1969 31 Commander Questions

1969 31 Commander Questions

Joined: February 2nd, 2011, 11:27 pm

June 7th, 2012, 5:34 am #1

I love my Commander more everytime I get out on her. I've had my old girl for 18 or so months now and I've never regretted adopting her, but I just recently noticed something and maybe some of you guys can help. My boat had the engines, fuel tanks and transmissions swap before I got her. She now has 350's and 90 gallon aluminum tanks. I noticed my engines sit about 16 inches farther a stern from the cabin bulkhead than what I've seen in others pictures. Is this normal in the 69 31 sport express? I'll try to snap a few pics next time I'm on her. Thanks in advance.
Will
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Joined: February 2nd, 2011, 11:27 pm

June 7th, 2012, 5:55 pm #2

Paul, anyone.... a little help?
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Paul
Paul

June 7th, 2012, 6:29 pm #3

Hi Will,

Be careful putting too much stock in photos, as I don't know if the bulkhead on the 31 Sedan (my photos of SHADY LADY) or the 31 Commander are located in the same location as the 31 SE. I would think the shaft log location is the same on all models, as a std reference point, but the bulkheads could be different.

best,

Paul
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Joined: February 2nd, 2011, 11:27 pm

June 8th, 2012, 2:05 am #4

Thank Paul.... It's just one of those things that's got me wondering.
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Paul
Paul

June 8th, 2012, 12:48 pm #5

Hi Will,

I don't think your center of gravity on the boat could change much swapping from one small block installation to another, using the same shaft log as a reference point. Certainly the difference between a full tank of gas and a half tank would make much more difference than that ever would. If the boat runs well, this should be the last time you worry about thaaaaat!

best,

Paul
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Joined: February 2nd, 2011, 11:27 pm

June 8th, 2012, 1:01 pm #6

I've been considering 5.9 cummins and I think the extra room may allow them to fit.
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Paul
Paul

June 8th, 2012, 5:33 pm #7

I love my Commander more everytime I get out on her. I've had my old girl for 18 or so months now and I've never regretted adopting her, but I just recently noticed something and maybe some of you guys can help. My boat had the engines, fuel tanks and transmissions swap before I got her. She now has 350's and 90 gallon aluminum tanks. I noticed my engines sit about 16 inches farther a stern from the cabin bulkhead than what I've seen in others pictures. Is this normal in the 69 31 sport express? I'll try to snap a few pics next time I'm on her. Thanks in advance.
Will


SEASPRAY is our Commander Flagship on the English Channel and it is diesel powered, Yanmar I believe.
The boat runs between the Channel Islands and France. Here are several links to the adventures of SEASPRAY,
the last one is pretty special, showcasing a trip to Dinan, France, check it out !! The 31 is a pretty formidable hull
if it is out on the North Atlantic having fun like this.

31 Commander SEASPRAY, our Commander Flagship of the English Channel Fleet
http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1138676924 (Christmas on board a 31 Commander in the English Channel
http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1144961429 (Hauling for maintenance)
http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1146739103 (Polishing the hull)
http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1146737707 (New aft platform)
http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1146742934 (Bow badge restoration)
http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1146738811 (Anodes)
http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1154369256 (Trip to France)

I understand the 31 Commander was sold in the UK with diesel power, and I think they were built in Italy in the plant
Herb Pocklington opened and managed. I am not sure SEASPRAY has the original diesels which may have been Perkins, but
it makes a lot of sense in this part of the world to have diesel. In the US it makes a lot of sense to have gas, as it
has many benefits (per David Pascoe articles), and diesel has its place too, but in a 31 gas would seem to be more appropriate.

Regards,

Paul


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Joined: October 17th, 2008, 6:09 am

June 8th, 2012, 6:09 pm #8

I love my Commander more everytime I get out on her. I've had my old girl for 18 or so months now and I've never regretted adopting her, but I just recently noticed something and maybe some of you guys can help. My boat had the engines, fuel tanks and transmissions swap before I got her. She now has 350's and 90 gallon aluminum tanks. I noticed my engines sit about 16 inches farther a stern from the cabin bulkhead than what I've seen in others pictures. Is this normal in the 69 31 sport express? I'll try to snap a few pics next time I'm on her. Thanks in advance.
Will
Will,
I remember a previous discussion we had regarding your re-power, transmission / gear ration, etc. Did you ever get pictures of your engine room & components? Because it would be great to compare to the two threads below.

