-27-0064-H). The boat has been on fresh water all its life, but I live on the ocean. I would like to add a closed cooling system to the boat. Does anyone have any tips on where to locate a kit to do so? The engine is a 327, see pic below. Thanks in advance for any help.
Hey Ben WELCOME ABOARD, the 27 can be a lot of fun!
That FXA-27-0064-H is the number 64 boat built in the first year of manufacturer for this model, 1965, in the Holland, Michigan plant. That year they made 75 boats, then 145 in 1966, 80, 70, 95, and 70 during the last year of production which was 1970. That looks like a 327F with 210 hp, good engine! Weight was about 6200 to 6500 pounds.
The 327 motor block and exhaust logs are easily protected from salt but of course your final dumping zone (the risers) will be suffering a bit over time and will need to be watched. That's the issue with any salt water application and the only way to avoid that is to go to stainless steel but replacement risers are available when needed at much lower cost.
I don't have the 327 closed cooling diagram just now but I'm copying the 427 system here for you, as I think it will be virtually identical for the smaller motor from a circulation point of view. Study these, purchase the right equipment, you'll be good to go.
Basically you are bringing in (salt) water through the bottom of the boat directly to the heat exchanger, and that salt water goes NOWHERE else except being ejected out the riser.
Now your engine cooling system just runs through the internal section of the heat exchanger to bleed off heat, using antifreeze. Note the surge tank.
Some people have used heat exchangers that have integral surge tanks, such as the nice installation below from Mike Burdette, which I believe are Volvo Penta heat exchangers. Mike also is using different exhaust manifolds on these rebuilds. I just included these photos as a reference for you.
From time to time I see SenDure heat exchangers (Chris Craft standard for the big blocks) on ebay and those would be big enough to handle any small block heat evacuation needs. Some of the marine recyclers will be able to provide that stuff, or the exact system for your motor model if you find em.
There should be a metal Chris Craft plate on the port side water cooled manifold log that has the 327F model number stamped on it on the lower left corner of the tag in the Model Number field and the engine serial number a little to the right in the Engine Number field. There is a similar Chris Craft metal plate on the starboard water cooled manifold log but id does not have the model or engine numbers stamped on it. All this assumes the manifolds have not been replaced or if they were that someone took the time to to attach the Chris Craft patent plates to the new manifolds.
Hey Ben; After I wrote the post I saw the picture in your first post which probably tells teh story that the original patent plates got tossed at some point in the life of your boat. I suspect even though the plates are gone there is a trail. The cylinder block probably has the serial number stamped on it. According to my old Motors Manual Chevrolet stamped engine numbers on a pad on the front right hand side of the cylinder block. On passenger car engines the serial number was followed by a 2 letter code that told more about the engine version including the cubic inch displacement. This might not be the case for our marine engines but it is understood the 327F solid lifter engine is a Corvette engine. Your boat is apparently a 1965 model according to Paul's decode of your hull number. There are a ton of Corvette pass car codes for 1965 327 such as HE- 327 with manual trans, HF- 327 hi performance, HG- 327 with fuel injection (not used in our boats), HH- 327 super high performance etc. I have a 327F in my boat but still have not snooped around enough to have ever seen the engine number stamped on the block. If you find the serial number on the block and it has a 2 letter code, post it and I will see if it lines up with one of the pass car codes listed in the Motors Manual. Even if there is no letter code if you find the serial number you could request the hull card from Mariner's Museum in Newport News VA. They get 40bucks for a copy of the hull card and a list of documents available for your boat but the hull card is a treasure trove of info about exactly what equipment your boat was built with and it includes the original engine number. Click the link below to learn more about the available info for Chris Craft boat owners.
Thanks for the info and pics. It looks like your 327 is "standard cooling"? Or am I not seeing the heat exchanger? If you have fresh water cooling I would appreciate if you could post some pics of the key components to help me out.
Hi ben; You are right, mine is in a boat that never saw anything except freshwater on the Great Lakes and connecting waters. The Oscos are cheaper. If you had the tags they could be intstalled on the Oscos but I doubt you have them. The blanks show up occasionally on E-bay and at the restoration places. If you had a set and knew your engine serial number and it turned out to be the original engine and you were interested in restoring the boat like original they would be valuable. If no for any of the above, not worth the trip. Good luck with your boat, keep us posted on the progress. If you want to see all the gyrations I went thru with my 65 fiberglass sea skiff here is a link to the thread...
