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 !
Its less than 60 days until my wedding and my 69 Super Sport will play a key role as the getaway vehicle after the dockside ceremony.
Well a little snag in my plan:
A cracked block with water in the oil.
I discovered this a few weeks ago when I was getting ready to sea trial the finished Super Sport. The mechanic I bought the complete drivetrain from is onboard and we hashed out a deal to longblock the motor with a really nicely built 350 with "more than enough HP" to get the job done now but here is THE REALLY CRAZY PART: I decided since the motor is out I would strip her down and REPAINT THE ENTIRE BOAT!! Giggity!!
Its now 53 days and ticking until the BIG DAY and I thought "Well I can't paint the boat without taking Mike Watson's hard work and research to heart so I popped off the topdeck, flipped it over in my garage and performed the patented Watson reinforcement techniques plus a few more of my own:
Being a very early Super Sport to be built I noticed my boat was missing some key reinforcements that Mike's boat left from the factory with, especially a rib right in front and behind the engine hatches. This is precisely where I already had a stress crack so I scribed 2 new ribs and glassed them in and did my best to make it look a factory job. I figure its just adding something the factory decided to do anyway and frankly was completely necessary to avoid future cracks. I was real happy with the way it turned out and its really solid now... a huge difference (Thanks for the pics, and conversations Mike!)
When glassing in the front rib I had to ensure the deck maintained a subtle arch to it or the engine hatches would not fit properly. Since the deck was out of the boat and upside down I hung a 5 gallon bucket with sand in it and added more sand until I got the arch I was looking for. I am happy to report the hatches fit perfectly!!
CURRENT STATUS AS OF JUNE 19:
- I reinstalled the top deck and began to prep the hull for paint:
- The old engine is dismantled and the new engine has arrived and is awaiting reassembly
- All the metal is at the chromers:
- I have now begun to sand the entire boat. I just finished the wetted hull today and was amazed at how strong the CC gelcoat is. Its incredible really... I can sand off the 4 layers of antifouling paint and the gelcoat underneath is as flat and solid as it was in 1969. If I sanded it back to 320 then buffed it out it would look as good as new.
Tomorrow I will begin sanding the topsides and gunwales and plan to use the entire Dupont Marine system:
Fairing Compounds -
DuPont 18545S - Epoxy Fairing Compound
DuPont 18550S - Spray Fairing
Undercoat - DuPont CorlarŽ 18530S - Urethane Primer
Topcoat - DuPont ImronŽ MS600 Polyurethane Topcoat
DuPont also makes a 2 stage topcoat but I am trying to avoid this with the understanding that the single stage MS600 would be easier to repair than a clearcoat system:
Basecoat - DuPont ImronŽ MS100 Polyurethane Basecoat
Clear Coat - DuPont ImronŽ MS1 Polyurethane Clearcoat
I have a detailed project plan with all the known tasks, dependencies and durations to complete this project and optimistically I should be done in mid July (pessimistically August 1)
Call me crazy but hey I incorporated a classic fiberglass Chris Craft into my wedding so at least I have the blessing to work on it!! As a matter of fact its now PRIORITY 1!!
This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Aug 15, 2012 12:54 PM This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Jul 20, 2012 3:09 PM This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Jun 20, 2012 11:56 AM
I did not realize that our conversation would lead you down this slippery slope but in the end it will be best. It is nice to know that I am not the only one with issues. Then again this forum and others have shown me that there are many individuals with the same disease. All the way from 60' to 19'. Unlike the Commanders that came out of the Holland or other big boat plants with consistent quality and standards those that came from Cortand location were constantly changing. Good or bad. Enjoy!
Paul, Jim and All:
Jim, you always seem to be doing the right thing! And your work is top notch and well done. I think the payoff is that you are going to be spending more time on the water than in the shop. Keep it up.
That is amazing how much you have taken on and resolved. Good looking workmanship too, and just look at all the FUN you are having with friends and admirers! At least your new bride will know what she's subscribing to in the way of boatitis.
Janet and I have seriously considered coming out to the wedding but we are boxed in with lots of other obligations this summer so we'll be sending our best and wishing you all the best.
Jim, let me know how the re-chrome goes. My vents are pitted heavily like yours. The cost on these pieces can be huge. I'll re-chrome mine if it's affordable. If not, I'll keep shopping for vents that are better re-chrome candidates.
It is not rocket science but it is expensive to etch out all the corrosion pits and then flame solder over top, burnish and chrome these old pieces. My Morse control stalk on my 1966 20' fiberglass Sea Skiff is identical to the stalk used on these Commanders and XK boats, was heavily pitted and I was in the process of literally sanding out the stalk carefully when I showed up on Lake Dora at a flea market, spotted a good one in a bin and the guy said "ten bucks". That was about a $150 savings (or more).
