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TOPIC: 1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore

1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 2 years 4 months ago #146244

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63 Sabre wrote: Sweet and beautiful.
Can I make a suggestion? I found out the hard way. Before you do the final install of the engine. Make an ingenious setup to drain the oil from the pan. Others here might have some ideas. I didn't do this with my Saber but have done it with others. Install a swing ball valve on the oil pan drain where you can attach a garden hose or similar. Make the hose long enough to reach your bilge drain plug. When it comes time to change oil you can attach the hose to the engine and poke the other end through the drain hole. Sure saves a oily/stinky bilge mess. I had to use a suction gun and that never gets all the oil out.


Already did that back when I had the engine torn down.. Posted the mods I did to the oil pan in a thread down in the inboard section.. "Chrysler Inboard Oil Drain Mod"

The black hose attached to the starboard exhaust manifold that runs down to the pan in the pic below is for using a pump to remove the oil from the engine.

100_3127 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

That hose is connected to a tube that I installed inside the oil pan that runs all the way to the rear corner of the pan so that all the oil can be evacuated due to the steep shaft angle in this boat.

100_2711 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

Changing oil in inboards is a breeze with my old Jabsco "Porta-Quick" 12V oil change pump that I've had since the early 90's. It has enough capacity to drain both the engine and transmission before needing to be emptied. When done, I just flip the switch to pump the used oil from the bucket into the empty oil containers..

100_3205 by cc_john67 , on Flickr
100_3206 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

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1973 Century Resorter 16, 225HP Chrysler LM318

1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express, 330HP Pleasurecraft 350 (383 Stroker)

1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 2 years 4 months ago #146276

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Got an early start this morning and got the engine set back in the boat. It's in, bolted down, and aligned with the shaft. All the electrical has been connected, along with the fuel and exhaust system, all that's left is to get the engine's water intake connected and it will be ready to fire up tomorrow.. Now on to the pics...

S#@t's about to get real!! LOL!

100_3207 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

Gotta admit.... When you have 900 pounds of iron hanging in the air while you're backing the boat under it, the pucker factor is a bit intense! :blink:

100_3208 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

And the "money shot"!! The little seagoin' Mopar is back where it belongs! B)

100_3210 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

100_3211 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

Can't wait to hear it bark to life tomorrow!! B)

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CC-John

1973 Century Resorter 16, 225HP Chrysler LM318

1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express, 330HP Pleasurecraft 350 (383 Stroker)

1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 2 years 4 months ago #146279

I would love to see a video of her first start.

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1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 2 years 4 months ago #146280

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Fatlenny wrote: I would love to see a video of her first start.


Here's a link to a video I posted a few years ago after I first put the engine back together.

www.fiberglassics.com/forum/member-projects/130108-1973-century-resorter-16-restore.html?start=40#131145

I'll have to find my video camera and see if it will charge up so I can get one of it running in the boat.. :blush:

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CC-John

1973 Century Resorter 16, 225HP Chrysler LM318

1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express, 330HP Pleasurecraft 350 (383 Stroker)

1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 2 years 4 months ago #146282

Yeah I know that feeling, it's like the sword of Damocles hanging there! That's how I felt pulling the engine out if the Woody. I'm sure I'll feel the same way when it's time to go back in!

Bob

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1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 2 years 4 months ago #146285

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Spent another long day tying up all the little loose ends on the engine installation. Got the engine raw water intake and strainer plumbed in along with a built in engine flush system to make it easier to run the engine when on the trailer. Spent a good part of the day running the gremlins out of all the engine gauges, the actions are just sticky from sitting inactive for so long. They were glitchy when I first got the boat and awakened it from it's 20+ year slumber it had been in before I bought it, I'm hoping that they'll loosen up with regular use. If not, I have a complete set of OEM gauges from a 1975 Resorter 16 parts boat I bought a couple years ago that work fine and just need a good cleaning.

Here's a couple of pics of the engine flush system I installed.. The water inlet is located in the base of the rear seat and is connected to the engine side of the raw water intake strainer. The design of this system won't allow you to overpressurize the engine cooling system because any water the engine doesn't need backflushes through the strainer and out thru the intake fitting in the bottom of the boat.

100_3214 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

100_3213 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

Also started the process of figuring out where all the gear will be stowed. The rear seat base swallowed up the anchor with 6' of chain and 100' of rope, a couple of spare docklines, a few towlines ,a small toolbox with commonly needed tools for any emergency repairs, and a small toolbox full of engine spare parts(impeller kit, fuel filter, sparkplugs, etc).

100_3215 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

The starboard side tray has a pair of life vests, telescopic boat hook, a couple of docklines and a throwable floatation cushion.

100_3216 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

The port side tray has two life vests, a pair of docklines, a 30' long launching line, the mahogany rear flagstaff/sternlight, and a 4' paddle.

100_3217 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

The front seat base has a propeller puller kit, the onboard 10A battery charger, a small 12V handheld floodlight, first aid kit and a small distress signal kit.

100_3218 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

100_3219 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

And the final "finishing touch"... A small period correct Igloo cooler that came with the boat, just big enough for a 12 pack of longnecks for a relaxing day on the water.. ;) B)

100_3220 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

And a short "first start" video..... Enjoy.....

