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1961 Roamer 31' Express resto by 21 year old

Discussion in 'Chris Craft Roamer Yacht' started by Aspivek, Sep 20, 2010.

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  1. Aspivek

    Aspivek New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
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    Location:
    Racine, WI
    So I finish fixing up my old 30' Sea Ray and sell it. At that moment I say im done with big boats (fuel and storage kills ya)and I start looking for something in the 18-22 range. Wouldnt ya know I just cant get away from these bigger boats and I end up buying a 1961 Chris Craft Roamer 31' Express that needs hull work, probably in a little too deep for only being 21 years old. To get the boat I only had to pay off the storage owed for one summer so i'm not into it too deep but man what am I thinking! In all seriousness I have done a lot of research on Roamers and repairing steel hulls before taking this plunge along with spending almost half a day going over the boat top to bottom taking notes on everything, I guess it can be called an educated plunge. This is going to be the 8th boat ive fixed up and by far the most time consuming and expensive.

    The good:

    The engines both run and only have about 200 hours on rebuilds.

    I cant find any rotton wood on the whole boat, believe me I looked high and low.

    It has a generator that should run

    The interior is in beautiful shape and wont need much work except for some cleaning and minor touching up of the wood work and new carpet.

    It is not missing any parts that I can see

    The Bad:

    It has two small holes in the front by the keel

    About a 2'x12' section on the bottom should be cut out and replaced, I want to fix it right.

    Most of the exterior wood work has to be redone, but still no rot.

    The steering is stuck, but I think its just rusted in place.

    It will need to be completely painted top to bottom.
  2. Aspivek

    Aspivek New Member

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    16
    Location:
    Racine, WI
    I guess i'm going to start by sand blasting the hull and seeing whats hiding.
  3. roamer nut

    roamer nut Guest

    Good for you young man!! Im sure Q240Z will contribute about rudder freeze! Typically, those are stainless shafts with wet packing in a brass nut on a steel post. Get a quart of PB Blaster in there with a string to "wick" oil onto the shaft above the packing. Let it drip in there for a week and work the wheel occasionally. Thats all mechanical steering and you should be able to have the wheel turn by moving the rudders. C clamp a short 2X4 on the blade and gain some leverage!
    The worst place for rot is below the front cabin windows/bulkheads, the back end of the side window/bulkheads, and the lower corners of the windshields. Is the roof fiberglass or painted canvas. If its the latter, be prepared to change that out with some bad wood underneath that.
    I would guess that the power is 6 bangers or 283 Chevies. Maybe an MCCK 6.5 Onan generator? Those are 2 cylinder opposed units and quiet, or a 4 banger Kohler.
    I have a '63 36' Roamer for almost 40 years and enjoy it immensly. Get yerself a MIG welder and a sawzall and have at it! Just make sure you do a good job so we can all be proud of you! r n
  4. Aspivek

    Aspivek New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
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    16
    Location:
    Racine, WI
    I will try that right away.

    Mine must have 283's the guy at the marina thought they were 327's but I guess he could be wrong...I know thy're small blocks.

    The generator is a onan 6.5

    The cabin roof is painted canvas

    RM if you dont mind me asking what the name of your boat? My parents had a 35' Bayliner at Mckinley for almost 15 years and I probably know your boat... I used to keep my boats at Harborside before moving to Kenosha.
  5. Aspivek

    Aspivek New Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Racine, WI
    I'm trying to learn as much I can about the actual boat and nobody really knows too much about it. The orginal owner passed and the family had not been paying the storage and gave it up. I found the boat last Friday and kind of jumped on it quickly when I found out the price.
  6. Ormond Bert54

    Ormond Bert54 Senior Member

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    Location:
    Ormond Beach, FL
    Sounds like a great project. I have a friend who (at age 21) was able to do excellent work ... frame off automobile restorations including beautiful fiberglass and paint work. So I believe it can be done.

    I am still learning AT AGE 47! It could not be done by me!

