I'm sure you guys are probably aware of a 47 Commander in Hudson Florida The one that says Ollie's on the purple fly bridge. It's been on the market for a while. I'm just wondering if anyone knows anything about the boat. I put in an offer and it was accepted so I'm under contract on the boat now with pop yachts.

Although I've never had a Commander before I've had two other Chris Crafts. I'm wondering what to look for on this one for problem areas.

A little history on the boat it was used by the previous owner before this current owner as a liveaboard, never moving under its own power. About 2 years ago the current owner bought it and apparently started to get it back in shape. From the pictures it's taken apart and not in the condition it was a couple years ago. But the current owner did get the Cummins diesels running a year ago as well as the diesel generator.

I'm going to use it as a floating office for now and then eventually get it in shape again myself but I wonder about cabin leaks since I've heard that maybe a problem with this boat. Are the decks fiberglass or wood? I hear it has a leak around the front hatch too. I'm no stranger to fixing boats in bad shape I'm just wondering how bad a shape this one's going to be.

As far as the diesels I've never owned a diesel boat and I'm wondering what I'll need to do to fire up these Cummins diesels after they've sat for a year. The boat was run on a couple of outboard fuel tanks so I assume the boat tanks are bad or full of algae. The outboard fuel tanks are still there I figure I'll just fill them up with fresh diesel and go from there. Any tips on that at are appreciated.

This isn't my first go around with this broker they're famous for not giving you all the information so I won't know how bad it is until I get there. But I'm hoping it's not as bad as I expected to be. I'm really looking forward to joining the Commander club!

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Here's how the boat how it was when it was for sale 2 years ago

And here's the boat as it is now
Also one more note. The nearest place to have this boat hauled out is 20 miles away so I'm planning on purchasing it as is right where it's at and keeping it here. Therefore I won't be able to do a hull inspection I'm hoping that one doesn't bite me in the butt later.

The hull is solid glass with fiberglass over plywood for the decks. Good luck

A hammer,  possibly not with a steel head, banged on the deck will thwack or thwock, no thwocks are wanted, only sharp sounds.   Any muted sounds that don't require removal of headliner etc. warrant a sigh of relief. Thwocks and worse yet,  thuds, weren't part of the original build. 

Re: Diesel,  is there a way to get a good sample?  Perhaps a hose to the bottom of the tank that would be sealed so the fuel could be sampled top to bottom. 

Thanks guys! Honestly for right now I'm not concerned about the tank I figure I'll sort that out once the boat is mine. Last week I actually bought a hundred gallon fuel bladder used for extending the range on a boat. If I get the engines running to the point where the boat can be moved I'll use that to run it until I can sort the tanks out.


First, the listing is incorrect on the engines, those are Cummins VT370s, 370hp.

They are very good engines but getting parts is becoming more difficult. Need to use a little creativity in locating parts sometimes. Same for the transmissions as they are Capitols.

As far as the fuel tanks, I would not attempt to start anything on them before verifying what is in the bottom of the tanks. To pull a fuel sample, I would suggest using a large syringe 100CC or larger and a length of tubing with a weight on the end. Drop it into the tank and see what is on the bottom.

Since you have a bladder tank, you do have the ability to rig up a fuel polisher and transfer the polished fuel to the bladder tank. If you have clean fuel, no water, then you can start getting the engines working. Biggest issue is that you do not want to run water through the injectors.

I would also make sure that the engines are not seized. Try to bar them over by hand. Should rotate a full 720deg without issue. If you can't go twice around, something is stuck in the valve train/ injector linkage. Same thing on the generator.

How bad is the marine growth on the hull? Likely you will need to get the thru-hulls opened up. You will also likely need to replace the impellers on all of the sea water pumps and clean the sea strainers.

I would suggest to crawl down in the bilge and inspect the thr-hull backing blocks. They are probably getting soft from rot due to the age of the boat. Not that you can do anything about them without a haul out, but you will know of impending issues and maybe some temporary remediation to keep the hull afloat.

Also make sure that the bilge pumps are fully operational. That means that the float switches work and that the pumps can actually pump and discharge water overboard. You will also going to need to check the exhaust system hoses, especially at the stern where they connect to the fiberglass exhaust pipe. These tend to deteriorate and a failure will sink your boat before you even know what is happening.

