CHRIS CRAFT COMMANDER FORUM ® .......A photo-intensive technical reference file and ongoing newsletter regarding the original fiberglass Chris-Craft Commander series. This is an independent not-for-profit and non-commercial web site, not affiliated with the Chris Craft Commander Club ~~ or ~~ Chris-Craft Corporation. Our mission here is to "have fun and share information" about the Commander series (and those associated fiberglass boats on the Chris-Craft family tree) for your individual personal use, and by doing so help promote the good name of Chris-Craft, and help preserve, restore, and appreciate Chris-Craft boats. The main reference feature is the ever expanding MASTER INDEX File which contains what we believe to be the world's largest collection of documentation photos and technical information on the Chris-Craft Commander line of boats, (like these original brochure scans, featuring the iconic first 38 Commander styled by Fred Hudson, and many of the great Dick Avery renditions that followed) , (a huge collection of Chris-Craft 427 tuning and specification information), and a few words about how to use the forum.

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Hello Everybody!

August 31 2017 at 9:40 AM

Marco  (Login Mardam)

Hello,
my name is Marco and I'm writing from Monza, Italy.
I'm 43 and I'm a classic bike restorer
I'm a huge fan of american boats since when my dad bought his first Bertram 28.
We currently own a 1986 Bertram 46.6 and a Boston 13 from 1971 (blue gelcoat interior).
I've always liked Chris Craft boats and I was looking for a Lancer but here in Italy they're quite scarce and I haven't found a suitable candidate...
Instead I found an XK19 in burgundy, I suppose it's the only one in Italy, I still haven't bought it but this saturday I'll go and have a look at it.
I have read avidly almost everything on the forum regarding Commander SS and XK19.
The boat I'm going to see it's a 1970 model with sterndrive and an OMC 504STHR which replaced the original unit (still have to ask what it was).
Unfortunately the dashboard has been modified to install OMC gauges (not a well done work).
My intention is to restore it so I need to find a CC engine and to replace the ugly dashboard with the lovely wooden unit with chrome bezel CC gauges. Unfortunaely I know almost nothing about gauges and I'd like to know if I can wire the OMC engine to CC gauges...
Well, let's see if I can bring the XK19 home!!
Have a nice day,

Marco

 
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AuthorReply
Joe
(Login jossar)

Welcome

September 1 2017, 4:02 PM 

Welcome Marco,
I think you will find a wealth of information here. XK-19 is a very nice boat. I think it came with a 350 F (GM 5.7 l) and a Volvo 270 or 280 outdrive originally. I don't know much about OMC but I'm pretty sure they did not make the engine itself - just the outdrive and other bolt on parts. You don't say if it's a V8 (I cannot find information on the model you have listed) but if it is it could already be a GM 5.7 with OMC parts instead of Chris craft (exhaust manifolds , cooling system etc). Gauges are almost always made by third party's so I would venture to say - yes - you should be able to make Chris Craft gauges work with the OMC Engine. Good luck with the purchase and keep us posted.

 
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Paul
(no login)

Welcome Indeed !

September 1 2017, 5:32 PM 

Hello and I echo the Welcome extended already by Joe. We're always happy to have participants from Italy and other European countries here on The Forum.

As you may know, Herb Pocklington, a former friend of The Forum, now deceased, was responsible for setting up and running the Italian Chris-Craft operation and there were a lot of boats built in Italy to American plans, with American power, and sometimes with modifications to suit the time and place.

I have records for the Italian XK boats, but not serial numbers. Together we can probably piece together a lot. Identification of the original style power package and original gauges will be pretty easy. As far as the gauges are concerned, they are all just a slave to the sending unit, and they all wire up in a similar manner. The tachometer is an issue because it is driven by a cable from the distributor but even that can be changed, by having an original tachometer converted to electric operation, and they look identical but it allows the use of a more modern distributor without the cable drive (in the event that is desired).

The dashboard on American models was always fiberglass and not wood. The only wood I've seen has been on customized boats and I know of one gent in the UK who was about to buy one for a very substantial price, but decided to not go forward with the purchase because the boat had been modified with the wood dashboard. It would be like hopping into an original 1963 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider and seeing a mahogany dashboard, it's just not what the collectors and purists expcet to see.