Standard versus Closed ( crate motor comments too - beware )
July 15 2010, 10:10 AM
While the industry uses the term fresh water cooled, why I don't have a clue, to denote their closed loop antifreeze systems, many people equate fresh water cooled with the fresh water that comes up through the bottom of the boat.
What is more descriptive in my mind, is the use of the Chris Craft term "standard cooling" to denote the raw water cooled boats, and the use of their term "Closed Cooling" to denote the antifreeze system.
Here are a couple closed cooled 350 V8 motors from DUCKTALES, which Don Hancock took out and replaced. Perhaps Don has the systems now?
A note about the 350 V8.
The 350 is identical in outside dimensions to the 283 and 327, but the 350 "can" have 4-bolt main bearings. The marine grade 350 is a good engine for sure. They made a 350F as I understand it, which would be a nice package without the idiozyncracies of the Q series. There are no 327 motors with 4-bolt mains, and Corvette was able to get some pretty impressive power ratings in street form with their 2-bolt design so I wouldn't lose any sleep over a 2-bolt motor. You can get a 350 crate motor to replace a 327, for instance, but beware.........that crate motor may actually be a generic Taxi Cab motor and not the steel crank Corvette marine version that the 327 is. I say this because I was aboard a newly repowered Sea Ray one day with a new crate motor of sorts, and we were all quite dismayed at the performance, and we were wondering what cab this thing came out of before someone painted it black and sent it to the boat owner. That's what we refer to as a Krylon rebuild.
The motor was actually rebuilt, but was some anemic version that had less power than the old motor the guy hauled out. The boat as I recall, would not even get on a plane with the 4 guys aboard, ha. I also heard the Q series motors have a particularly nice cylinder head, which is a step up from the generic taxi motor, so guys, just realize these little marine motors (and big blocks too) have some particular issues that make them special.
Okay fair question about the 327F, first of all you said it was a 327, I checked the Essential Guide before posting and saw the 327F was offered as the single engine power, along with a Q option too, but don't think the Q came along until after 1965. In addition, it LOOKS like a F motor but with replaced risers and some strange work on the ends of the exhaust logs themselves. One too many castings, like they came off an old 283 flywheel forward. Did I nail it?
The 327f is rated at 210 while the 327Q is 230. The F is flywheel aft, the Q flywheel forward with motor turned around driving the transmission from the front side of the motor. My preference is the F like I have in my 20' fiberglass Sea Skiff because it is the basic Corvette motor with low 8.0:1 compression ratio, will run forever and is easily fixed by just about any machine shop. The Q uses a specific intake manifold found ONLY on the Q series CC motors. The F can use many or just about any intake for a SBC motor but the Q must use the Q intake, which makes them a bit of a challenge if you need one. My parents have a pair of 327Q motors and they're very nice performers, but my 327F powered 35' wood Sea Skiff now long gone was the fastest boat in our marina for a while.
The 327F and 283F represent the second generation of Chris Craft small block V8 motors. The first series used the same oil between transmission and motor and was flywheel forward, a 1958 invention. The F came along using a thermostat and better cooling, with flywheel aft. They were used mostly in cruisers. Many people think the 327F is the best small block motor ever put in a boat due to simplicity, the benefits of traditional marine low old style compression. I sure love mine!
I'm interested in the prop you are using and the rpm you run at planing speeds. Once on a plane, how far down can you go with reduced rpm and still keeping a clean water stream off the bottom of the transom before the boat wants to settle back into the water? Just curious
Great photo by the way, a young boy like that will be taking note of everything. When I was this age I was allowed to fish for bluegills on the docks of Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania, where I then started taking note of the gleaming wood Chris Craft boats coming in and departing the docks. WOW I thought, those people look like they are having FUN. Then I started noticing the motor sounds, copper exhaust pipes, and was a boating fan at an early age.
Lucky guy, to have a dad with a Chris Craft Commander! I'll bet Jack thinks the boat is a hundred feet long from his early perspective. Get a fishing pole, some good bait, a picnic lunch and head out for some fun!
Here's a copy of my 327F, it has an old style carb in this photo, which has been replaced with a new Edelbrock 1409 since then.
We are taking delivery of the boat tomorrow and are hoping to get it in this weekend for some trials. We need to get some time on it in the water to learn and generate our short term and long term "to do" lists...At this point all I know about the prop is shown below:
Before it is launched I will get the prop #s then once it is in I look forward to gathering RPM/Speed/Plane info. Being a geek, that is the fun part for me. Is there any data listed here that I can use for comparison?