From the pictures I've seen, it looks as if the factory installation had the motors very close to the bulkhead, but there are a couple of pics of these SE's that have been re-powered and the motors are placed further back, much like you describe with your boat. It would be good to learn more about what you actually have as a motor & transmission. The motor isn't really going to really be a variable, but the transmission sure would be if it's not the factory tranny.

Take a look through these two threads. The pictures I've seen of others makes me wonder if different year models had different bulkhead configurations. It's hard to tell, but it appears there seems to be an additional cross member on Joe's boat that isn't in Keith's. I can't tell from the pictures if the 2nd cross member goes all the way accross the beam of the bilge.

Keith Ferrio's restoration with the factory 427/Paragon configuration is below.
http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... estoration


Joe Fonte's 31SE that has been re-powered and has a very different engine placement. I can't tell from the pics, but the engine bed / stringers looks different from Keith's boat.
http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/t ... s+question


Thanks!

Kevin Bray
'06 CC Launch 22
FXA-31-4049
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Joined: February 2nd, 2011, 11:27 pm

June 8th, 2012, 6:12 pm #9



SEASPRAY is our Commander Flagship on the English Channel and it is diesel powered, Yanmar I believe.
The boat runs between the Channel Islands and France. Here are several links to the adventures of SEASPRAY,
the last one is pretty special, showcasing a trip to Dinan, France, check it out !! The 31 is a pretty formidable hull
if it is out on the North Atlantic having fun like this.

31 Commander SEASPRAY, our Commander Flagship of the English Channel Fleet
http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1138676924 (Christmas on board a 31 Commander in the English Channel
http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1144961429 (Hauling for maintenance)
http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1146739103 (Polishing the hull)
http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1146737707 (New aft platform)
http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1146742934 (Bow badge restoration)
http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1146738811 (Anodes)
http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1154369256 (Trip to France)

I understand the 31 Commander was sold in the UK with diesel power, and I think they were built in Italy in the plant
Herb Pocklington opened and managed. I am not sure SEASPRAY has the original diesels which may have been Perkins, but
it makes a lot of sense in this part of the world to have diesel. In the US it makes a lot of sense to have gas, as it
has many benefits (per David Pascoe articles), and diesel has its place too, but in a 31 gas would seem to be more appropriate.

Regards,

Paul

The idea of repowering is something I've wanted to do for some time. My current engines are fine, but they are raw water cooled and I know the saltwater is slowly killing them and it's just a matter of time before one dies. I will go with freshwater cooled in whatever I get. This is a really tough choice for me for a number of reasons. Gas engines are easy. I can work on them and to have a 350 or 454 rebuilt is nothing. My cousin owns the local engine shop and part of taking him fishing is he will do the major things for the cost of parts. But, gas engines aren't the best on fuel. The diesels will be much better on fuel, but the repairs can be brutal and the cost of actually putting them in can be 4 to 8 times that of a gas repower. At first I thought the 5.9 cummins wouldn't fit, but Ive heard they will. I think 330hp cummins would be wonderful in my boat, but then I have to change running gear as well. I guess its just a matter of adding up all the pluses and minuses. As normal I'm sure I'm over thinking all of this. Most likely I'll just keep stock piling info and saving money for the day one of the 350's die and go from there. Thanks for all the great links Paul. I hope you enjoy your weekend.
Will
Last edited by Hangingfor8 on June 9th, 2012, 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: May 12th, 2007, 1:54 pm

June 10th, 2012, 8:12 pm #10

I love my Commander more everytime I get out on her. I've had my old girl for 18 or so months now and I've never regretted adopting her, but I just recently noticed something and maybe some of you guys can help. My boat had the engines, fuel tanks and transmissions swap before I got her. She now has 350's and 90 gallon aluminum tanks. I noticed my engines sit about 16 inches farther a stern from the cabin bulkhead than what I've seen in others pictures. Is this normal in the 69 31 sport express? I'll try to snap a few pics next time I'm on her. Thanks in advance.
Will
Hi Will,

Love our Commander too, we have had her for 8 years on the 20th May 2012 and have moved on board for the summer, if it ever comes. We have twin yanma 170 hp turbos but previously I believe they were Perkins. Had a few issues but nothing we could not handle, weather here has been wet and windy so no long trips made yet, just out in the bays and a bit of fishing, hope we can do a long trip soon.

Happy boating and enjoy your commander

best regards
Heidi and Paul
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