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 have just acquired a 1974 Tournament Fisherman, a boat model I didn't even know existed until I saw it for sale. It is currently in a barn in Sandtown, Delaware--I will pick her up next week. I have learned a ton of stuff about her on this forum, and understand the hull is a Catalina. It appears to be a moderate v hull, and should be pretty fast with the engines in her, two 250 straight-six mercruisers. She is all open; no windshield, just a small windscreen before each of the twin consoles. She seems mechanically sound and the hull is good, but she needs lots of cosmetic work. The guy I bought her from doesn't have time for her--he seems like a very nice fellow, and has been very helpful. I am sure I will impose on this group with questions as I go, and I will post pictures if there is any interest. For now, does anyone know how these boats ride? Looks like fast, a little bouncy, and wet. I'd love to hear from anyone who has run one of these of an early 70s Catalina. Can't wait to get her in the water! Sam
We have several members with these cool Chris Craft boats in various stages of restoration or running, and if memory serves me correctly you may be the first with inline sixes, which I find highly desirable. Let's just say you got a good boat and one that you should never have difficulty selling.
We look forward to seeing photos and learning more about your boat.
I saw that boat on CL. If I didn't have my 31 CCC FB Express I would have jumped on that. I had a 25 CC Catalina, single engine, for 14 years. They are a good riding boat and with the twins would be awesome. Good Luck with it.
Thanks, Rob, that is good to hear. I figure at $1200 with a usable trailer I couldn't go far wrong. I love the twin console set up. Do you have any idea who designed the Catalina 251/TF 25 hull? Nice lines, I think. Sam
Very unique boats in the overall Chris Craft lineup
July 23 2012, 9:11 AM
These boats are pretty few and far between, and I only became aware of them a few years ago myself quite by accident. Brian Tait had one and we at first thought it was a Lancer, then it was "what the heck is it", finally we discovered the model and since then there have been a few others pop up. Your photos show yours is a 4 cylinder with single carb, but we have seen some with volvo B-18 motors and dual carbs, and now this latest one is equipped with inline sixes. Any way you go, these are highly desirable boats, sort of like wearing boat shoes to the yacht club annual banquet, not the flashiest speedboat in town but still dripping with class. In tip top condition you could drive one of these up to any yacht club anywhere, including Monaco, and you would get double looks and nods of approval. They are unique, fast, very sporting and they just LOOK like fun.
Paul, you may already know this, but according to the mariner's museum, CC changed the name of these boats to Inboard Sportsman toward the end of their brief run. I have also seen it suggested that some were called Catalina Fisherman. That is a lot of names for a production run of a few hundred hulls. No wonder nobody knows what they are.
I just looked at my prior post, and realized it sounded like I was inviting myself over for the weekend! I meant 1) Thanks, Kenny, I will take you up on your offer to answer questions about your beautiful refit, and 2) out of curiosity, where are you? I am not on my way over--no need to release the hounds! Sam
They are 140hp 3.0 OMC GM blocks. The port was rebuilt completely from the bottom up, the starboard is new, not a reman. I picked up a pair of P21 Paragons and sent the to great lakes power, just got them back this week. Hopefully will be in FINALLY in 2 weeks!
Guys I have to tell you, riding in that tower would probably scare the hell out of me. I used to be okay with stuff like that, being able to ride a roller coaster, but at some point something changed (getting old?) and I got on one of those amusement park "parachute rides" where the darn thing starts spinning like a merry-go-round and then it tilts up to 45-degrees, and I thought I was going to die.
Even on a 45 TF I think it would be pretty scary, but on a 25...........yikes! I agree these 25s with the twin engines are very cool and desirable boats. You know they made a 23 Lancer with twin Volvo B-18 motors but not many.
This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Jul 26, 2012 3:08 PM
I only plan on using the upper station when trolling, in calm seas. The previous owner of the tower had only the throttles hooked up, I will run the dual control so I can put it in neutral. I certainly would not want to fall off and watch my boat idle away in gear leaving me in the shark infested waters of the Gulf!
Re: Better get a kill switch hooked to your belt on that tower
July 27 2012, 10:35 PM
If i am out by myself I'll at least wear an inflatable pfd, I have looked into the kill device, so far all I have found were ones for outboards. I do have a full teak swim platform going on, I am having a custom wraparound bracket made out of stainless steel tubing. With out it, getting on the boat if I fall off will be next to impossible, especially if I am injured. I need to get an decent epirb and a life raft before I venture too far out, I plan on making offshore trips( probably 40 miles tops ), weather permitting that is. I have eliminated every possible scenario from stainless steel fuel lines, transmission lines, all new wiring, all new hoses, and one new seacock. I discovered all that was holding it on was 5200, the bottom corroded off and was hidden by the intake cover on the bottom of the boat! Everything that could leak or burst has been replaced, I went overkill with the fuel & trans lines but I had a reputable hydraulic shop make them for me and I'd rather be safe than sorry. The gulf of mexico can turn up pretty fast, and your read stories about boats getting swamped in a following sea because of the low open transom. That was one of the deciding factors for me in finding a boat: closed transom, big beam & twin inboards that are direct drive. You can't get that anymore, not with quality and without breaking the bank. I was looking at the Luhrs 25 Tournament, too much wood and corners cut to save weight in the 80's & 90's. Fishing is what I will be doing the most of, some trolling too so V'8s aren't really practical for that, I probably would not of bought the boat if it had 8's.
I got the Blue Hole home today--that is her original name, it looks like she spent a lot of her time as a Boca Raton dive boat. I will have to replace much of the aft deck--parts you could eat with a spoon. I am also a little suspicious of the stringers, since a prior owner appears to have sistered them with aluminum plate.
After spending the day hanging out in her and cleaning her up, I like the layout more than ever. I love the look of her. I'll post some pictures tomorrow.
Here is a question for those with experience on these early 70s boats. The tank appears to be the original 100 gallon galv. steel tank. It looks good. Since I will have the deck up, this is the time to fool with it. Is a pressure test worthwhile? Time for a replacement? Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks
Replace the tank Sam, you don't want to find out after you repair the deck it starts to leak. Mine was replaced with an 80 gallon plastic tank. Time will tell if it will be adequate for me, the boat I bought my tower from had an 140 gallon aluminum tank. I would of bought it but it had a pinhole leak, and that was put in in 2006! I'm curious about the aluminum plate on the stringers, is it forward of both consoles under the seats?
The stringers are sistered aft of the motors. It looks like two layers of 4" x 1/4" plate, a couple of feet long. There is one spot the size of a half dollar where the glass is missing on top of the stringer, and the wood scooped out 1" deep. The remaining wood seems sound. There must have been a fastener there, through the glass. Again, well behind the motors. I will know much better once the deck is out.