With a boat weighing in around 6200 pounds and having 210 horsepower, it has the same general power to weight ration as a 38 Commander weighing in at 18,000 pounds and having 600 horses. I would think speed would be similar at around 30 mph wide open, varying with the number of people aboard, etc. What is much more important than top speed, which should only be used on rare occasion in my opinion, is the efficient cruising speed on a plane, and then efficient cruising speed at displacement (non planing) speeds. Most of the time the most efficient planing speed is the slowest speed at which the boat will get up on a plane and provide a clean water stream off the back of the transom, as Paul noted in a previous posting. The most efficient displacement speed will be where the boat is not plowing heavily, and you'll pretty much be able to sense this.
What many people don't realize is much fun and low fuel consumption with little engine wear can occur at displacement speeds. There is little need to be making a huge wake and consuming lots of fuel unless you really have to go somewhere. Some of the most enjoyable times with our family have been just getting out on the water running at slower speeds and enjoying the day. The 27 looks like a fun boat for a small family, pay attention to all safety issues, strap those beautiful kids into their life jackets and tell them not to turn any switches! If your boat does not have double batteries with a switch from one to another, get one!
One last thing I forgot to mention in my dissertation here, is the prop. You'll know if you have the right prop if the wide open throttle speed obtained is up to the manufacturers rated max for the engine, which I think is 4000 rpm for the 327 motor. It's a cruiser, not a speedboat.
Tom I think your comments and observations are pretty much on target, as ususl.
I looked up the spec this morning in the Essential Guide, and I see once again it is essential but not accurate.
It does not list a single 283 for this boat, but yet I see this being listed in this very early CC literature below.
So maybe Conrad is accurate after all, could be this early literature was wrong.
This is 1964 literature and it is likely the engine options eventually changed to a single 327F or twin 283F motors.
The original hull card from the Mariners Museum would certainly solve any doubt, should one want to spend the money to find out.
I have not found any speed info on the single engine models, so I'm interested in knowing the basics as noted earlier.
What is the slowest engine speed they can run while still keeping the boat up on a plane. That will tell a lot.
Your points are well taken, this is not a speedboat and should not be operated as such. It is a small cruiser. I tell people if you want to go fast, get a go fast boat. Racing cruisers is like racing motor homes, it's nuts, although it has been done.
Found a leaky strut. I am in process of resealing it. What is the "stock" backing inside the hull that holds the strut in place. What I pulled out seems to be not original... any ideas or pics of the inside hull strut mount would be appreciated.
I think the strut assemblies were bedded in twith a polysulfide, like Boatlife Lifecaulk. The stuff is pliable, very sticky, will last almost forever.
Of interest, I just ran the boat through my computer program, developed with the assistance of Gordon Millar's formulas, and I plugged in 6500 pounds and 210 hp, and the resulting speed is 29.78 mph, which is pretty close to the seat-of-the-pants guestimates.
I did get the life caulk to bed the strut, but on the inside of the hull I found what appeared to be a section cutout of a modern car plastic bumper as a backing plate inside the hull, complete with some red paint flaking off. Kind of scary but at least we found it before launch, simple test of watering it down from the inside showed some dripping through the bolts and around the base.
Looking at the rudder assembly I assume that the plywood is what Chris Craft used? What about simply using fender washers?
2nd question - the bronze hardware is not readily available at the local marine stores, can you think of an issue substituting a few stainless or brass washers for ones that are missing?
Also the boat came with a folder of manuals that seem to be original and are providing hours of great reading and information. If you or anyone would like some info on the 327, paragon, or generic CC boat manual I can try to scan them in and put together in a pdf.
Paul and Ben:
I would take a little time and create a backing plate to use instead of washers just to be on the safe side. The strut can take an awful hit should you run aground of something and can pull a washer right through a hull. 3/32 stainless steel plate is a minimum I would use. I have used mahogany completely covered in epoxy as backing plates on my 38, set in place with life caulking, then drilled through from outside the hull. The holes got a good dose of caulking as well as the stainless bolts to hold the struts in place. I am hoping the coating of caulking will prevent any cross corrision between the two metals. If you are worried about that, just use bronze bolts if you can get them.
