We have a 1969 Chris Commander, 35’ with the original 427’, V8 Ford Block engines (1090 Miles each)

and have come to the point of having to rebuild, repower, or sell the boat.   We have owned the boat for 21 years and have kept it at Spring Point Marina in South Portland, ME for that time.  The previous owner, my father in law, owned the boat about 10 years.   I am looking for advice and or suggestions on the best direction to go.   The boat is in great shape for its’ 49+ years and we still enjoy it.   

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My boat is just a youngster at 33 years, but all 33 have been in salt water (New England). I have almost 1500 hours on the 454 Crusaders and they are running strong. While I have thought about the options for repower, (because the boss loves this boat) I do not see it happening any time soon. Is there a specific problem with the engines? Or just a mechanic who does not want to work on 427's? There are a lot of mechanics out there who do will not/should not work on these, but the hot-rodders love them because they are bullet proof. Rusty head bolts can be a problem, but that's why easy outs were invented. We have been drilling and tapping broken bolts since the second engine rebuild in recorded history. Why is your mechanic questioning the integrity of the heads?

You need to find a mechanic who loves these engines and have him/her evaluate them. 

Does this boat have closed cooling? In other words antifreeze in the engines and cooled by sea water and a heat exchanger. If that is the case there is no way your heads and block are thin. If this boat was used in salt water without closed cooling the engines should have wasted away 20 years ago.  

Daniel R. Evans, Jr. said:

According to our mechanic, the walls of the heads are very thin mainly due to corrosion. (21 years in salt water).   There is a concern  that getting the rusty bolts out will lead to some major problems. 

Lee H. Dahlen said:

I want to hear exactly WHY they need to be rebuilt/replaced.  1090 hours is not really the spec for a tired FE unless they have been neglected. I can't count the number of times I've saved a few from being scrapped because the local shops "didn't want to work on them" So their story was "You need to repower because these olf things are going to give you trouble.

Talk to Matt ^^^ and Give me a call if you want a second opinion.  704-287-3914.

After Saturday Please. (Were getting ready for Florence)

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