    So my hat is off to you. Post some photos of your new boat and your progress!
  7. roamer nut

    roamer nut Guest

    My boat was actually in Sturgeon Bay from 63-80 when my dad died and I brought her to chi-town. Been overnite at McKinley but never as a regular. I am in negotiation on a house on the river in Two Rivers with a nice dock... come for a visit! r n
  8. roamer nut

    roamer nut Guest

    BTW.... 185s are 283s and 210s are 327s. Mine now has Merc 330s which are 454s... what a major difference!!
    Was your boat at a yard by some old train tracks? Looked at two next to each other years ago...Racine maybe? r n
  9. Aspivek

    Aspivek New Member

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    Location:
    Racine, WI
    I'll have to look into it and see what motors it has. What kind of speed should I expect with the 283s or 327s?

    I found the boat in Racine at a boat yard I wouldnt be suprised if its the same boat.
  10. Aspivek

    Aspivek New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
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    Location:
    Racine, WI
    I know a few of guys in Milwaukee with Roamers and saw that you lived there in your info. I'd love to take this thing up by you and then hopefully to Door County once I get her going.

    Do you have any pictures of your boat?
  11. Aspivek

    Aspivek New Member

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    Location:
    Racine, WI
    the boat will hopefully be sand blasted by later in the week/weekend

    then the welder is going to come
  12. roamer nut

    roamer nut Guest

    Careful with that blasting! If you get down to orange primer, thats a pretty decent barrier coat they used at the factory. When the blaster comes around and above the chine, be prepared to enconter fairing compound (bondo) which it IS NOT!! Dont think about blasting the hull sides unless yer a good body man... trust me on that! If theres a little spot or crack in the fairing here or there, spot blast that clean down to the steel and then make a repair. Make sure all the doors and windows are closed up tite! Even some tape over the window joints will keep a ton of dirt out of the inside.
    I just did mine last spring, used 2000 + lbs of black beauty and finished with two full coats of coal tar epoxy then bottom paint. The coal tar is about $40 for a gallon (two part) and is an excellent electrical barrier coat. r n

    Attached Files:

  13. roamer nut

    roamer nut Guest

    Just a shot showing the coal tar (immersion grade) and, the finished project! r n

    Attached Files:

  14. Aspivek

    Aspivek New Member

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    Location:
    Racine, WI
    Can you buy coal tar at any home improvment store?

    Whats the best bottom paint for steel boats in fresh water?

    Roamer Nut youre boat looks great I hope mine looks that good some day.

    Is the flybridge factory?
  15. roamer nut

    roamer nut Guest

    I would go to a Sherwin-Williams paint store that has an adult English speaking counterman and ask there. The stuff we used is STRICTLY INDUSTRIAL made by Koppers. Its CARBOLINE 300M Immersion grade. GOOGLE it. Roll it on or spray it and thin sparingly with MEK. My pal can order it for you plus shipping of course. Its HOT stuff and splatter feels like paint stripper. Dress accordingly!
    My boat being aluminum will not tolerate any copper based paints. I am limited to Interlux TRI-LUX or Pettit (yuck) alumaguard. Steel is another story... You need to do some research on dissimilar underwater metal bonding, as long as you are doing a complete bottom job.
    That flybridge came off of a wood 1968 Uniflite and only seats two... my pal calls it the Ferarri Flybridge. r n
  16. Aspivek

    Aspivek New Member

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    Location:
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    Roamer Nut i'll let you know if I have any trouble finding it. Your boats beautiful I love the lines.
  17. Aspivek

    Aspivek New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
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    Location:
    Racine, WI
    I've been looking at a lotof roamer hull and noticed a lot of them have 2-4 zincs and mine has none...should I add some?
  18. roamer nut

    roamer nut Guest

    I would... even in fresh water you need to bond (tie together) any dissimilar metals to the zinc. That is the sacrificial anode. ABSOLUTELY remove the CAPAC system if its still there. . If you have one, theres two 10 inch discs on the hull about 8 feet apart. Cut those wires too and leave them in situ to plug the holes.
    I needed about 125 lbs to provide the cathodic protection required. Start reading! r n

    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...uZZQrv&sig=AHIEtbTJE6-M9caNdbVh1wUYcVnJvzj39w