I'm only suggesting here (because I don't know for sure) that you might not want to make the backing plate so solid it would rip out the bottom of the boat in a collision. Perhaps the bolts with washers was an engineering decision. - just sayin'
If that is marine ply, which it most certainly would be if it lasted two weeks there in that spot, it should provide some service, but you can see all that end grain exposed just waiting to take on moisture. It should be sealed all the way around, and if you can not find the silicon bronze (not brass) bolts, then I would use go with stainless steel carriage bolts of similar thread and diameter, which would be stronger.
I would have thought there would be a metal backing, solid brass or stainless plate, can not remember what I have on the 38. Don Hancock did not cut any corners and I am sure he would have a plate on this strut if one was called for.
You could call Jamestown Distributors, or perhaps someone close to you who has specialty marine fasteners like Jamestown does if you are looking for the original silicon bronze fasterners, if you even need new ones. Short of that, I would go with stainless steel carriage bolts (round head similar to what CC used in silicon bronze, and not worry about strength or corrosion. As for the sealing part, 3M 4200 (not the 5200) I believe is what Don Hancock used and recommends. As for me, I don't think I would have any problem using LifeCaulk polysulfide here, as the parts are not going to move and they'll be static once things are tightened down.
You are wise to have checked this, as it would have been a nagging continuous leak you would have had a tough time ever finding otherwise.
I went with the SS fender washers - after all I am not "planning" on hitting anything:)
I am going in for my maiden voyage tomorrow. I spent the last week going through and resealing not only the strut but also the rudder, other various thru-hull fittings, and added a 2nd bilge pump. If all goes well I'll try to get some of the RPM/Speed/Planing info and post what I learn.
Sink or success - wish me luck, I'm sure that I will be back looking for more advice after I log a few hours on it...
Havent had a chance to do in "hull speed" measurements....
July 25 2010, 9:22 PM
Had the family out most of the weekend so I'll have to delay any detailed reports...however by sound/feel/tach/gps the fastest I dared was 3500 rpm @ roughly 25mph - it seems to be in the groove around 3100rpm a tick over 20mph. But we spent most of the time cruising the harbors (under 1000rpm around 6 mph) and swimming off the back.
So far so good but the punch list is growing...One battery is bad and there does seem to be a driveline vibration that I'll be focusing on next. I did notice some play in the strut bearing so I'll probably start there. Maybe since I'm new to it I'm over sensitive but there does seem to be some general shuddering while throttling up and running at particular RPMs. What else is left - maybe an alignment issue or bent shaft???
Next time out find out what rpm the boat will run and still stay up on a plane, just curious. Glad you had fun with the family, that's what it's all about. Careful planning and attention to detail, and the right mindset will help avoid stress that is passed on to the rest of the group and potentially ruin their zest for getting out on the water. Be sure you pay attention to ignition points, wires, caps, etc., as those eventually need some attention, might be good to have spare points, coil, condensor, rotor and cap aboard.
While strut bearing may be an issue, if it was wobbly, I doubt if it was a bent shaft as those are pretty strong and normally retain their integrity. Of course it could have been bent one day in its life but I think it is an alignment issue. Next time under way, lift the hatch and look at the shaft as it touches the motor, and if you see any wobble it may tell you more about the problem. If you can align the shaft to the motor and make the wobble go away, then obviously it's not the prop, bent shaft, or strut bearing.
The boat seems to plane out roughly around 2500rpm...
August 6 2010, 5:17 PM
I had a chance today to run for some time without the wife and kids. It gave me a nice chance to fix up some small issues and gain some trust. I took some speed vs. rpm measurements and compiled in a graph with fuel consumption data for the 327 that I found in the Chris Craft Manual. See below... Interesting to see - I would have thought that there would be a more dramatic reduction in economy in the higher RPM ranges. Also posted a video of cruising while headed home. I apologize about the video quality but there is something about youtube really craps up the video image.
This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Aug 7, 2010 10:42 AM
I am impressed with the speed, man that wake says it all, straight as an arrow!
If she'll plane at 2500 that is what I'd use to cover long distances. Not real fast but easy and comfy. Have to get into the mentality of not getting there ten minutes earlier, it works for me, helps me enjoy just being out.
Your boat looks great, the performance looks outstanding, and the open water makes me want to get off this keyboard and go twist an ignition key, which is just what I'm going to do as soon as I have another cup of Starbucks!
The new (to us) boat is back out and in the driveway, ready for some tlc and our list has grown fairly long.
Granted I'm still pretty green with this boat, but my gut feeling for a nice casual cruising speed on plane is around 12mph/2300rpm. The minimum plane speed seemed to depend on the seas. In calm and flat weather it could be backed down pretty far, roughly around 10-12 mph but in rougher seas it required a quicker pace to keep up. Since we got it in the water so late we were dealing mostly with rougher seas but a few hot and flat days mixed in to keep us all happy.