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="
" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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1973 Century Resorter 16, 225HP Chrysler LM318

1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express, 330HP Pleasurecraft 350 (383 Stroker)

1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 2 years 4 months ago #146297

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Oh the joys of being single!! Fixing to fire up a good cigar, crack open a cold beer, and sit down at the kitchen table and rebuild a carburetor. :laugh: :laugh: B)

100_3222 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

100_3221 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

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CC-John

1973 Century Resorter 16, 225HP Chrysler LM318

1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express, 330HP Pleasurecraft 350 (383 Stroker)

1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 2 years 4 months ago #146301

How you like using them seeing goggles? My eyesight not as good as it once was and considering something like that for when I am working on detailed stuff.

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1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 2 years 4 months ago #146302

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Fatlenny wrote: How you like using them seeing goggles? My eyesight not as good as it once was and considering something like that for when I am working on detailed stuff.


I have a love/hate relationship with them, but they really come in handy for doing fine detail work. I picked these up at Harbor Freight several years ago and For what they are, and for no more than I paid for them, they get the job done..

www.harborfreight.com/magnifier-head-strap-with-lights-38896.html

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CC-John

1973 Century Resorter 16, 225HP Chrysler LM318

1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express, 330HP Pleasurecraft 350 (383 Stroker)

1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 2 years 4 months ago #146331

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Well, it passed it's first float test.. Last Monday, I hauled it over to a local city park that has a large lake with a ramp and dumped it in. Didn't take any pics as I was busy with checking packing glands and thru hull fittings for any leaks, was also busy with doing the final engine alignment with it sitting in the water. Got the engine idle speed and mixture adjusted with it idling in gear while tied to the dock. The lake is posted for "no wake" speeds so I just spent about an hour idling around the lake acclimating myself to the controls and how well she responds to inputs from the helm. I have one small leak that I need to address near the shaft log, it looks like there's a small crack in the fiberglass next to the flange of the shaft log casting that's seeping a tiny bit of water. I'll have to pull the shaft and pull the shaft log to see what's going on where the shaft passes thru the bottom of the hull. At worst, I'll probably have to do a bit of glass work to get things sealed up before reinstalling the shaft log and prop shaft. Right now, I just need a nice warm weekend to haul her up to Lake Conroe so I can let her stretch her legs with a proper shakedown cruise..

But on to other things...

Been busy making a new plywood core for the padded dash facia. Part of it came loose from the dash last week because the old plywood core had rotted away in a few places. Made a template and cut a new core from 3/4" plywood and soaked it out with as much CPES as it would absorb before giving it a couple of coats of Century mahogany bilge paint just like the original. Gonna try to get the vinyl put back on it this week so I can reinstall it in the boat this weekend. It looks like I'll probably be making a new wood core for the top dash pad before long too as the core is pretty mushy feeling on each end. :dry:

100_3223 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

100_3224 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

100_3225 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

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1973 Century Resorter 16, 225HP Chrysler LM318

1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express, 330HP Pleasurecraft 350 (383 Stroker)

1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 2 years 3 months ago #146404

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Since the weather over the past few weekends hasn't been too cooperative for taking the boat out for it's first shakedown run, I've been busy knocking out a few little projects.

Finished up reinstalling the padded dash facia after making a new wood core for it. Found a mirror head to install on the OEM mirror base that I scavenged from a 1975 Resorter 16 parts boat I bought a couple years ago.

100_3233 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

Installed a set of courtesy lights under the gunnels and wired them to a switch on the dash next to the cigar lighter. I had several matching switch knobs that I scavenged from the parts boat..

100_3237 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

100_3231 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

Installed a small digital depth sounder at the bottom of the dash just to the right of the helm. I epoxied the transducer to the inside of the hull just behind the transmission, it has no problem with "shooting" through the hull and doesn't effect it's accuracy.

100_3232 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

Got some polished 316 stainless strap and made a pair of hoops for storing the fenders behind the front seat back on each side of the motor box. Made good use of wasted space in the boat.

100_3228 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

100_3229 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

Just waiting on a nice weekend to take her to the lake and let her stretch her legs.. B)

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CC-John

1973 Century Resorter 16, 225HP Chrysler LM318

1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express, 330HP Pleasurecraft 350 (383 Stroker)

1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 2 years 3 months ago #146406

Excellent!

Bob

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1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 1 year 8 months ago #147244

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Well..... I finally quit letting life and work interfere with having some "Quality Boat Time" and hauled the little Resorter down and dropped her in the San Bernard river for a maiden shakedown run.. Happy to report that everything ran smoothly, top speed was 48 MPH @ 5200 RPM with a 13 x 13 3 blade Nibral prop. Prop is at the prop shop having two inches of pitch and some heavy cup added to try and bring the RPM's down around 4500 at WOT.. Carb needs to be richened up a bit as the plugs were snow white from a lean mixture, got some jets & metering rods on order to solve that. Need to do another engine alignment as the engine has settled into its new engine beds.. But overall, it was a pretty uneventful shakedown cruise.. It also did pretty well on fuel consumption, burned about 14 gallons of premium fuel over four hours of hard running up and downstream.. Basically, I was driving it like a friggin' rental car!

Here's a pic walking back to the boat after parking the truck & trailer...

San Bernard River 10-9-22 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

Here's a short video I took while my buddy was nervously driving a boat for the first time.. LOL!!

