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Moving a 46 roamer north - help!

Discussion in 'Chris Craft Roamer Yacht' started by erikgreen, Sep 15, 2010.

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  1. erikgreen

    erikgreen New Member

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    Hello, all;


    A friend of mine just bought a 46 foot long 1968 roamer that he wants to use as a live aboard scuba dive boat on the great lakes. It is located in Mobile, AL at the moment. Aluminum hull, twin 8v71 diesels, and a flybridge. It's about 24' high with the arch, 46' long, and 15' wide.

    After researching various options for hauling it up on a trailer, the best quote he got was $13,500, and that was after paying someone else $5000 to remove the upper windows, arch, and fly bridge to get the height under 14 feet.

    He tried sending two of our captains (commercially licensed guys) south to fuel it up and drive it north, but used boats being what they are they had big problems... both exhaust muffler boxes had huge corrosion and leaks, and the bilge pumps didn't keep up well enough. In two weeks of attempted travel they managed to move about 100 miles successfully.

    Now the boat is stuck at a marina in Mobile, and my friend is planning on paying $8000 for the shop there to pull out the muffler boxes and replace them with fiberglass straight pipes so the boat can drive north. If you add up the fuel cost and crew cost for the trip, it'd be cheaper at this point to put it on a truck... if you could find one that would haul a 16 foot tall boat (or 14 if you also pay for the removal of the top).

    He doesn't have any choice from his point of view - he believes there's no way for anyone up here to fly down there and remove the boat top, and no way we'll find anyone cheaper than $13k to haul it.

    I'm thinking he's being ripped a new one by the yard down there, plus he's still got to pay for fuel and the trip north, and that's assuming NOTHING else goes wrong.

    So... with all that in mind, can anyone give us advice? How hard is it to remove the fly bridge and windows/roof on the bridge to shrink the height? Could two people do it without a crane or heavy tools?

    Has anyone hauled this size roamer around by truck, and if so what did it cost?

    What's a reasonable price to pull the muffler boxes and replace them with straight fiberglass pipes?

    I've seen the thread here on a 46 roamer restore, and I've read it eagerly.. I believe our roamer has the original wood upper structure, and it may even need replacement at this point. I don't think it's impossible for a couple of us to remove it.

    Advice/comments welcome, if desired I can find and post a few pics.

    Erik
  2. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    If it is a wooden top and you are planning to replace it, a trip to Home Depot to get a chainsaw and a couple of tanks full and you should have it off no worries.

    Alternatively leave it on and just start driving the lowest thing you drive under will be the height of the load when you get home.

    On a serious note, is this journey going up a river or along the east coast?
  3. jhall767

    jhall767 Senior Member

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    Middle River MD
    The price for converting those mufflers probably has a great deal to do with the interior cabin work. If he just wants to rip it out it should be a lot cheaper. Your friend really needs to be down there or have a representative down there. Unless he's moving it himself the trucking option sounds like the cheapest route. Captain + Fuel + marina is probably going to run $3-$6 a mile at the cheapest. Maybe more. Time to take a week or two off and get some sweat equity in the project.
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I would get a quote to replace the mufflers by other people in addition to the yard it is at. Whether the mufflers are replaced in Mobile or Michigan, they still need to be replaced and the money still needs to be spent. A representative is highly recommended. I would think a captain worth his salt should be able to cut them out, or in pieces with a sawzall and just run wet exhaust hose from the thru-hull to whatever joint or part of the exhaust that is good, enough to make the trip safely. If having the yard replace, I would highly recommend replacing what's there with new mufflers.....especially if the engines are naturals.

    I don't know what the flybridge looks like, but two guys should be able to get everything loose and ready to transport in 2-3 days and you will need to rent a small crane to put the flybridge on the front deck most likely. I am not 100% familiar with the boat you are talking about.
  5. erikgreen

    erikgreen New Member

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    Yeah..

    He actually spent time driving the two captains down there and helping them get on the way.... he strongly believes that it's not possible to remove and later reinstall the top parts of the boat without spending weeks of time down there with a couple helpers.

    I've got to try to convince him it's not a big deal to remove the top and re-install later... especially since its' probably half rotten anyway.

    K1W1, the plan was to drive up the Tenn-Tom toward Chicago, then get into Lake Michigan, via the Sault locks to Superior, then west.