Regardless if you get this boat or the next one, keep us posted and we will assist in any way we can. And.........send photos !!

Regards,
Paul

forum moderator/host

 
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Marco
(Login Mardam)

Thanks Paul

September 3 2017, 6:45 AM 

I knew there was an italian division and I suspect the boat I've seen could have been produced there that's why I wanted to find the serial number...
Now I have 2 choices, bring it to total originality, including the Stewart Warner dashboard, discovering what engine it had (difficult to find because the current owner received it from a fraternal friend who died 15 years ago and he only has a document dating to 1994 when the boat was re-registered)

Should XK19 have the Cgris Craft 350 or 327? I think the would be both difficult to find here in Italy...

The dashboard I was referring is the one of the Commander SS, I know it wouldn't be original but if I cannot restore the originality of the boat that seems to me the best choice, best dashboard ever installed on a boat.

Regards,

Marco

 
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Marco
(Login Mardam)

Thanks a lot for the advice

September 3 2017, 6:13 AM 

The OMC 504 is a 4 barrel carb, 5.0L Chevy V8 engine as far as I understand.
I went to see the boat yesterday and fell in love with her, it's in a rough state, faded and crazed gelcoat, rear seat to be re-upholstered, aftermarket rubrail over the original aluminum item. The engine works fine, regular idling, smooth revving, steady oil pressure and we reached 40 Mph! But it's WAY TOO QUIET! I want a burbling, roaring sound from a V8! As far as I could see the exhaust is underwater, possibly in the sterndrive?
I couldn't find the serial number, I looked under the bow, in the engine compartement, under gunwhales but nothing...
Rear vents are on a different position from any other I've seen, they're on the rearmost part of the stern but I couldn't see any sign of filled holes on the engine compartment lid.
What worries me more is the rear of the left fwd seat that is cracked, a small crack but I fear it could enlarge, any replacement parts available?
Thanks a lot for your support!
Regards,

Marco



 
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Marco
(Login Mardam)

Some pictures

September 4 2017, 7:36 AM 


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This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Sep 27, 2017 10:01 AM


 
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Paul
(no login)

Great job with the photos !

September 4 2017, 9:57 PM 

Looks like you have a great starting point for a true classic.

It will be interesting to see what's underneath that bolt on fascia board dashboard someone installed in the past. I am wondering if what it there can be removed, repaired, refinished, and put back in service. I see the throttle and gear lever is new, and the steering wheel. The hardware all looks like it can be restored or replaced in good order. The clamshell vents are potmetal so if you have any pitting they'll have to be flame soldered in order to refinish those, as it's pretty rare to find those on the market these days in good shape put I guess it can be done. The question is, "how does it run"? If the motor is installed and runs well, I would be pretty hard pressed to pull it and replace it until it needs serious work, but for the purist I would certainly understand.

I would lose the swim platform, as I think it detracts from the lines of the boat. Many people will argue this point but it's a preference I have and if I were judging a show I would absolutely mark off for that, especially on a premium collectible like this one. There are some nice stowable stainless steel ladders that can be hidden under the seats for water skiing, I have one on my skiff that is placed in a spot intended for it, and I don't ever have to look at it unless I or someone else is going to get in the water happy.gif With a swim platform, you haul it around everytime you are in the boat. Like I said, it's a preference and an opinion, and everyone has one !! happy.gif

Thanks for the photos, keep us posted on your progress and let us know how we can help.

Regards,
Paul

 
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Marco
(Login Mardam)

Pictures

September 5 2017, 4:47 AM 

Hello Paul,
thanks a lot for your advice.
I looked under the bolt on dashboard, old holes have been filled with wood plugs when the original engine was replaced.
The engine is clean and runs smooth but it's too quiet! I can keep it until I find a suitable replacement (
What was the original engine? who knows! Was it the Chris Craft 327 or a different one according to the fact that it could have been built in Italy?

I don't like swim platforms either, but this one is an ugly one too!

Today I'll call the seller and see if we can find an arrangement on the price.

Will let you know!

BTW As a judge how would you consider a "modern" engine in a boat? I mean, will it detract from the value of the boat or it is acceptable? And the dashboard?