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="
" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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1973 Century Resorter 16, 225HP Chrysler LM318

1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express, 330HP Pleasurecraft 350 (383 Stroker)

1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 1 year 4 days ago #148152

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Still kicking.. It's taken several "test & tune" trips to the river, but I think I've finally got the little Mopar dialed in. Adding two inches of pitch (13"x 15") and some heavy cup finally got the max RPM's down to 4500 RPM at WOT. By the GPS, she's hitting 52 MPH at WOT, and will effortlessly stay on plane at 2500 RPM on up. Ended up going up two jet sizes in the carburetor in order to richen it up enough to compensate for the ethanol laced fuel I run in it, plugs finally have a nice tan color now. The engine has finally settled into its new beds and engine alignment has stabilized. The alignment is dialed in so well now that when running it on the trailer, the propshaft slowly rotates in neutral just from the drag of the oil between the clutch plates.

youtube.com/shorts/LwNKFJGPcFM?feature=share

Last weekend, I got a call from an old family friend that has been following my rebuild of this little boat. He was cleaning out some closets ahead of an upcoming move and found his old O'Brien slalom ski and matching vest that he bought new back in the early 70's, and told me I could have them. The ski and vest are in amazing shape for their age, and the best part is the manufacturing date stamped on the vest is "1st Qtr. 1973" so it's a perfect period correct item for my Resorter. The ski, vest and the mid 70's vintage Igloo cooler that came with the boat when I bought it are the perfect staging props for displaying with the boat.

100_3290 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

100_3291 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

I also found a period correct Mopar performance "Direct Connection" decal for the top of the windshield just to let everyone know there ain't no stinkin' Chevy residing in the motorbox! B) :laugh:

100_3292 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

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1973 Century Resorter 16, 225HP Chrysler LM318

1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express, 330HP Pleasurecraft 350 (383 Stroker)

1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 1 year 4 days ago #148153

  • 63 Sabre
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Thanks for the ride. brings back lots of memories from my Century Sabre. Taken 13 years ago.


PS No stinkin' Chevy here either. AMC 327, 225hp :P

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1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 11 months 2 weeks ago #148215

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Spent some time this weekend doing something I've been wanting to do to this boat for a while, remove the swim platform and restore the transom ladder to it's original configuration. At some point in the boat's past, the original owner had a swim platform from a 1980's vintage 18' Resorter installed on the transom. Part of the installation involved cutting holes in the original floor at the transom to have access for the platform bracket mounting bolts. The other part involved cutting off the bottom step of the transom ladder. Once I got the boat operational, it became apparent that the platform was never located properly on the transom. It was mounted too low so that when the boat was at rest, the platform was constantly awash. The other problem that became apparent was since the platform was built for the wider 18' hull, it was about an inch wider than my hull on each side at the height the platform was mounted. This made it prone to snagging against docks or pilings when in tight quarters.

So this was the weekend that the platform "went away".. B)

I had a pair of butchered ladder rails from a roached out 1975 16' Resorter parts boat I bought a few years ago.. So with a bit of noodling, a few cases of beer, some heavy wall brass tube, some careful measuring, and the help of a buddy to remove the platform brackets and reinstall the bolts to plug the holes. I now have a very "original" looking transom ladder. It won't win any awards at a concours event, but it will be functional and probably stronger than the original design..

Just a reminder of what I started with.. Too much crap on too small of a transom...

100_3235 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

I cut the upper tread stanchions from the old parts boat ladder rails to replace my missing lower tread stanchions. The brass tubing that Century used for the ladder rails is 1" OD and 7/8" ID. A quick online search had a 2' length of 7/8" OD heavy wall brass tube on it's way. After cutting the rail tube to match the remaining length of my existing rails, I sleeved the joint inside the tube with a 10" length of the heavy wall tubing, secured with 3/16" stainless steel pop rivets thru the side of the rail that faces the transom.

IMG_20230721_184657_01 by cc_john67 , on Flickr
IMG_20230721_190121_01 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

And now for the "Money Shot"! :laugh:

IMG_20230722_130334_01 by cc_john67 , on Flickr

The joint in the rail falls exactly where the bracket for the optional "flip-down" ladder extension was mounted. Once I reproduce those brackets from some 1/8" 316 stainless steel plate and have a length of 1" stainless bow rail tubing bent to reproduce the extension, the splice in the rails won't even be noticed..

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1973 Century Resorter 16, 225HP Chrysler LM318

1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express, 330HP Pleasurecraft 350 (383 Stroker)

1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 11 months 2 weeks ago #148230

That's beautful work! I agree....I love the cleaner lines and the MOPAR badge personalizes it nicely.
I appreciate you sharing your materials and techniques.

Can't imagine how you can ever let go of it.......

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1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 11 months 2 weeks ago #148231

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Larsspar wrote: That's beautful work! I agree....I love the cleaner lines and the MOPAR badge personalizes it nicely.
I appreciate you sharing your materials and techniques.

Can't imagine how you can ever let go of it.......


You're more than welcome!

I don't ever plan on getting rid of it, this little Resorter is my "forever boat". It's going back down to a great fiberglass shop down in Kemah, TX in the fall to get all the really bad dock dings, battle scars from a previous trailer, and all mounting holes for the now removed swim platform repaired, Once they finish glassing up all the holes and matching the gelcoat, I'm also gonna have them strip the old boot stripes off and cut and buff the entire boat before installing a new set of stripes. Once my bank account recovers from that hit, I'll be getting a reproduction upholstery kit from A&A Marine , to get the interior restored to original condition.

