Archive for the ‘Chris-Craft’ Category

Riviera pulled from storage

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

Brought home our Riviera this afternoon to begin our yearly inspection.


Our riviera’s year is over

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Uncovered our Chris-Craft this afternoon…

Took the trailer to Independence and backed the trailer in along the center concrete divider. (All the docks are out…) HillyBilly gave me a ride home.

Me, Lizzy, and Sam pushed off at 2:15pm and ran down to the dam arriving at 2:50pm. HillyBilly was at the dam to help hook up our Rivi. We were loaded and home a little after 3pm…

Spent a few hours cleaning MJ…

MJ’s inspection

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Everything checked out okay. So on to the water test… Floats, runs – all good!

Got MJ in the Driveway

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Finally got the space cleared out enough to bring our Riviera home this evening.

I’ve been crazy busy working on the garage addition and I’m still not really in a position to slack-off on it yet, but almost…

In the meantime (when it’s too hot to work on the garage) I can clean/inspect the Chris-Craft. Usually I over-do-it so hopefully there won’t be any major problems to address and she can be floating by the weekend.

Algonac – Where it all began…

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

This is “Where It All Began.” Sponsored by the Michigan chapter of the ACBS in the place where Smith and Wood lived, worked and played. Algonac Michigan is located on the St.Clair River. It’s wide and deep with little jet ski’s running along with freighters and such. The show was held at the Algonac Harbour Club and consists of some deep water docks with many large boats. Back behind the restaurant, the woodies were moored below for everyone to view. There was plenty of room for us to have our dogs here… We’ll be marking this show in our calendar for next year!

This particular boat show was special in that a statue of Gar Wood and Christoper Smith was unveiled next the Algonac/Clay Historical Society Museum. Most of the remaining Smith’s and Wood’s were there for the event and our timing couldn’t have been better. We arrive just after the unveiling just in time to see many of the woodies cruising by in a parade.

We got quite a few good pictures while we were there. Here’s a few random ones from our gallery…

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Be sure to check out the rest of the photos in our Gallery

And, while there we also saw a “WoodyBoater” pick-up truck, so be sure to check out his site for more coverage of the event and some even better photos a few post down…

Rash Repair Update

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

pictures/update coming soon…

Dock Rash Repair

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Our Chris-Craft Riviera is about ready

A day with NCO of ACBS

Monday, June 7th, 2010

The North Coast Ohio chapter of the ACBS in centered around Akron, and seems to be home/cottage owners of Portage Lakes. We arrived around 12:45pm at Portage Lakes state park’s boat ramps off of 93 just a mile south of 619. Had no idea where to go from the docks and tried to call Jack Lynett to no avail as our cell wouldn’t connect? Shortly after getting out of the channel though, we could see a line of woodies docked across the lake at the Turkeyfoot Island Club.

There were only nine boats present at the NCO Rendezvous but it was a stormy overcast day. A few of the boats that showed up…
xxx xxx

Riviera’s Ready

Monday, June 7th, 2010
Our Riviera has had some time in the water and is running great. But for the record, our blog entry, “Pre-Season Prep,” didn’t include any photos. Well, I got a new camera for my birthday from my mom. So, here’s a few pictures…

Old fuel tank
strap connectors


New connection

And new flax in our Shaft-log and Rudder-log…
And we were pleasantly surprised
to see the bilge cleanup so well…
And for a recap of some of 2009’s work: The transom and aft quarter-round was stripped down to bare wood, sanded, stained, and varnished. The second picture below shows the difference in color between the years of service…
All in all, everything has been good this year. We spent less than 100 hours preparing for this years boating season. That about 1/4 of the time spent most years…


Ready to Ride in 2010…

Riviera’s 2010 Pre-Season Inspection

Monday, May 24th, 2010
Our Chris-Craft Riviera has been home almost 3 weeks and things are looking good this year.
Last year at the end of the season, we were taking on lots of water (from the rudder’s packing). Plus the 2009 preseason inspection was frightening to say the least…

West System bottoms can have unexpected problems with water trapped in the wood!

Our biggest concern this year was the integrity of the bottom and the packings for the rudder and the shaft logs. The shaft-log packing wasn’t a major concern because of its accessibility and the fact that it’s been re-packed a few years ago. The packing for the rudder was hopefully the cause of last year’s water problems — not something with the bottom.