Regards,

Marco


 
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Paul
(no login)

Some more photos

September 5 2017, 9:30 AM 

Here are a couple photos of a show winner at Buffalo Launch Club, the oldest powerboat club in the world. This is a 1969 v-drive model with the side opening engine access panels. Later XK models used a large one-piece lift up hatch for engine access. You can see this one had the 230-hp 327Q motor. Italian models got the same mechanical package shipped directly from the US. Other models from Italy, mostly larger boats, received diesels such as Perkins and Fiat AFIO, in addition to gasoline motors from the US.

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Here is another one but I am reluctant to say, it has been modified beyond what I would want with the wood dashboard and swim platform, both of which are unnecessary and not original. This boat was in the same show and did not win.

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Here is the same boat 4 years earlier before it received the custom wood dash.
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This one was owned by Country Music Super-Star, Alan Jackson, which he donated by auction to a charity cause for $35,000. Today that same boat would sell for considerably more. Photo from 2006,

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Regards,
Paul













 
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Marco
(Login Mardam)

Woah!

September 5 2017, 9:57 AM 

The first one is IMPRESSIVE!!!
Mark 1 was much better with the original dashboard, that's the dasboard I fell in love with and the one I'd like to install on the boat I have seen if I cannot restore to 100% originality...
So you know for sure that XK19 has been built in Italy sa well?
Ciao,
Marco

 
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Paul
(Premier Login FEfinaticP)
Owner

More dashboard photos

September 5 2017, 10:40 AM 

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This photo below is an original boat, owned by Chad Durren, presently under restoration to a 100-point boat with repaired dashboard, etc.
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properly done restored instruments.
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Marco
(Login Mardam)

Paul you're very kind!

September 5 2017, 12:34 PM 

Thanks a lot!
Marco

 
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Paul
(Premier Login FEfinaticP)
Owner

Thanks for the good words

September 6 2017, 11:40 AM 

It's my pleasure to be hanging out with a great group like this.

regards,
Paul
"\"\""

 
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Marco
(no login)

1970 XK19, which engine?

September 6 2017, 11:42 AM 


Hello Everybody,

I just concluded for the 1970 XK19, maybe next saturday I'll pick it up.
I'm already dreaming of restoring it to 100% originality but I need some info...

1 Has CC ever built the XK19 in Italy?
2 If yes they locally sourced for parts?
3 Chris Craft advertised that a 300HP engine was standard for the 1970 sterndrive XK19, is it the 302, 327 or 350?
4 How difficult would be to find a suitable engine?
5 In case I have to keep the OMC V8 can I install an exhaust diverter? Now is TOO QUIET! Cool for long distances but a little sad when you fire it up!

Ciao,

Marco


 
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Paul
(no login)

Italian Chris-Craft production and details of the XK-19

September 6 2017, 11:44 AM 

I looked through the original production literature for the Italian boats, and I see several XK models, including the XK-18, 19 and 22. In addition I see a lot of information on the ORAZ series 19-foot Lancer with 200-hp and even a boat called the 19-foot Super Lancer with 200-hp.

All of these runabouts received standard V8 engine packages with volvo outdrives, just as they would if they were built in the United States. I have a ton of information showing how much money the Chris-Craft plant in Italy spent each year importing US motors to Italy for the boats built in Italy. The 19-foot boats are listed as "Chris-Craft gasoline with Volvo transdrive". In the case where theyr are options, like the 28-foot Super Catalina, they also list Perkins and Fiat/Aifo diesels, and a note that Cummins diesels are available on some boats with special order (such as the 33 Sports Sedan).

The 20-foot Capri got the 235-hp motor, and I would think the XK did too but have not found any specific info yet. 1975 records indicate a 19-foot Lancer with 1-200 hp took 240 hours to produce, at a cost of 4.041.372 (which I assume is Italian lira)

And just now as I am looking page at a time, I now see an August 1974 Sales Analysis showing a 19-foot XK with power listed as 1-300 which means it received one motor of 300-horsepower, and another notation of nine (9) being sold in August of 1974. So this information ABSOLUTELY confirms the XK was being produced in Italy with 300-hp. To further support this, Herb Pocklington sent me promo material a few years ago showing an ad for the market in Sweden, where they listed the word "Fart" in big letters which in Swedish means "Fast". This ad (shown below) makes reference to a 310-hp motor and I would attribute that to the fact that perhaps they were using a dyno rating rather than taking the rating at the shaft like most US CC boats did.