The prop that is on the boat is shown below. Not sure what the size is, any way to tell? Since it has some nicks etc it'll probably go in for a refurb. I definitely need to replace the cutlass bearing, I'm guessing that it has at least .020-.030" slop (based on a hasty grab and lift). I'm thinking I should pull the shaft and check it for straightness while I'm at it. Then I can get it all back together and do the alignment as you have suggested. I think that should get us a much smoother and quieter ride next season. Between this and the cooling conversion I think I'll keep busy this winter.
I'm looking at thenumbers H34050 and 04572 and these numbers don't make sense to me based on my Chris Craft database. They are using some other number system, most likely based on prop manufacture, so I don't have anything to share. Look elsewhere on the body of the prop for more numbers. Those numbers could be repair numbers?
The 34050 could mean 3-blade 4050 prop. CC does not show a 4050 prop, however, but they do show a 4060 (20 x 19 RH 1-3/8" shaft) and a 4058 (20 x 18 RH 1-3/8" shaft).
The 04572 does not match up with the CC info I have, perhaps someone else has better info, but the closest prop listed to 4572 is 4551 which is a massive 24 x 34 LH 1-3/4) and a 4602 that that is even bigger. I'm just wondering if the 04572 indicates the prop was in the shop on April 5, 1972?
In any case, check the body of the prop for more numbers, they are there, you just can't see them now. You may need a bronze dish scrubber to find them. There should be a brand name and some other numbers.
While running, if you SEE any wobble in the shaft, you know you have an alignment or bent shaft issue. If you do not see any wobble while running, then any vibration is coming from the shaft log if considerably worn, or a bent prop.
Hi Paul - Thanks for checking! I did take a look for more #s on the prop but could not find any on the body. There were some on the rear of the hub but some hammer mechanic has rendered them unreadable. I don't think it makes a difference but I read the #s in the picture above as C4572.
Is there any documentation of which prop is supposed to be on this boat?
This morning I was reviewing the documents that came with the boat and I found in the owners manual that came with it there is a page that is a "Data Sheet" shown below. If the info on that is accurate is was supposed to be a T-36 1002. Does this sound correct?
Video below is my starting point...probably had something to do with the vibration. A new bearing, possibly new shaft, and a cleaned up prop are now added to the list for the winter.
I also believe that the drivesaver that was installed was used as an "alternative" to proper engine to shaft alignment. It did seem to be a bit off, or maybe the bad bearing prevented any possible alignment. Either way I am hopeful that sorting this out for next year will help smooth things out a bit.
Yes I ran drivesavers on my 35' 1968 wood Sea Skiff, the next owner who bought the boat attributes one of the drivesavers for saving the boat (and occupants too) from sinking, and said it may well have ripped the bottom off had the drivesaver not sacrificed itself in the intended manner. They also do help with a little vibration control but no substitute for the real thing.
Good luck on your quest for a turbine smooth ride. It's possible and when you get there it is real nice!
Thanks for all the info and entertainment on this forum. I spent many of my winter mornings with a coffee and some light reading here. I think I visited so much that last month "I won" every single time I visited. (nothing that the speaker mute couldn't handle:))
Now that the snow is finally gone the itch is back. I am in process of trying to sort out the driveline vibration that haunted our first season with this boat. I know that I need to replace the cutlass bearing and I pulled the prop, hub, and shaft out today for evaluation. Everything seemed to come apart easily and I am hoping the reverse will be true. Although the shaft seems straight it is fairly well scored. I suspect I will need to replace it - any thoughts or insight would be appreciated.
I have other comments and questions posted with the pictures below - there are a lot of them but I wanted to make sure you had the whole story. Please let me know if you have any recommendations, ideas or info:
A hasty hub puller to get things moving:
Hub, stuffing box, hose, and key came out surprisingly simple:
A view from the trannys perspective:
Note: Its very hard to pull the shaft out with that zinc still attached:)
Still going smoothly:
The prop end of the shaft, note the scoring where the cutlass was, this seems pretty bad to me? Additionally the shaft at this point is no longer 1.250. Does this warrant replacing?
The hub end of the shaft, note the shaft is necked down about .050 where the stuffing box rode. Is this normal wear?