I'm not much of a fan of modern boats or vehicles, if anything I just tolerate them.. Anything built in the last 30 years is just too homogenized for my tastes and loaded with more technology than is needed for a long, trouble free life.. To me, most modern vehicles and boats have all the personality of a cheap toaster from Walmart. :sick:

I wanted this boat to be my "time machine" to take me back to my childhood in the early/mid 1970's when I remember these boats when they were brand new. It does exactly what I want it to do every time I sit behind the wheel, turn the key and hear that little Mopar bark to life.. B)

And there is just something so entertaining and satisfying when cruising along at 25-30MPH, snap the throttle wide open, hear those secondaries open up on the 4-barrel carburetor and feel the seat back try to force its way through your spine while watching the speedometer rocket towards 50+ MPH! :P

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1973 Century Resorter 16, 225HP Chrysler LM318

1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express, 330HP Pleasurecraft 350 (383 Stroker)

1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 11 months 2 weeks ago #148232

  • 63 Sabre
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Super job of restoring. will be looking forward to the interior .
Good luck with that "forever boat" statement :laugh:
Can't remember how many times I've said that to myself until the next sweetie comes along or someone with deeper pockets shows up.
This was my forever boat until someone made an offer I couldn't refuse. You can move on.

It was a 1963 Sabre with the AMC 327cu in.
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1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 11 months 2 weeks ago #148233

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63 Sabre wrote: <snip>
Good luck with that "forever boat" statement :laugh: <snip>


Won't be a problem hanging on to this one.. I make it very clear to any prospective "sweetie" that there are three things in my life that will never be tabled for discussion or negotiation, they are boats, booze, and cigars.. B) I've also been informed by my 26yo nephew that helped with a lot of the work on the engine and floor replacement that I'd be flirting with death if I ever sold this little boat. He is more than ready and willing to become it's caretaker when I'm no longer able to.. B)

And honestly, this little boat is just so easy to launch and load single-handedly I regularly haul it down to the river on weekday afternoons for a quick rip. Way cheaper than hanging out on a shrink's couch! :lol:

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1973 Century Resorter 16, 225HP Chrysler LM318

1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express, 330HP Pleasurecraft 350 (383 Stroker)

1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 11 months 2 weeks ago #148235

I'm roughly the same age as you and could name any 70s car by just getting a glimpse of the front or back ends. Everything does look relatively the same now....lots of shared parts. I'm not a GM hater, but will always be drawn to the older, well made boats, powered by AMC, Chrysler, Buick, Oldsmobile, Ford etc. Someone posted a BMW/ Volvo combo that look interesting. Like the character and different sounds. Truly struggle with the "Chevy dah best!" and only choice crowd. The high freeboard of most modern boats kills the lines..

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1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 11 months 2 weeks ago #148246

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Larsspar wrote: I'm roughly the same age as you and could name any 70s car by just getting a glimpse of the front or back ends. Everything does look relatively the same now....lots of shared parts. I'm not a GM hater, but will always be drawn to the older, well made boats, powered by AMC, Chrysler, Buick, Oldsmobile, Ford etc. Someone posted a BMW/ Volvo combo that look interesting. Like the character and different sounds. Truly struggle with the "Chevy dah best!" and only choice crowd. The high freeboard of most modern boats kills the lines..


As a lifelong gearhead, I love all the old V-8's from all the manufacturers. But, I also understand the "Chevy only" crowd, Chevys are cheap, plentiful and you have to be an absolute dingbat to screw up a rebuild on one or not be able to make more power with them. :laugh: Most of the other brands require a bit of thought, planning, and effort to rebuild or improve power output. I also love the slightly different cadence in the exhaust note of the reverse rotation marine engines. I've had the pleasure of crewing on and piloting larger classic inboard cruisers with twin V-8's, and to listen to a pair of counter rotating V-8's singing in perfect harmony at 3000-3500 RPM is absolute bliss! I've also been on later model cruisers with modern full-reversing transmissions and a pair of standard automotive rotation engines, and they just don't have the same rhythmic harmony that a pair of the older counter rotating V-8's have. :(

I grew up driving straight inboard powered boats and have had other boats over the years powered by sterndrives and outboards, but I always gravitate back to a single inboard. A single inboard boat will teach you how to HANDLE a boat not just DRIVE a boat.. B)

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1973 Century Resorter 16, 225HP Chrysler LM318

1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express, 330HP Pleasurecraft 350 (383 Stroker)

1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 11 months 2 weeks ago #148247

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wholly agree. The sound of a gurgling V8 spitting out cooling water is a melody all it's own. Here's my 327 AMC. that mill was installed backwards, what would be normal "front" of the engine was facing stern. Really twisting your mind when installing plug wires and timing :laugh: Handling is the right word for inboards. Just about anyone can drive a outboard, I/O but you really have to know steering and "handling" an inboard especially running in reverse or backing out of a slip.....forget everything you think you know when doing that.
Here's an inboard at total comfort level.

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1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 11 months 1 week ago #148255

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63 Sabre wrote: wholly agree. The sound of a gurgling V8 spitting out cooling water is a melody all it's own. Here's my 327 AMC. that mill was installed backwards, what would be normal "front" of the engine was facing stern. Really twisting your mind when installing plug wires and timing :laugh: Handling is the right word for inboards. Just about anyone can drive a outboard, I/O but you really have to know steering and "handling" an inboard especially running in reverse or backing out of a slip.....forget everything you think you know when doing that.
Here's an inboard at total comfort level.


Your 327 being a "flywheel forward" setup was still actually a standard automotive rotation engine, turning the engine around like that and pulling power off of the crank snout gave the proper rotation at the propshaft for the right-hand propellers that all the early single inboards used.