Good Luck

Thanks for all that info! With this broker I am not surprised one bit they would have the engines wrong. As for starting them I just plan to do it for now on the red plastic outboard type tanks that are connected to them. I'll deal with the main fuel tank after I've completed the deal and bought the boat. I won't be able to look at the bottom as I said because I can't haul it out so I don't know what the intakes are going to be like. Therefore if I get the diesel started I only run them briefly just to make sure they run. But I will check the sea strainers first to see that they're clear. As for cleaning the bottom, I figure after I actually own the boat maybe I can tow it out into open water with one of my Sea Doos, drop anchor then I can do a dive and clean around the intakes and running gear myself. Then once I get the engines and proper running condition, run the boat the 20 mi to a haul out and have the bottom properly cleaned.

As for the transmissions as I mentioned I'm not allowed to put them in gear so I won't know if they work or not. I probably could disconnect the prop shafts and check to see if they running forward in reverse without spinning the shafts but not sure I'll have the tools to do that or be able to easily access.

Thanks for the tips on the through hulls and bilge pumps as well I'll definitely check those. This boat has been setting there for years though so I figure they keep them and working condition although I have never spoke with the owner yet. This broker won't let you speak to the owner until you're actually in contract with him. So I'm hoping I can learn a lot on the history of what he has actually done and what he knows about the boat once I actually get to carry on a conversation with him.

Good Afternoon Dominic and Ron:

The horsepower quoted on the broker's spec sheet is correct.  Starting with the 1966 and  ending with the 1969 model years, the 47' Commander was offered as an alternative to the Detroit Diesel 8V53N, the Cummins V8 300-M engines rated at 280 shaft horsepower @3000 RPM, with a brake horsepower rating of 300 HP at the same RPM.  The VT8 370-M, rated at 370 Brake Horsepower, 350 Shaft Horsepower, was introduced on the 47 in 1970 year of which I strongly believe that Dick Morland's boat was the first one to have them installed.  The VT8 became standard on the 47 for the 1972 model year and stayed as such for the rest of the production run until 1977.    Speed difference was at cruise, 15kts @2600 RPM for the V8 powered versions and 17kts for the VT8 equipped boats.  Both blocks were identical with a displacement of 785 cubic inches with the exception being that the VT8 had a single dry turbocharger, and had Capitol marine gears while the V8 had Twin Disc MG 506 marine gears.  

Interestingly, the Detroit Diesel powered 47 vs the Cummins V8 powered 47 was that they were pretty similar at cruise at 2600 RPM with the Cummins powered one slightly faster at WOT.  Reason was that the Cummins engines spun 200 RPMS faster at WOT over the Detroits (2800 vs 3000).  Most probably the Cummins engine version was probably more fuel efficient and quieter at all speeds being that they were 4 cycle engines vs the 2 cycle Detroits.  Both versions used the very same  Twin Disc gears at 1.97:1 reduction, running on 1.5" shafts, swinging 23" x 21" x 4 wheels.  As a comparison, the later VT8 versions were running with Capitol Marine Gears at 2:47:1 reduction, running 1.75" SS shafts, swinging 27"x28"x4 wheels while having a sharper shaft down angle.  Hope this helps in clarifying the engine issue.

Minor point of clarification, the decks are not plywood cored, the entire boat is solid fiberglass. The only wood anywhere is trim at the toe tail and railings, and in that model year, also in the hard top over the aft deck. They quickly had problems with it and switched to a solid fiberglass hard top in 1970. You won't have issues with rotten coring on this boat other than perhaps in the hard top. Jim Rivas above has proven to be an invaluable source of information in maintaining my boat, definitely make friends with him.

Thanks for the clarification on the engines and transmissions interesting information!

Also thanks for the info on the decks. It looks as if the only issue may be the rear deck leaking. The headliner is falling down in the aft cabin. The representative said if the deck drains plug up then it starts leaking which apparently caused that.
Also an issue that wasn't in the listing turns out a boat hit the bow messed up the bow rail and broke the bow pulpit. Yet another thing to fix.


the all fiberglass hardtop was introduced for the 1969 model year.  The wood extended hardtop was only used for the 1968 model year.

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