The cutlass bearing:
I scraped the paint off the strut looking for a setscrew for the cutlass bearing, but it does not appear there is one? Do all struts have setscrews for the cutlass bearing??
Hi Ben; This is not a new subject on the forum and I will put a link or 2 to help you find posts below. Not all struts have a setscrew. There are a couple of different methods for getting old bearings out, slice the bearing lengthwise with a hacksaw blade and carefully peel the bearing inward is one method, another is to make a puller using one tube just the right diameter to engage the edge of the bearing and another tube large enough to pull the old bearing into but small enough to engage the rear face of the strut with a piece of large threaded rod inserted thru the big tube, then the bearing, then the small tube with nuts and heavy washers on each end of the rod. Use of some heat and or penetrating oil are other helpful ideas.
That shaft will have to be welded up and re-machined to size or more likely just replaced. The huge groove in the stuffing box end is the result of running with the packing nut so tight that there is no cooling water getting past the packing so the packing becomes a brake shoe and burns the shaft. At the other end the shaft needs to be close fit on size to prevent vibration and smooth to prevent premature wearout of another cutlass bearing. When you replace the shaft the shaft half or driven half of the coupling should be replaced with a new one and have it select fit to the shaft by a machine shop as any clearance there is not acceptable either for a smooth and durable shaft installation. Do not try to re-use the old one for best results and make sure this is done before you start installing the shaft as teh machine shop must have both parts to do the fitting. The new shaft should have a dimple for the set screw and Paul P did a post on using a saftey collar on the shaft between the stuffing box and the shaft flange as a dterrent to having a shaft escape the coupling and stuffing box which can wreck prop and rudder and ptenially sink your boat besides losing power. The last 2 items are to verify perfect engine mount adjustment for drive flange alignment. If the faces of drive and driven flanges are not perfectly parallel the shaft will bind and be imparting huge loads on the trans bearings and the shaft itself. Last is to make sure teh propeller is in perfect condition, fist the shaft taper correctly and is not missing part of a blade or out of balance for any other reason.
If you run your boat on the trailer make sure the shaft does not rotate as the Cutlass bearing is absolutely dependent on water immersion for cooling and lubrication.
Good luck with this job. Let us know how this works out.
Hey Paul- I'm glad it's looking like boating weather somewhere cause we got a nice 4" of what I will just call slush, it was a mix of snow, rain and sleet overnight here. It's too thick to drink and too thin to plow. We need to fire the groundhog here. Last week we hit almost 70, now it is not supposed to get over 34 until next Tuesday.
I've read alot about replacing cutlass bearings off the forum and there is some stuff out there like the importance of having a perfect fit of driven flange to shaft but the best most illustrative instruction is right here on our website.
Yesterday we had snow, today its 50 - lovely new england.
Thanks again for the links, following the forum advice the bearing extraction went well.
I had some time this afternoon to try removing the bearing; it came out with fairly little effort. I did find that I was not getting anywhere with heat & a cheater bar and I was not too thrilled about pulling to hard. The torque was flexing the strut a bit.
For what its worth I found the impact gun drew the bearing right out without imparting any too much torque on the strut. My fixture was a bit of a kludge that included some large socket wrenches and a chuck of scrap aluminum tube. It was based on the fixtures that others had success with in the forum links above. I used 1/2-13 rod with long coupler nuts to help spread the force across more threads on the rod.
Since the weather has been so poor I have not been able to wrap up the woodwork project but I did receive a new shaft from Deep Blue Yacht Supply along with a new engine coupling and a dripless shaft seal. All of their products are the equivalent to my local shop except at a significant discount. I did use the local shop to balance and clean up a 'New to me' prop (CC 1014RH 15x16) that I found for $80 on ebay this winter. I also purchased a new cutlass bearing from the local folks - they were great people and very knowledgeable but they were very expensive - almost 3x on the shaft alone.
Installing the bearing was essentially the reverse of removal - again using the impact gun to draw the bearing in after I had it started and straight. Then a small snafu when installing the shaft - it turns out the the new bearing shows how far off the strut alignment was. With a proper fit between the shaft and strut the shaft would not even enter the shaft log in the bottom of the hull. It was off enough that it was interfering with the shaft log opening - so I dropped the strut and spent the afternoon cleaning it and aligning the shaft and strut assy with the shaft log and finally reseating the strut with some Life-Caulk. Now the shaft is aligned nice and concentric to the shaft log opening.
I still have to get the engine in-line with the rest of this mess, but I'm hoping all this will result in a nice smooth ride this year...