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As you may know, the small block GM based V8 motors of this era are all externally identical in size, and only the internal bore, pistons, and crankshaft will determine what cubic inch displacement the motor will have. They all look the same and all have the same motor mount and transmission hook up capabilities. Therefore a search for a motor should not be impossible, and in fact, the motor now in the boat (if it is a GM motor) is the same internal block and only the cooling system and valve covers would be different, and maybe the intake manifold too (basically the block could be fitted with all the pumps, thermostat, etc. that CC used and it would be, in essence, a CC motor). OMC used Ford motors for awhile, and I can't tell from looking at it if it's a Ford or GM but the charts indicate the 504 is a GM.


502APRGDP (GM) 5.0L 1988
502APRJVB (Ford) 5.0L 1993
502APRMED (Ford) 5.0L 1989
502APRPWS (Ford) 5.0L 1990
502APRRGD (Ford) 5.0L 1991
502BPBYC (GM) 5.0L 1998
502BPRAMH (Ford) 5.0L 1992
502BPRJVB (Ford) 5.0L 1993
502BPRRGD (Ford) 5.0L 1991
502BPRMED (Ford) 5.0L 1989
502BPRPWS (Ford) 5.0L 1990
504AMARY (GM) 5.0L 1987
504AMFTC (GM) 5.0L 1987
504AMKWB (GM) 5.0L 1986
504AMLGDP (GM) 5.0L 1988
504AMWXS (GM) 5.0L 1986
504APARY (GM) 5.0L 1987
504APFTC (GM) 5.0L 1987
504APKWB (GM) 5.0L 1986
504APRGDP (GM) 5.0L 1988



Regarding exhaust, I believe the exhaust manifolds will fit onto the boat so they exit forward and reverse. The XK v-drive boats exit forward and there is a big loop back to the lower transom on port and starboard where the exhaust tip is located on those boats. Later models has exhaust tips higher where they exhaust came directly off the motor and out the transom, and yes, that would get some attention when the motor started up happy.gif

The 300 hp motor was likely the 350FLV, here is a photo and specification sheet.

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Regards,
Paul




    
This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Sep 6, 2017 12:11 PM


 
 Respond to this message   
cmac
(Login Stowaway1)

looks like a GM block

September 6 2017, 3:40 PM 

from my experience, I have yet to see otherwise. Ford block distributor at front of engine. Chev block if distributer at back of engine. Yours looks to be a chev. possibly 350 but impossible to tell from pics

 
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Paul
(Premier Login FEfinaticP)
Owner

I think you are right

September 6 2017, 6:20 PM 

it's tough when I see one with a totally different thermostat and cooling system, tough to tell about the distributor location too because they took power off the front and rear of these motors from time to time.

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This one looks like a flywheel aft setup

regards,
Paul
"\"\""


    
This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Sep 27, 2017 10:04 AM


 
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Marco
(Login Mardam)

I think is a 307, document says 5.0L

September 7 2017, 4:45 AM 

Have a nice day,
Marco

 
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Paul
(Premier Login FEfinaticP)
Owner

Here is the 300-hp 350FLV

September 6 2017, 10:15 PM 

Here is what you can spend a lot of money on, and get another 100-hp, and take a look at those exhaust pipes too !!
This is a later model style than the one you are looking at, because it has the large and heavy one-piece spring-assisted rear hatch. Incidentely, just this week in the US one of these hatches opened by accident while being towed and it blew right off the boat and landed in the highway, as the tow vehicle continued on for miles and didn't even know it. Later they drove back and retraced their route, and found it still in the highway, hopefully able to be repaired. Your two-piece hatch is more like the black one in the previous photos.

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Here is the link to the entire boat show at Buffalo Launch Club, where these photos were taken.
http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/thread/1378526438

Regards,
Paul
"\"\""


    
This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Sep 9, 2017 12:40 PM


 
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Marco
(Login Mardam)

That engine is gorgeous!

September 7 2017, 4:43 AM 

I'd love to have one but I fear it's too expensive for the moment...
The OMC 504STHRCRA from 1984 it's a 5.0L Chevy block as far as I understand so it should be the 307ci, am I correct?
I think I'll keep it for the moment, as it only has 360 hours of active life.
I'll keep you posted!

Cheers,

Marco



 
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