First was accessing the rudder-log…
(which still contains the original flax packing)

The fuel tank and filler-tube.
The fuel tank’s fill-tube removed.
Filler-tube and it’s parts…
Not being sure whether the fuel tank would fit out the hatch nor wanting to take any chances damaging the deck, I opted to remove the fuel tank through the starboard side along the engine and out the backseat.
With the fuel tank removed, accessing the rudder assembly was possible. Simply removing the control arm allowed the rudder to fall out as the packing was that bad… To facilitate re-installation, I had a couple 2 1/4″ wrenches cut out of 1/4″ stainless steel.
Since I’m changing the rudder-log’s flax packing, I may as well change the shaft-log’s also.

So first, pulled the shaft
and removed the coupling…

…and the shaft-log apart

The other major concern this year was the condition of the bottom. It’s integrity is of utmost importance and with last year’s discovery has been on my mind ever since…

What about future boating? – restore our GarWood

Where? – addition to the garage

Time frame? – a couple years plus 1 extra in-case? (2013)

Can we get 3 more years from our Riviera’s bottom?

We began by cleaning the bilge with a dry brush, plastic putty knife, and vacuum cleaner. Once most of the loose debris was gone, some TPS was mixed up and used to further clean the bilge. We used one rag to scrub away the grim and another to wipe and dry. New rags were rotated in as necessary to keep from getting any setting water in the bilge.

Three small spots were found on the port side beneath the backseat and floor area. Each spot was near old screw holes used during assembly of the West System bottom merely 12 years ago in 1998.
I wiped out the section to be worked on with denatured alcohol and started investigating the soft spots with an awl and discovered the compromised wood to be fairly localized. Two of the spots only seemed to affect a single layer of the plywood, but the other went through 2 layers and softened the third layer.

All in all, we have only spent around 30 hrs investigating to this point, but we’re feeling good about everything so far. Hopefully, we’ll be able to maintain our Chris-Craft until our GarWood get her restoration (starting this fall?).

Musical Woodies?

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

A very exciting day as we brought our Riviera home from its winter storage facility… The day was quite hectic because our GarWood and Sandrail was already in the shop. I pulled the buggy out in the morning and repositioned the GarWood a bit.

When I woke up in the afternoon, I had to preform my daily ritual of a bite to eat for me and the dogs, a short boat ride to an island down the river for the dogs to run, snoop, and do their business… And finally back to the task of getting our Chris-Craft home.

I continued by moving our car across the street, then we pushed and pulled the GarWood out of the shop and into the driveway beside our house. The Riviera is a little longer than the Ensign so a few things had to be moved around the shop to accommodate it. Rounded everybody up and into the truck to go get the Riviera. Everything hooked up alright and the tow went uneventful other than a little traffic.

Our Chris Craft Riviera is home and in the shop. It’s a tight fit with her rudder against the back wall and the tongue being about 2 inches too long to close the garage door… Gee, I really-really need this building to grow. I had to park the sandrail behind the shop for the time being and will be putting most-all of my efforts into getting the Riviera into the water and out of the way of a much needed shop addition.

Once the Riviera was in the shop, we had to relocate our GarWood somewhere out of the elements. We towed her back to where the Chris-Craft was stored for the winter.

Started tearing down Synda’s K engine

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Removing the Head revealed that this engine has been rebuilt before. The engine had hardened valve seat install at one time and also had bronze sleeves put in for valve guides. However, it appears as though one of the sleeves had slipped allowing the valve to close off center thus shattering the hardened valve seat. It also appears that chunks of the seat bounced around in the chamber for some time creating additional damage to the top of the piston and exhaust valve.


After cleaning things up a little…
Damage to the exhaust valve and top of the piston are clear.


Compairing valves…

Missing Valve Seat

Intact Valve Seat


Sort of hard to see but here’s a couple of the bronze sleeve that slipped…


Discovery of this damage makes it quite clear that the block needs to be taken to a machine shop to have new hardened valve seats and sleeves installed.

K Engine Rebuild Started

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Pulled out an old Chris-Craft K engine to rebuild today. It belongs to my sister-in-law, Synda. Her and her husband, Gary have an antique Chris-Craft Deluxe that they ride on Lake Cumberland.

The engine appears to be in good shape, has most of her parts, and turns freely by hand.

Kengine f.jpg Kengine p.jpg Kengine a.jpg Kengine s.jpg