Some of the hardware on the Lancers and small Commanders is potmetal and it is getting tough to find this stuff in good condition. I noticed the clamshells in Jim's photo too and wondered about the shop who was going to do this. Seattle is blessed with lots and lots of marine culture, around Lake Union and Washington, and on the salt water side too.
My '68 Corsair potmetal clamshell ventilators were in pretty good shape, with minor pitting and some fading, and Custom Plating Specialist in Brillion, Wisc. replated them for $48 each. Another, better- known plater wanted $250 each for the same ventilators! Custom Plating Specialist did a fabulous job. Again, it's true mine were in good shape to begin with, but the price differential was breathtaking.
Cliff, your clamshells may have been so lightly pitted they could "sand" all the pitting out, in any case they did a really nice job and you got a fabulous price too. Hey by the way, don't forget to send us a photo or two.
All the items except the vents were in good shape to rechrome but the vents neede more work than originally thought. Grey areas were found that will blister immediately so they will have to drill them out and fill them which means more $$.
I haven't found any exact replacements yet... Anyone have 2 pair with excellent chrome for sale?
Those potmetal clamshells would be probably $200 each to etch out, fill, flame solder and then chrome. At some point in time that will be the only route for a restorer unless of course some one wants to step up and do this job right, and make a mold and recast them out of brass. I don't see that happening due to the fact that there just is not much of a market for rare pieces like these.
From all the different things I have seen on the SS models it certainly makes be believe that they pulled stuff off the shelf in a haphazard way or ran out of stock. Running engineering changes? Your boat has two different clam shell sizes an mine are all the same larger size. Your exhaust extensions are different, maybe because it is an I/O. Most others are just the copper tube through the hull and packed/caulked with a simple flat chrome ring. I've seen different floor board designs and some dash boards that are trimmed different. Your gauges are different while most of them have the standard ones that were used on the bigger boats. Keep that checkbook handy!
Were exhaust extensions even used on the transdrive models? These do not appear to be standard CC hardware, as I thought the exhaust was routed through the transdrive system. However, having said that, I would prefer the bark of an open exhaust tip like that anyhow.
Here is Larry Nichols at Tavares a few years ago, with his ORCZ-19-4024V, named ARRRGH ! The serial number says it's a 1974 model,
but I don't understand the V designation as I was under the impression this was a transdrive boat. Sorry the photos are inconclusive
but the windshield sure looks different (taller).
Thought I'd just toss that in,
Well here is a photo that solves the question about the transdrive (yes it is a transdrive boat) but I don't see any exhaust pipes.
I would add............that unless we find more photos of windshields like this one, we will have to call this on a custom replacement. So guys,
lets start digging!
Oooops, look what I just found............1973 brochure photo
This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Jun 26, 2012 11:58 AM This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Jun 26, 2012 11:43 AM
Many odd things on this one. Certainly the windshield looks very different from any I have seen(it would actually deflect the wind over your head), no deck vents of any kind, no handle on the sides(replaced with a cleat), stern cleats are different, no horn vent(horn on the deck), boot stripe is high. Hard to tell what was altered and what came on the later model boats.
I tend to agree with you that CC was interested in producing boats, and not necessarily interested in the "purity" of lineage from year to year. Chris Craft is known for using various pieces of hardware on several different boats, my Morse gear selector on my 1966 20' Sea Skiff is identical to the piece used on the Commander SS, for instance. I think they generally stayed true to form but things undoubtedly happened on the shop floor after a discussion with the foreman, etc.
The taller windshield seems to have been noted in the past, It appears to be a 1973 and 1974, perhaps later too change in the model, see image below from 1973 brochure
This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Jun 26, 2012 11:59 AM This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Jun 26, 2012 11:44 AM
Vents, exhaust and gauge clarification for SS models
June 26 2012, 3:07 PM
Optical illusion on the vents... the two that appear larger just have bolts still in the bottoms so they are sitting up a bit higher. All 4 are actually the same size.
As far as exhaust setup... if you compare my SS to the "Texas" 1969 SS transdrive model that was on ebay a few years ago, both exhaust configs are exactly the same so I would bet that this was standard for early transdrives...aka at least the 15 transdrive Super Sports for 1969:
The Texas boat was advertised as "all original" and it certainly looks to be the case. Maybe by the 72-73 XK era they moved to the underwater thru-transdrive config due to noise complaints. I should know soon if the straight-thru setup is an issue or not
The beautiful XK19 transdrive Peter has in Sweden shows thru hull exhaust tips that are placed much wider and a bit lower than the Super Sports. Not sure if these were factory or not but they look great like this.