I cant let the day go by without a single post...I hope everyone is out on their boats or something fun like that. So pardon the rant below but between not finding any new posts here and some possible effects from chemicals (known only to the state of california to cause cancer...further explanation below) - here goes:
While waiting for the new shaft to arrive from Deep Blue Yachts......and no signs of a heat exchanger yet, I somehow found myself taking the cockpit apart to refinish the woodwork. Realistically this project should be a few years out but the wife had the kids for a few hours and I found myself puttering around the boat; the next thing I know the thing is in pieces. I spent a few mornings doing some research here and ended up going with what seems to be one of the recommended combos. Interlux Schooner 96 & CC 573 stain which surprisingly I found locally at a marine store - apparently someone had ordered the stain and did not pick it up.
In comparison to the majority of the folks here I am pretty much a hacker and an amateur but I'm going to give this refinishing a reasonable effort with my available skills, time, and workspace. I definitely don't need it to be perfect, the wood is in pretty rough shape - and my kids will probably be coloring it with crayons or smacking it with their swords or maybe running their hotwheels along it this summer anyways.
So far I have disassembled the cockpit, stripped and cleaned the wood, done some minor repairs, applied the stain, and just now laid down the first coat of schooner 96 (hence the possible effects). Some thoughts and photos below of what (I think) I have learned so far to help any other hackers that may be lurking around - I'm sure this is SOP for most:
Use sandwich or snack bags and a sharpie to contain and label all hardware and pieces that you take apart, you never know when you'll be putting it together again.
Stripping & cleaning the woodwork:
Since the woodwork was in poor shape and obviously done poorly at least once before me I opted for stripping back to bare. I used a chemical stripper, plastic and metal puddy knives, scrapers, scotchbrite, and sand paper. Be careful with the sanding near the edges of the veneer - I left it fairly thin in some spots.
When using the stripper - be careful what else this stuff hits, it (obviously) will take the finish off - I lost some of the finish on my old childhood Duke's trash can - oh well.
This stuff is not like the stain I am used to, it is a paste that needs to be thinned to the "thick house paint" Not sure what that means - I'd prefer some ratios. Bottom line - Don't over-thin the stain.
Work the stain - it seemed to look better when I worked in into the wood, don't simply wipe it on.
First coat of varnish:
Stain color?? I was a bit leary when I first applied the stain, it seemed very red and almost orange see the photos below. But it the wood seemed to come to life with the first coat of varnish.
Maybe I'm doing it wrong? - but like the stain the first coat of varnish seemed to want to be worked a little. I thinned it roughly 10% and it still seemed a bit sticky. Either way be sure to use the final strokes to smooth it out.
Well don't worry about the postings around here, we are scheduled right now to break another milestone in readership world-wide, and we never did measure the success of the forum by how many repetitive "wow" or "nice job" chit chat postings on how to install a wingnut, lol.
We have plenty of tips and techniques you can rely upon logged into our Master Index files, so I hope you have taken note and taken advantage of some of these tips. The photos are looking good but the work is far from over.
Orange-peel is a common feature of varnish first coating because the pigmented stain you used will not totally fill the ridges and valleys of the wood grain. The paste stain is the way to go. You can achieve a final total flat "piano finish" if you are willing to do the deed of continual light sanding between coats, as Norm has recently showcased. Most of us will accept some degree of orangepeel because it is a fact of life. On my interior I applied so many coats of varnish I have an almost piano finish. On the exterior I have less of a finish but it is good. In order to get that you will need to use a wood block and black automotive sandpaper that will work up a varnish lather as you sand and cut the tops of the orange peel off, sand with the grain. Then wipe down with a lightly dry-dampened rag, and add another coat of varnish. In this process I never know when the last coat of varnish is applied until I see the final results, but it normally takes several applications to get out of the rut.
I like the red stain you got. I used that aboard TRADITION, and it is magnificient even many years later. The walnut looking stain may be proper, but I have always loved red mahogany. On one of my numerous mahogany speedboat refinishing jobs, I actually applied some Massey Ferguson red tractor paint to the stain, mixed is up good, and it produced a stunning finish when the boat was sitting there at a boat show in the sun under about 12 coats of Petit High Build (what I was using back then, very prone to wrinkling, beware),.
Here are some photos that show the coloration I like, red! My interior is the standard walnut, however, and it makes little difference as one color is outside and the other inside.
