I was recently GIVEN a 30' Commander in total disrepair. Experience wise, they could have given me a jet engine and I would be standing on the same ground. Nonetheless, I'm super excited and a firm believer that with God's help, I can learn anything and I can do anything (just might take awhile). So, in my effort to take baby steps, I'm reaching out to the experts: YOU. This is what it says on my title: 1973 Chris Craft 30 Commander Runabout (Fiberglass & 2 Inboards). This is what it says on the engine head plate: Chris Craft Model 3070 Engine #104062 Firing order 15634278. Okay, neither engine has a carburetor and therein lies the first of my 647 questions. Extensive internet research does not tell me what the current replacement carburetor is that I need to find and purchase. I might also add that I'm located in Northwest Indiana should anyone from this illustrious group wish to get together and have their brains picked! Thank you in advance...  

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Tanks Jim, I will send you a pic and number of the carbs we are using in our stripped out boat. I was successful in getting one engine running and actually able to drive it out of the slip. The pics you sent were helpful, I now know where the bulge pump goes. My email is rmk818@sbcglobal. Net. Will be glad to reciprocate pics and stories.

Jim,

A very ambitious project! I hope you are a master carpenter and master mechanic. It appears the boat has sat out in the weather for sometime. Pictures illustrate substantial rot problems in the hardtop and the super structure, the aft deck is gone. I wonder why the windshields are reinforced around the corners? What other wood problems lurk below? Assuming the boat sat outside, uncovered I would suspect water intrusion in both engines. The carb intake mounts do not appear to be sealed, as well as the vents in the valve covers.

That vintage model in good seaworthy condition might be worth $6000-10000. I would venture to guess engine repairs alone would cost more than that. Have no idea what your looking at to restore the aft deck and other wood issues. Bottom line, total restoration would be substantially more that it would be worth.  My thoughts would be checking out the condition of the engines and offer them for sale and part out any other proprietary Chris Craft parts and scrap the hull. You can re use or sell the trailer. Buy a $15000-20000 seaworthy boat and you’ll be boating for the upcoming season.

I restored a 1941 31’ Chris Craft Sedan in my 20’s. It was in a boathouse for 10 years and it ran and floated with minimal effort. The restoration was a lot more, had fun doing it then. Own a 1973 41’ Commander for the past 15 years and there is always a project. Not so much fun at 70. There is always more than meets the eye when you’re restoring or just maintaining an older boat. Good luck and keep us posted on you progress.

Joe Marino

Hi Joe,

Thank you very much for your input and advise. I'm pretty sure that the day I was given the boat will be the ONLY day I'll have it that I was in the black. Nonetheless, carpentry and mechanics are passions. However, engine mechanics...not so much. The engines are my greatest concerns and they will be the first things I check out to see if this will even be feasible. Most of the rest, I'm fairly comfortable with. If you're even close to being right about the engine repair cost, I'm sure I'll revisit the rest of your suggestions. Thanks again... 

Keep an eye on Craigslist etc for cheap 327 or 350 engines alone or in soft transom hulls, don't discount using a GM Goodwrench 350 and adding closed cooling, marine alternator,  carburetor and exhaust.   Probably the matching transmission which is reversible for the STB would be the more expensive part. 

Thank you Tim! Frankly I did not even know engines were available on Craigslist. Definitely something I’ll check out when I settle on an engine guy. 

I'm toying with the idea of the new Indmar engine based on the inline 4 Ecoboost Ford motor. I've yet to find out if they make a version for straight shaft inboards. 310 HP out of a 2.3 liter motor is pretty awesome!

Hi Jim...Looks like something I should follow-up on. Don't know where you live but this link will show you where the nearest Indmar dealer is to you: https://www.indmar.com/find-your-local-dealer/ 

Thanks - I've seen that but haven't taken the time to reach out to any of them. I have a boat to sell (non-Commander) and when that happens, I'll be right on it.

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