I failed to mention this is the #1 boat in the transdrive production run, not too shabby a history there! Here is the discovery link, lots of good photos and tech info for the 19' Commander owner and restorer.
When prepping the shell for paint the dust settled onto the transom making this ghostly image visible:
It must be a remnant from the 1969 New York Boat show as this boat came equipped with the "High Performance" package. The video I have of the show floor does show a white area on the starboard transom that is about the same angle but the detail is obscured by the glare from the overhead lights:
I wish I had some better color photographs from the boat show.
The image is so faint I took almost a hundred shots and after trial and eror this one was the best of the bunch. Any more top down and the reflection washes out the image completely. Its exactly 18" long. I don't know the height but will measure it Sunday.
Please click my name and lets hook up via email and I will get you my address.
Over the past 2 weeks I have made some great progress!!
June 30th - The entire hull was rough sanded down to the original gelcoat which actually looked a lot better than I had anticipated:
June 31st - I fixed low spots, made some repairs and filled holes for canvas snaps around the cockpit that look they they were installed in the dark by a drunk monkey:
July 3rd - Off to the paint booth for a nice shot of primer by a pro painter that I just happended to stumble across. (A true life saver!!)
July 4th - took a break from the SS and enjoyed the fireworks show on Lake Union aboard the Giggity.
July 5th - Sanded the primer to 320 grit and back to the paint booth and DuPont MS600 paint that was photo matched to the original Chris Craft "Blazer Blue" directly from an engine hatch. If you want this color it was saved to the DuPont DB by mistake as Chris Craft "Laser Blue"
Over the next week I will be sandblasting the intake and engine tin then will reassemble the drivetrain and install it.
In about a week the racing stripes will be added and then the interior will be installed. I will definitely have it in the water for some sea trials in the next 2 weeks. STAY TUNED!!
37 days remaining until the big day when the "Kimmy Kay" will wisk my bride and I off the docks after we get hitched !!
74 36' TF
69 19' SS
This message has been edited by 36TFisher on Jul 6, 2012 9:07 PM This message has been edited by 36TFisher on Jul 6, 2012 9:05 PM
Jim, I echo Bill's comments, awesome progress and the quality of workmanship looks great too. It appears that you are working like a man possessed........perhaps it is some mutant strain of boatitis we have not seen before. If so, we should be sounding an alert because so far spending more money on the boat you already have ~~or~~ buying another boat, seems to have been the best therapy for the patient. This whole business of scheduling a total boat restoration around your marriage date is pushing things to entirely new levels, Naturally we are all pulling for you, we are a bit concerned, and we all are hoping the best.
I am definitely motivated to get this baby done quickly but still want to do the best job I can possibly do. I can't wait to start to drop in the engine into the "aft cockpit" next week! Hey maybe I could strap a few lawn chairs back there?
Or as taught at the Bauhaus....."less is more".....so to heck with the windshield and the upholstery. I can see it now....the new bride exclaims...."WHAT...no windshield, no seats, just LAWN CHAIRS??!!!".......Jim responds....."yeah dear, that's the way it's gonna be........and could you pass me a beer please?".
Now before I start getting hate mail from the nice women who contribute to this forum....I am joking....this is my sad attempt at wry humor.....mea culpa....!!!!!!
Most impressive and motivating. You have it bad. Your 36TF called my 35SC last week and was crying because she feels so neglected.
We were anchored off Saugatuck on Lake MI yesterday and the 35, along with most CCC's, is still one fine looking boat after 44 years. I hope to own her when turns 50. We had the dingy and kayak tied off behind but I thought it would be quite a package with an SS floating next to it.
It has been ridiculously hot here late. Water temp in the river is 88. Water temp 200 yards offshore in the big lake was 81. Not necessarily a good thing but it was sure nice swimming.
After letting the fresh Blazer Blue paint cure for about a week I have now cut (wet sanded) the entire top deck and transom with 2000 grit and the paint is now sitting real nice and flat. I worked until twilight and went into the garage to buff the engine hatches with 3M Perfect It compound and WOW its looking great!! The rest of the boat will be buffed tomorrow and by sunset she will be sporting racing stripes and a bootstripe.
Paul I took you advice of "forgetting the unnecessary" and will wet sand and buff the hull down to the bootstripe AFTER the wedding
25 days to go until the big day!!
This week I will sand blast the rest of the engine parts that will be reused and will re-install the interior, wiring, windshield, dash and controls. The drivetrain will go in early next week and barring any unforseen surprises I will splash her by the end of the month!!