    Erik
  6. JOE.B

    JOE.B New Member

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    I have made the Tn Tom 440 mile trip to Yellow Creek A the Tn River at least 120 times as a tow boat guy. It' a tuff trip with not a lot of places to stop or refuel. 6 lockes after Denopolis, and hope there isn't big rain. Tn River 200 miles to the Oh R. 60 miles to the MS, then UPSTREAM 350 MILES TO ALTON, Il River UPSTEAM TO CHI (13.5 ft low bridge)and around the horn AND AROUND THE HORN to where ever. I have made that trip a dozen times to Lake St Clair. It will be a 26 day trip min if they can make 100 miles a day UPSTREAM which I don't think they can.

    They could try to make it up the Tn Tom to Yellow Creek at stop at Lee Spey Marine on the left desending bank. He can Fix anything that is wrong with th boat, and winter there. Or pay about $10 a mile for the Hyd truck and two chase cars.

    That's why it is not what you buy as much as where you buy like buying a house in CA as opposed to TN. And buying a fresh water alloy boat as opposed to a salt water alloy boat.

    Welcome to to the Catch 21 of boating.

    I offer your friend the b est of luck on his adventure...
  7. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    i was wondering the same thing... the captains should be able to do the repair. is there someting really that special about the boat where replacing the existing muflers with glass muflers and some exhaust hose is so hard? on my old Hatt i have 8V71Ns and exhaust hose runs towards the stern where i have a glass mufler (behind cabinetry in the master). i'm sure that roamer has access panel to get to the area. not a pleasant job but not an 8k deal.
  8. Shangri-La

    Shangri-La Senior Member

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    Pensaukee, WI
    To get more shipping quotes where companies will bid on your shipment ebay style, Try www.uship.com/shipping/boats/

    If coming up by water, the Coast Guard closes the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal for maintenance on the Fish Barrier that keep the Asian Carp from entering Lake Michigan. Hears a link from the Coast Guard to stay on top of what's happening. www.uscg.fishbarrierinfo.com/
  9. erikgreen

    erikgreen New Member

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    I'll get some pics

    I'll get some pics of what work is potentially being done. From what I gather, it's just a matter of replacing the old muffler boxes (which were steel with an internal muffler) with wet pipes to the stern. I have a pic of one of the boxes with about a third of it flat gone due to corrosion.

    FYI, we did get a surveyor's report before buying... it had a lot of sections saying "I can't vouch for the condition of XXX, I didn't take it apart to look".

    We've been watching the Chicago Sanitary canal stuff with fascination... we'd like the carp out of the great lakes more than we want the boat up north, but at this point frankly it's a close call.

    With regard to uship, that's where we tried to get quotes. The search we did for "similar" shipments told us the price would be about $5000, but when we finally put in our info the quotes we got were all around $14k.. we're guessing because of the height of the boat, or maybe we did something wrong. Possibly we should re-post and tell people the height of the boat without the bridge in place?

    Erik
  10. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    The link posted above shows this:

    Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal vessel restrictions set to begin
    Sept. 7, 2010 are canceled

    Chicago - The restrictions to vessel traffic on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in the vicinity of the electric fish barrier set to begin on September 7th and run through Sept. 11th have been canceled. We appreciate the public’s understanding of the challenges posed by this dynamic project.

    Looks like you won't have any problems with it.
  11. JOE.B

    JOE.B New Member

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    Location:
    KILLEN AL
    Moving Roamer

    If you want the boat moved correctly, Call Alician @ 315 255-2936,
    Mention you were refereed by Capt JOE.B, Tell her you would like a back haul
    price when they have FL move. Most boats go south in the winter.

    GOOD LUCK.. EOM
  12. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Re: having captains make the repairs. Most captains can do it, but they get paid by the day not by the hour. DK what you pay captains in your area, but it wouldn't be cost effective at my day rate. Plus it's not their forte so expect them to take longer than the yard would, and maybe not do as clean a job. Every man to his trade. On top of that a couple more delays enroute and an early winter and who knows where the boat will be sitting for the next 6 months. My advice would be either to bite the bullet and truck it or find a decent yard near where she lies and let them do the necessary work to prepare for a cruise north in the spring.
    About feeling ripped off, get used to it. Just B reak O ut A nother T housand. Welcome to boating.
  13. 61c40