My Chrysler is a true reverse rotation engine that has a specially ground camshaft that allows it to run "backwards" from the standard rotation of automotive engines. In addition to the special camshaft, the starter and crankshaft seals are different than the "standard" rotation engines. As far as firing order and setting timing goes, my Chrysler isn't any different than a standard rotation engine. It uses the standard small-block Chrysler firing order in reverse "1-2-7-5-6-3-4-8", where the standard automotive firing order is "1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2".

I love reversed engines and have built several of them over the years. A lot of guys tend to shy away from them as if they're cursed with some sort of voodoo or black magic. :laugh: They're just another engine to me!!B)

Here's a start up video of the reverse rotation small-block Chevy I built for my old Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express Cruiser. This engine started as a standard rotation 350 converted by Pleasurecraft Marine and was a running takeout from a mid 80's Supra skiboat. I had it bored .030 over and dropped a Scat stroker crankshaft in it with a set of .110 dished hypereutectic stroker pistons to bump it up to 383 cubic inches. I took a new, stock, reverse rotation camshaft over to a camshaft grinder in Deer Park, TX and had it reground to a 265/270 duration and offset ground it to add .100 lobe lift. It made the same horsepower and torque on 87 octane pump gas as a stock marine 454 big block, but without the big block's added weight. I dropped it in place of the original 225HP 305 Chevy that Chris Craft originally installed in the boat. It woke that old cabin cruiser up to say the least..

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CC-John

1973 Century Resorter 16, 225HP Chrysler LM318

1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express, 330HP Pleasurecraft 350 (383 Stroker)

1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 11 months 1 week ago #148256

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That is sweet!!
Great to hear. Thanks.

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1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 11 months 1 week ago #148260

It looks awesome without the swim platform but they do have there advanteges. Sorry been out of pocket with a damn kidney stone. I have a foldup boarding ladder for the 51' that will hang over any side I need. Mine will also have a flywheel forward but a 360, 350 bored .060 over, bit of a story on that one. Vortec heads so if I figured correctly I should have about 350/355 hp. I'll probably have to burn premium. I'll also need to let it rev to 1000rpm before I really hit it or i'll risk crank/block problems running off the snout I think.

I was always a Mopar guy when I was younger. My 73' Challanger had a 340 that would walk all over Camero 350's.

Bob

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1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 11 months 1 week ago #148265

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Waterwings wrote: It looks awesome without the swim platform but they do have there advanteges. Sorry been out of pocket with a damn kidney stone. I have a foldup boarding ladder for the 51' that will hang over any side I need. Mine will also have a flywheel forward but a 360, 350 bored .060 over, bit of a story on that one. Vortec heads so if I figured correctly I should have about 350/355 hp. I'll probably have to burn premium. I'll also need to let it rev to 1000rpm before I really hit it or i'll risk crank/block problems running off the snout I think.

I was always a Mopar guy when I was younger. My 73' Challanger had a 340 that would walk all over Camero 350's.

Bob


Kidney stones ain't no fun! Been there, done that..

Your engine will probably be fine as long as it has a steel crankshaft, a cast crank might survive if you really babied it. The weak link in most of those flywheel forward designs when you start trying to boost horsepower are the small damper plates and the transmissions. A family friend has a 1972 Chris Craft 28' Sports Express that was powered with a pair of 235HP Chris Craft 350Q's (flywheel forward). He had me build him a pair of 383 strokers to drop in it, I warned him that he'd start finding all the weak links in the drivetrain all the way back to the propellers with all the additional torque the strokers would produce. I built both engines with Scat forged steel stroker cranks, and had the original camshafts reground to the same grind I put in my stroker. We totally restored the engine's appearance with reproduction decal sets and proper paint so they looked like totally stock 235HP 350Q's.

The boat's original Paragon P200 hydraulic transmissions barely made it through the shakedown process getting the engines dialed in and propped right before they gave up the ghost. They got replaced with a pair of 72C Velvet Drives, but then the small damper plates started becoming the next weak link in the chain. The standard replacement dampers available for the flywheel forward engines didn't have strong enough springs to handle the additional torque of the strokers. He's now looking at having a set of custom dampers made that use the springs and internals from the readily available flywheel mounted big block dampers. I also had to run a big block damper on my 383 stroker as the standard small block dampers would only last a couple of years before they started rattling and knocking indicating the springs were collapsed.

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CC-John

1973 Century Resorter 16, 225HP Chrysler LM318

1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express, 330HP Pleasurecraft 350 (383 Stroker)

1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 11 months 1 hour ago #148299

Well now that we have the sire back up.......... SO yeah I think it's a cast crank but it is going to be connected to a 72C velvetmdrive, 1:1. I'll have to see aboput dampers. I just have what came with it snd can't be sure thery upgraded it.

Bob

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1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 10 months 4 weeks ago #148303

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Bob, I had the Velvet drive in my Sabre and it never gave me any cause for concern. After I sold the boat I sent all the literature and factory manual (s) for that drive to Jan (Nautilus) He should have the specs and books collecting dust somewhere in his pristine shop. That was quite a few years ago. He also has or had all the factory manuals for the AMC 327 Graymarine engine.

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1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 10 months 4 weeks ago #148308

Cool thanks Cal. I'll have to bug him. Haven't seen him on in quite a while.

Bob

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1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 10 months 3 weeks ago #148320

How do you guys tune your newly built inboard or I/O engines?

Dyno Tuner? Marine exhaust manifolds installed?