Well I can see we have an alternative to the Eric Jensen iron tossing fitness plan now!! This gives classic boat fans TWO ways to stay in shape and there is NO excuse now.
I can see you now with a head and microphone set on a film stage with a classic fiberglass boat and a studio audience, with several attractive attendants, and a host of sponsors including Nike, Gatorade, and a work bench full of chrome parts, buffing compound, buffers, exhaust tips, and propellers.
I have not heard anything.......hoping for the best.
August 9 2012, 5:20 PM
I know how critical the schedule was and I don't think it was humanly possible to do it, but Notable Seattle Yachtsman, Peters, is a pretty capable guy and I figure he just got into the 24/7 mode and kicked it out. We'll see, and continue to hope for the best,
WARNING: Playing the video links below will blow your speakers because you will be powerless to resist CRANKING THE VOLUME ALL THE WAY UP and playing it over and over again!! You will also be inflicted with a terminal and contagious case of Boatitus for which there is not and never will be a cure.
The engine was in and all systems hooked up. With a few minor details to button up she would be ready for the water, just in the nick of time. Alas this was not to be. Once we installed a new shift cable and made the final adjustments we discovered an issue with the gear box that took the boat out of commission for the wedding as it needed parts we could not get in time.
Seriously bummer no doubt...
Here is what happened: The week before the wedding we were on schedule and we raised the motor up on the chainfall to install it:
... Just as we were lowering it into the Super Sport we received a phone call that my mechanic's little brother had a horrible motorcycle accident on his Harley as he rode to Sturgis in North Dakota.
He crashed and his leg got stuck in a guard rail. He was Care Flighted from Montana directly to Seattle's Harborview Hospital as the situation was quite dyer. We left the engine hanging and I immediately drove my mechanic directly to the hospital over an hour away. For the next few days we didn't know if he would make it or not. 16 hours of surgery later and he barely pulled through. The timing for this terrible tragedy couldn't have been worse for the Super Sport but family comes first and though we could not recover the lost time we needed for the gear box I am very happy to report he is alive and will recover. So far it appears he will be able to keep his leg but he likely will never walk normally again and recovery will be months if not years. Frankly, the logistics of having the boat in the wedding would have been quite challenging but it sure would have been the icing on the cake to cruise off into the sunset with my new bride in our 330 horse drawn water carriage. We just lost too much wrenching time and this left us without time to repair any last minute surprises like the gearbox issue.
As an added bonus my bride surprised me with at the rehearsal dinner with this deliciously edible version of the "Kimmy Kay":
The "full size" Super Sport will be repaired soon and my new bride and I will still get to enjoy the rest of the summer with it (and of course aboard "Giggity") so all you Commander folk be ready for some exciting new videos and pics of us exercising the "Kimmy Kay" all over the Beautiful Pacific Northwest.
I am so happy to share the rest of my life with my new bride on the water and off!! She is no doubt my soulmate and I am honored and privileged to have her in my life. AND SHE LOVES THE KIMMY KAY!!
The Alter Ego of a Chris Craft Commander owner.......warning to kids.....bad influence !
August 15 2012, 10:14 AM
Jim, Kimmy, Congrtulations many times over.
What a great story and what a great future you two will have together, especially
since you both love boating. Really good stuff.
Now I'll dwell more on the wedding and all later, but when I viewed the video I saw
a Jim Peters I really hadn't known before, and I thought I would do a snap-action
montage here so everyone else could see it too. Once you guys all see this, then
run that video again, it will make a lot more sense to you after seeing what is posted below.
(soon to be doing the same thing in my own driveway with a 427, but the nearest neighbors here are about 1500 feet away on the next ridgetop, we'll still be able to let em know we're still here, should be one heck of an echo!)
Notable Seattle Yachtsman, Jim Peters and his new bride Kimberly Kay !!
August 16 2012, 4:23 PM
Notable Seattle Yachtsman, Jim Peters and Kimberly Kay Peters, just got married at the fashionable Lake Union Crew headquarters, right there on the waterside docks at Lake Union, in Seattle. How fitting...........to be married on the water like that, to a couple of avid classic boaters already owning two (2) Commanders.
Here are some photos we pulled off the video...........Congratulations guys, all the best from your EXTENDED FAMILY of fans and fellow classic boaters around the world!
All the best,
From your classic boating fans and friends around the world via the Chris Craft Commander Forum, Inc.
The following came in from a person who observed the photos:
"Make sure you tell him to keep the motor all the way down when hes running it
or the u joint cuts a hole in the bellows, water gets in and you know the rest
of the story...especially bad if hes running it in salt water."
I don't know if this applies to the outdrive system you installed or not, but I thought I better pass it along
as a friend to a friend, just in case.