Good luck, you have a good start but it is like painting a car, the final work is only as good as that final coat, and of course the prep of the wood too. Take your time, let the coats you have down now fully cure out so they don't wrinkle by being softened by the next coat. Lightly sand only the tops of the orange peel, wipe ALL the dust and grime off and use a single hair badger brush, nude, under the full moon for that last coat (while the dogs are barking) to get the best job, ha.
She sure looks like she's running great, I enjoyed seeing that video. Ha, it is fun going out on your own and doing a test run. Mark Weller called me last week when he was out on Lake Erie in some fairly brisk weather along, having a blast. I've been out on my own believe it or not in January or February when we had an unusually warm day, must have been in the 40s or 50s but I was out on the Cumberland having a ball.
It is odd your engine speed with the 16x16 was less than eht 16x18, but in any case, it looks like you have a great prop on the boat now with the rpm and boat speed you are getting. I also noticed the boat is up on what looks like a very comfortable plane below 3000 and even down to 2500 which is great for covering longer distances with low stress on the equipment.
Great photos, video, and test report, sure looks like you're on your way to a fun season.
...has finally turned nice as well. We had a long go of our rainy season but the current forecast is for a nice few days and we are all looking forward to spending some time on the boat. Yesterday was the launch - solo - to make sure everything was in reasonable order followed by picking up the wife and kids for some dinner back at the mooring.
Regarding the prop - I didn't look too close when I posted the chart this morning but the text size on it made it difficult to read. The previous prop was 15 x 15 and the new one is a 15 x 16.
I hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th with great weather, food, family, and fun!!
I've been back in the water for a few weeks now but needed to get to a good picture for a yr 2012 update. I have been on vacation with the family this week and have been quite busy but today was a '10' on the water with very light winds temps in the 90s, so I headed out for a few hours with my son Jack. The water temp was around 70F which is very rare up here. At the end of the day I was able to snap a pic worthy of the 2012 update.
The two big items on the project list this winter was a swim deck and conversion from standard (raw water) cooling to closed (FWC) cooling. I also managed to squeak out a little fiberglass work to repair some cracks in the deck and a hasty coat of paint on the deck and get the boat name cut out. For what its worth the Interlux brightside 4208 Hatteras Off-White matched the original color surprisingly well although I don't expect it'll hold up for the long term.
The swim deck was from an Egg Harbor so it required some modification to fit the commander's transom, but all in all it has proven itself as a much needed aid in accessing the boat while approaching from the tender or getting out of the water.
The closed cooling project was tedious so I took advantage to of the time to remove and clean up the exhaust manifolds, risers, et al. I also did a hasty clean up and paint on the entire motor. The heat exchanger was purchased from a guy that was parting out his CC Connie that had 327s - it was a rebuilt unit and is in pretty good shape. The conversion was designed roughly on the original so that it is a 'full' system that includes fresh water in the manifolds. The final product so far seems to be working great and running around 160F max.
I'm now looking into why the motor is running a little rough - it seems to be related to the ignition. I did find the distributor had some corrosion inside and I suspect the advance is not working properly. I'm looking forward to solving this as I suspect it'll provide some improvements to performance and all.
I hope everyone here had a great 4th and will have a fun and trouble-free boating season!!
Below are a few pics of the winter projects and a pic from today back on the mooring.
Everyone appreciates a well maintained Chris Craft in the fleet
July 6 2012, 11:03 PM
I'll bet everyone in your area appreciates seeing this fine boat. She looks to be in excellent shape, we know it runs well, and now with the new swim platform it is going to be just that much more fun. I like the canopy and the ability to remove it. Woodwork looks great, and the closed cooling system is right on too.
Congratulations for bringing this one up to such a high standard, it looks like it would be a blast to take it out for a spin and anchor out for a picnic.
Due to the rough running I decided to tune up the motor on the water. Theres nothing quite like a brewski, a V8, and great weather on the water. Turns out that during the tune up I found the distributor mechanical advance springs inside the distibutor had failed due to corrosion. I swapped in a rebuilt unit I found on Ebay and along with plugs, wires, cap, & rotor and all is well again. Below are some pictures and images of work and play during summer '12. I hope everyone had a great winter and your projects went or are going well. With a long tasklist but a short budget I'm now looking forward to an early launch.
I like the plumbing job on that motor. Nicely done. Just a note on the fuel line location to the carb. It could be and optical illusion, but it seems as though it could make contact with the manifold. If you ever had a cooling problem that could be a big problem. Just a suggestion. Good looking boat.