Any thoughts on fitting oxygen sensors to marine exhaust systems?

Perhaps you just take classic approach....adjust timing based on audible pings when under acceleration, adjust carb jetting by reading spark plugs etc....

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1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 10 months 3 weeks ago #148322

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Hmmm. Newly built or rebuilt? A new engine, factory or crate I don't think there is such a thing as "tuning" anymore. Everything is computer controlled/adjusted. Just replace parts that deep six.
Older engines are more than likely standard automobile motors converted for marine use, water pumps, spark arresting, fuel safety, etc. Most of those engines have starting points for your "tune". Timing, carb needles.
Put in fresh plugs, oil/filter if it has one. There are factory specific adjustments that have to be met before the engine will even start. Timing can by set usually 5 deg TDC +/- . carb needle usually 1 1/2 turns out. should get you started. If you don't have a manual for the engine go online and get the specs. Timing is key. if not right you'll know it right away, backfire, knocking, blown head gasket, and other disasters. You'll need a timing light for that. You can do listening but no guarantees on high end performance. Carb adjustments on the older ones are pretty straight forward. Once running adjust your idle to maybe 6oo rpm, not much lower or you'll stall out when shifting in gear. High speed jets are set.
I would advise get yourself a repair manual for the engine, even a Clymer or Haynes will have all your basic info. OR.....ask the experts here B)
Why would you even think of putting an O2 sensor on???

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1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 10 months 3 weeks ago #148337

Appreciate the response. Original Mercruiser 215E.....1969 Ford 302 with 351W heads dropped exhaust valve. Short block rebuilt to Mercruiser spec. New Eagle rods...had everything balanced. Heads rebuilt....hardened exhaust seats, exhaust ported, screw in studs, guide plates. Converting to mild roller cam Comp Cams stock 80s Mustang 260 duration, .533 lift, Howard's roller lifters. Comp Cams roller rockers. Stock Ford 4bbl cast iron intake, Holley 4160 (both stock Mercruiser) Stock Ford/Mercruiser distributor converted from points to solid state Pertronex. Oxygen sensors handy for properly jetting carburetor. (Easier to install on Automotive exhaust) Will likely take a little more timing and fuel than stock. Will likely make 250 to 260 HP. 35 to 45 more than stock. Thus my question...

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1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 10 months 3 weeks ago #148341

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I generally just read spark plugs to see how the rich or lean the mixture is. Trying to mount an O2 sensor in a wet marine exhaust is more trouble than it's worth on these older engines. If you're going to run AvGas or ethanol free fuel, your carb jetting will probably be fine. However, if you want to be able to run the booze laden pump gas, plan on increasing the main jets two or three sizes to compensate for the leaning of the mixture caused by the ethanol. Also plan on installing a phenolic carb spacer to insulate the carburetor from engine heat to prevent fuel percolation when shutting the engine down after a hard run. Modern gas will boil very easily and can make restarts difficult after an engine has heat soaked after being shut off. Also, do not shut off the heat risers to the intake. Installing restrictors is fine, but modern gas needs a bit of heat in the intake manifold to vaporize well enough to burn in these old engines.

Modern pump gas will also need anywhere from 4 to 5 degrees more spark advance to get it to burn effectively. As long as you stay below 30 degrees total advance detonation won't be much of an issue. Most of these old carbureted marine engines ran very conservative advance curves with most running 28 to 30 degrees total advance all in by 2200-2500 RPM. These old engines won't tolerate the 32 to 34 degrees total advance that their automotive cousins will without destructive detonation. On my old Chrysler, I ended up with an initial timing advance of about 6-7 degrees BTDC from the original 2 1/2 degrees BTDC. I also installed an advance limiter plate made for Chrysler distributors to keep my total advance down to 28 degrees total, all in by 2500. That's only 2 degrees more than the factory setup. This is where having a good digital advance timing light is essential.

Be careful running a camshaft ground for automotive applications. The valve overlap in most of those grinds can induce reversion pulses in the exhaust that can cause spent cooling water being dumped in the elbows to be pulled back into the exhaust manifolds. The old "log" style manifolds with the 180 degree outlet elbows. or the old 20 degree elbows like on my Chrysler were particularly susceptible to this issue. True "marine" grind cams have little to no valve overlap to prevent this from occurring. For the RPM range these engines operate at, increasing duration doesn't benefit them much. A modest increase in lift will usually net a nice bump in low and mid-range torque. I've had many stock marine camshafts reground to give an .080 to .100 increase in lift for a nice "seat of the pants" increase in low/mid-range torque, with a modest increase in fuel efficiency.

These old engines will respond very well to the old school "hot rod" mods of just cleaning up the ports in the heads and manifolds. Spending a bit of time with a die grinder to even out and clean up the bowls just below the valve seats and smoothing the transition at the valve guide, along with gasket matching the ports to the manifolds will easily free up an additional 45-50 HP from these old mills.

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CC-John

1973 Century Resorter 16, 225HP Chrysler LM318

1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express, 330HP Pleasurecraft 350 (383 Stroker)

1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 10 months 2 weeks ago #148345

Thanks for the good information John.

Sadly I will have to run fuel that contains ethanol. Compression will be in the 9.3 to 9.5 : 1 range (stock) the cylinder heads are closed chamber 61CC after machining I believe. I appreciate the advice on initial jetting and will jump up two sizes to begin with. As this is an I/O unit I'm stuck with the log style/180 degree elbows. I've found a closed cooling setup for it, so will be running heated manifolds with water to water heat exchanger. Do you have advice on therrmostat temps? I think Mercruiser recomended a 140 or 145 degree thermostat......seems a bit too cool.