    61c40 Member

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    46 roamer

    I think your clearance measurements are suspect 24 feet seems a little high probably closer to 17or18 ft with radar arch, cheaper in the long run to truck it considering its already Sep 16th! The run to Deluth from Chicago in Oct/Nov is tough enough in a dependable vessel let alone one that is in need of maintenance/overhaul!!! If you do pull the flybridge photograph the wireing terminals strips and label what you can, it will make reassembly much easier
  14. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    "DK what you pay captains in your area, but it wouldn't be cost effective at my day rate"

    the question is what do yard charges over there, the average captain pay rate is nowhere near the $70 to $90 most yards charge boat owners... maybe boat also means Bend Over And Take it. :(
  15. erikgreen

    erikgreen New Member

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  16. Shangri-La

    Shangri-La Senior Member

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    The flybridge has to come off while transporting on a trailer. It's not that difficult to do. Measure it from the hardtop to the ground. That will be about the height of it on a trailer. Then get your quotes to have it transported.
  17. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Before you remove the flybridge be sure to run several pieces of tape from the bridge to the roof and then cut them to help you line it back up for reassembly.
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    After seeing the pictures, that's an easy bridge to take off. It should take 2 guys 2 days to get it loose and ready to come off and a crane to lift it.
  19. roamer nut

    roamer nut Guest

    100 miles a day isnt unlikely UNTIL the Mississippi where 50-60 is the norm depending on time of year, currents, rainfall etc. My 58 TC Hatteras and I made the Mobile to Chicago trip (home!) in about 15 days in May with the Miss at 20 feet ABOVE FLOOD. Yes, thats correct! There were several layovers for various work and logistics. We left Mobile in January and made it home May 20th. We tried to stay overnight at different marinas every other day, and in between that was camping out.
    We stayed in Iuka Ms for 2 months and Seneca, Il for a few weeks to lower the radar arch. Once we got to Lemont Ill, we negotiated the 20 foot clearance (+ or -) with about 8 inches to spare. Pics dont lie! r n

    Attached Files:

  20. q240z

    q240z New Member

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    erikgreen, I'm the guy doing the keel up rebuild of a 46' Roamer.

    The steel "suitcase" mufflers on these all rot out. If somebody had one with original mufflers that wasn't rotted out yet, they should probably go buy a lottery ticket. Two (or four???) bolts and two steel straps hold each one in place. There's no cabinet removal or other work necessary because the exhaust is schedule 40 aluminum pipe that's welded in from the transom to the aft bulkhead of the engine room. There's a short hose (8~10" long)that connects the pipe where it enters the engine room to the suitcase muffler, and another hose that connects from the muffler to the engine side (lengths vary depending on what power you've got).

    I removed my mufflers in about one hour each. They're heavy, but one person with proper safety gear--boots, gloves, etc--can haul 'em out without too much trouble.

    As far as replacements, I wouldn't run straight hose because the amount of time and expense to do it right doesn't justify cheaping out. The clowns who quoted $8k must think your buddy is stupid.

    You could have somebody fab up a set of steel or stainless replacements that were identical to the originals, but I suspect that would be the more expensive approach. Another option would be to run with off-the-shelf waterlift mufflers. They will quiet down those Detroits very well, which would be a good thing on a long run. You can get them with angle-in, top out configuration for hose sizes up to 10" diameter. Toss in an off-the-shelf fiberglass anti-siphon loop and a 90* bend to point the hose straight at the aluminum exhaust pipe and you're done.

    Depending on where your batteries are located, you might need to shift them forward to make space for waterlift mufflers.

    5" units, which are too small I'd imagine (but close), are less than $200 each on ebay. Good hose and clamps might add $200 or so to the price of install. Basically, it's a one-day job if you take your time and make everything pretty.

    The only other concern that comes to mind is the state of the 15' long aluminum pipes to the transom. On my boat they were pitted through in many places, but that had more to do with Cu from the SeaMaster copper risers attacking the aluminum than anything else. But even if the tubes required replacement, which is unlikely I think, you would only need a welder/fabricator for a day and the tubes are ~$250 each.

    None of this is rocket science. Anybody who can work a socket and screwdriver could pull it off with a Walmart "all-in-one" tool kit.

    The 871-powered 46' Roamers will do 20kts through the water, but they'll drink their fill of the red stuff at that speed. 100 miles/day is completely doable unless you're in "lock & low bridge hell."