Related to the cam, it's a Comp Cams 35-410-8, the smallest roller they make for the Ford small block. The profile does not appear to have much overlap and only bumps peak operating range up by 300 rpm to 4500. (you have me thinking though)

The heads were done by Brzezinski Racing Products. Randy specializes in working cast iron heads. He cleaned up the valve pockets as you suggest, smoothed the exhaust valve guide 'bumps' and enlarged the exhaust ports. All common Ford small block tricks. All this was done with torque in mind as opposed to a high RPM high Horsepower approach. It will breathe better in the 3500 to 4500 range no doubt. He matched the valve springs and seat pressures to my cam profile/lift specifications.

Great tip on the heat risers. They were blocked off per Mercruiser spec. Mercruiser did place a spacer between the carb and manifold, but I believe it's aluminum and not phenolic.

Thanks for the timing information. I'm in the final stages of restoring a SUN 500 series distributor testing machine. I'll use the Sun machine along with your advice to initially setup the distributor mechanical advance and then adjust further as needed once in the boat.

I'm not trying to build a hot rod, rather something that will reliably run the originally designed RPM ranges using modern components that reduce friction/wear and tear, increasing longevity. I hope to pickup a little performance while also increasing mileage. (make the cake and eat it too)

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1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 10 months 2 weeks ago #148349

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From my experience with small block Fords over the years, with the compression you have, you'll be feeding that little Windsor premium fuel to keep detonation at bay. Depending on how many hours you'll actually run the boat every season, it may be worth feeding it 100LL (low lead) AvGas. Here in Texas, there's no restrictions on using AvGas in any other off road vehicles, the only restriction is being able to stomach the buck or two per gallon more than premium unleaded from the corner gas station. I'm seriously considering feeding my old Chrysler 100LL as I'm growing weary of all the additives that have to be added to automotive gas to stabilize it and to protect the fuel system components from the corrosive effects of ethanol. Based on what I've been able to find out, 100LL Avgas is the closest thing available to the gasolines these old marine engines were designed to run on back in the late 60's and through the late 70's. You can find a local FBO in your area, with current prices at this website.
> www.100ll.com/

If you're gonna stick with booze laced fuels, get your mixture dialed in FIRST before messing with any timing adjustments. Set the ignition timing by whatever MerCruiser's specs were and make a few runs, read the plugs and get the mixture dialed in. Also, these engines were setup a bit on the rich side from the factory because of the heavy loading these engines see in marine use. Most were setup with an A/F ratio of 12.5 to 13:1 compared to the common 14.5 to 15:1 in automotive applications. A slightly rich mixture not only burns "cooler", but it's more resistant to detonation under heavy loads. On your old Holley carburetor, if it has the thin metering plate instead of a full metering block on the secondary side you may have to invest in a set of jet drills to enlarge the "jets' in the bottom of the plate.

Once you get the mixture where you want it and the engine will accelerate under load without any "lean bog", then start playing with the spark advance. More than likely, you have an old Prestolite distributor same as my Chrysler, you might be able to use the same advance limiter plate I use in mine to limit total advance without having to permanently modify the distributor by welding up the advance slots. I got mine from FBO Ignition . Might give them a shout and see if their plate will fit your distributor. When dialing in the timing, bump it up in two degree increments to creep up on the proper amount of advance to give you crisp acceleration without any "laziness". That will become your new "initial" advance setting when checking it at idle speed.

Here's the distributor timing curve from my Chrysler Marine service manual for my LM318. Most small block marine engines will run a similar advance curve.

While having a distributor machine is nice, a good digital advance timing light will tell you all you need to know. As my grandpa used to say, "We ain't sending it to the moon son"..:lol:

Most marine engines run a 160 degree thermostat on closed cooled engines, the 140/145 degree is generally for "open" cooling systems as the cooler temp prevents scale buildup in the water jackets when the engine is operated in salt or brackish water. Check your service manual as some marinizers specified a cooler heat range spark plug for engines equipped with closed cooling. My Chrysler manual specifies a plug that's a couple heat ranges cooler than the plug listed for the open cooling systems.

The "max RPM" listed for these engines in the manuals is just for sizing propellers so the engine is properly loaded. The designed continuous "cruising" RPM for most of these old engines is 3000 to 3500 RPM, the cam grinds in these engines were chosen with that in mind. Also, on your first outing to break in the engine, make a note of your WOT RPM. If your max RPM is a few hundred RPM over the max, you'll need to either get that prop repitched or source a higher pitch prop to bring down the RPM's before diving into fine tuning the engine. A good rule of thumb is one inch of pitch is good for a 250 RPM change. My old Century's OEM prop (13x13 3-blade nibral) was pretty close to spot on before I "massaged" the heads and manifolds. The first trip out, it spooled up to 5100 RPM before any jetting or timing changes, max WOT range for my Chrysler is 4000-4400. Added 2" of pitch and heavy cup to the original prop and that pulled it down to around 4500 WOT so I could begin dialing in the mixture and timing. After getting everything dialed in, I've picked up another 300 RPM at WOT, maxing out at 4800 now. Fixing to order a 13x17 3-blade Nibral so I can dial in the Max RPM to about 43-4400 RPM lightly loaded..

Oof.... Didn't mean to write a friggin novel! :blink: :laugh:

Hope some of this helps!
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CC-John

1973 Century Resorter 16, 225HP Chrysler LM318

1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express, 330HP Pleasurecraft 350 (383 Stroker)

1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 10 months 2 weeks ago #148358

Thanks John....I enjoyed the detailed read.

I'm likely stuck with ethanol laiden fuel as I intend to take journeys in the boat similar to Terry DI and his Seafair Sedan.....will need to fill up at marinas along the way. Expecting a range of 120 miles under favorable conditions, average load and 1/2 to 2/3 throttle. Anxious to see the true results.

Related to props, I've located used versions of 4 pitch ranges per the Mercruiser Owner's Manual that came with boat. Once tuned, will sell what I can't use. I understand and agree that when matched properly, the prop is meant to govern peak engine rpm.

Good plug heat range advice. I'll check my literature for specifications on both open and closed setups.

I appreciate it takes time to write detailed posts like you have. Thanks for sharing your knowledge....it's very helpful to me.

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1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 10 months 2 weeks ago #148359

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No problem, glad to help!

Since you're gonna be running booze laden gas. Have you pulled the fuel tank out of the boat and had it cleaned and inspected? Ethanol is a very effective fuel system cleaner and will loosen up all the accumulated varnish and related crud that tends to build up in boat fuel tanks. If the tank hasn't been cleaned, be sure to keep plenty of replacement fuel filters on board as you'll probably get real good at changing them as the ethanol loosens up and scrubs out the mung in the fuel tank. If your tank is aluminum, you'll need to run one of the available fuel additives that will protect the tank, carburetor, and other metal fuel system components from the corrosive nature of ethanol.

I tend to prop my engines at the upper end of the recommended RPM range at WOT. I generally do this with the boat lightly loaded, half to 3/4 tank of fuel, and one person on board. Doing it this way will keep you from lugging the engine with a full load of passengers and gear, this also tends to give the best compromise on top speed and fuel economy. Generally, propping to the low end of the range will net the highest top speed, propping to the high end will give better acceleration out of the hole as it allows the engine to "spool up" into it's power band easier.

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CC-John

1973 Century Resorter 16, 225HP Chrysler LM318

1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express, 330HP Pleasurecraft 350 (383 Stroker)

1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 10 months 1 week ago #148364

Boat has two 18 gallon Tempo steel gas tanks. The insides look brand new with mild corosion on the exterior bottoms. My challenge was as originally installed, they were layed on the floor of the boat. (port and starboard in the sterm) Fellow member Jimandros enlightend me about Tempo tank installation kits that provide an air gap under the tanks when installed. I was able to find two kits on eBay. To clean up the tanks I removed the tank fittings, taped the holes closed and media blasted them. The exterior bottoms of the tanks had some pitting and I found one pin hole which I welded closed. Gave them an acid wash and then hit them with epoxy sealer, epoxy high build primer and epoxy paint. To my dismay, the matched expoxy paint proved to be three shades darker than the original color. Finally, after a drywall screw/acetone flush out, finished by pouring Caswell gas tank sealant into each tank. This did a nice job coating the bottoms and seams of each tank. Aside from the large fuel filter/water separator at the engine, each tank will have a local filter. The lines will then feed into a 4 postion valve (all closed, port open, starboard open, port/starboard open) and through a fuel flow meter before heading to the engine. Agree I will likely need to add marine stabil during each fill up. (unless you have better ideas)

Your approach to propping makes sense. If I want to go searching for 55 mph, I can empty the boat and know where I can find a 1970s 19 inch 29 pitch prop for a Bonneville Salt Flats style run. Reality though is the boat will be used for cruising and pulling kids around on tubes, inflatable barcaloungers, boards and skis. Your sizing advice aligns well with my planned usage.

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1973 Century Resorter 16 Restore 10 months 1 week ago #148365

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Sounds like you have the tanks covered. You'll still need the fuel additives to help protect the carburetor, fuel pump, and other aluminum fuel system components from corrosion, and to keep these modern fuels stable in storage. Modern fuels only have about a 45-60 day shelf life in the open vented fuel systems in these old boats, stabilizers are essential to keeping this swill where it will burn cleanly and not break down. It should go without saying to also only use USCG certified alcohol resistant fuel hose for the fuel fill hoses, vent lines, and feed runs from the tanks to the engine.

I've deviated from originality in a few areas of my rebuild in order to drag the fuel and electrical systems of my boat up to modern USCG and ABYC standards, as a lot of things have been improved since these old boats rolled off the assembly line in the early 70's. I also wasn't looking to do a "concours correct" restoration anyway, I'm happy with a good "user" grade resto as I plan on using this boat as it was meant to be used. On the fuel system, I had a new aluminum fuel tank built to current USCG standards to replace a substandard replacement aluminum tank that had replaced the original steel tank sometime in my boat's past. All fuel hoses were upgraded to current USCG alcohol resistant hoses, and I added a Racor primary water separating fuel filter before the fuel pump to supplement the OEM filter between the pump and carburetor. On the electrical side of things, the engine harness got brought up to snuff with circuit breakers installed on the alternator output and the dash feed circuits like Chrysler began doing on all engines built after 1974. The boat's electrical system got updated with a larger modern fuse panel with fused, dedicated feeds direct from the battery instead of being piggybacked off of the engine harness dash feed as original.

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1973 Century Resorter 16, 225HP Chrysler LM318

1978 Chris Craft 251 Catalina Express, 330HP Pleasurecraft 350 (383 Stroker)
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