Hello Everybody!

Hello Everybody!

Joined: October 15th, 2007, 8:14 am

August 31st, 2017, 1:40 pm #1

Hello,
my name is Marco and I'm writing from Monza, Italy.
I'm 43 and I'm a classic bike restorer
I'm a huge fan of american boats since when my dad bought his first Bertram 28.
We currently own a 1986 Bertram 46.6 and a Boston 13 from 1971 (blue gelcoat interior).
I've always liked Chris Craft boats and I was looking for a Lancer but here in Italy they're quite scarce and I haven't found a suitable candidate...
Instead I found an XK19 in burgundy, I suppose it's the only one in Italy, I still haven't bought it but this saturday I'll go and have a look at it.
I have read avidly almost everything on the forum regarding Commander SS and XK19.
The boat I'm going to see it's a 1970 model with sterndrive and an OMC 504STHR which replaced the original unit (still have to ask what it was).
Unfortunately the dashboard has been modified to install OMC gauges (not a well done work).
My intention is to restore it so I need to find a CC engine and to replace the ugly dashboard with the lovely wooden unit with chrome bezel CC gauges. Unfortunaely I know almost nothing about gauges and I'd like to know if I can wire the OMC engine to CC gauges...
Well, let's see if I can bring the XK19 home!!
Have a nice day,

Marco
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Joined: April 7th, 2017, 4:57 am

September 1st, 2017, 8:02 pm #2

Welcome Marco,
I think you will find a wealth of information here. XK-19 is a very nice boat. I think it came with a 350 F (GM 5.7 l) and a Volvo 270 or 280 outdrive originally. I don't know much about OMC but I'm pretty sure they did not make the engine itself - just the outdrive and other bolt on parts. You don't say if it's a V8 (I cannot find information on the model you have listed) but if it is it could already be a GM 5.7 with OMC parts instead of Chris craft (exhaust manifolds , cooling system etc). Gauges are almost always made by third party's so I would venture to say - yes - you should be able to make Chris Craft gauges work with the OMC Engine. Good luck with the purchase and keep us posted.
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Paul
Paul

September 1st, 2017, 9:32 pm #3

Hello and I echo the Welcome extended already by Joe. We're always happy to have participants from Italy and other European countries here on The Forum.

As you may know, Herb Pocklington, a former friend of The Forum, now deceased, was responsible for setting up and running the Italian Chris-Craft operation and there were a lot of boats built in Italy to American plans, with American power, and sometimes with modifications to suit the time and place.

I have records for the Italian XK boats, but not serial numbers. Together we can probably piece together a lot. Identification of the original style power package and original gauges will be pretty easy. As far as the gauges are concerned, they are all just a slave to the sending unit, and they all wire up in a similar manner. The tachometer is an issue because it is driven by a cable from the distributor but even that can be changed, by having an original tachometer converted to electric operation, and they look identical but it allows the use of a more modern distributor without the cable drive (in the event that is desired).

The dashboard on American models was always fiberglass and not wood. The only wood I've seen has been on customized boats and I know of one gent in the UK who was about to buy one for a very substantial price, but decided to not go forward with the purchase because the boat had been modified with the wood dashboard. It would be like hopping into an original 1963 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider and seeing a mahogany dashboard, it's just not what the collectors and purists expcet to see.

Regardless if you get this boat or the next one, keep us posted and we will assist in any way we can. And.........send photos !!

Regards,
Paul

forum moderator/host
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Joined: October 15th, 2007, 8:14 am

September 3rd, 2017, 10:13 am #4

Welcome Marco,
I think you will find a wealth of information here. XK-19 is a very nice boat. I think it came with a 350 F (GM 5.7 l) and a Volvo 270 or 280 outdrive originally. I don't know much about OMC but I'm pretty sure they did not make the engine itself - just the outdrive and other bolt on parts. You don't say if it's a V8 (I cannot find information on the model you have listed) but if it is it could already be a GM 5.7 with OMC parts instead of Chris craft (exhaust manifolds , cooling system etc). Gauges are almost always made by third party's so I would venture to say - yes - you should be able to make Chris Craft gauges work with the OMC Engine. Good luck with the purchase and keep us posted.
The OMC 504 is a 4 barrel carb, 5.0L Chevy V8 engine as far as I understand.
I went to see the boat yesterday and fell in love with her, it's in a rough state, faded and crazed gelcoat, rear seat to be re-upholstered, aftermarket rubrail over the original aluminum item. The engine works fine, regular idling, smooth revving, steady oil pressure and we reached 40 Mph! But it's WAY TOO QUIET! I want a burbling, roaring sound from a V8! As far as I could see the exhaust is underwater, possibly in the sterndrive?
I couldn't find the serial number, I looked under the bow, in the engine compartement, under gunwhales but nothing...
Rear vents are on a different position from any other I've seen, they're on the rearmost part of the stern but I couldn't see any sign of filled holes on the engine compartment lid.
What worries me more is the rear of the left fwd seat that is cracked, a small crack but I fear it could enlarge, any replacement parts available?
Thanks a lot for your support!
Regards,

Marco


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Joined: October 15th, 2007, 8:14 am

September 3rd, 2017, 10:45 am #5

Hello and I echo the Welcome extended already by Joe. We're always happy to have participants from Italy and other European countries here on The Forum.

As you may know, Herb Pocklington, a former friend of The Forum, now deceased, was responsible for setting up and running the Italian Chris-Craft operation and there were a lot of boats built in Italy to American plans, with American power, and sometimes with modifications to suit the time and place.

I have records for the Italian XK boats, but not serial numbers. Together we can probably piece together a lot. Identification of the original style power package and original gauges will be pretty easy. As far as the gauges are concerned, they are all just a slave to the sending unit, and they all wire up in a similar manner. The tachometer is an issue because it is driven by a cable from the distributor but even that can be changed, by having an original tachometer converted to electric operation, and they look identical but it allows the use of a more modern distributor without the cable drive (in the event that is desired).

The dashboard on American models was always fiberglass and not wood. The only wood I've seen has been on customized boats and I know of one gent in the UK who was about to buy one for a very substantial price, but decided to not go forward with the purchase because the boat had been modified with the wood dashboard. It would be like hopping into an original 1963 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider and seeing a mahogany dashboard, it's just not what the collectors and purists expcet to see.

Regardless if you get this boat or the next one, keep us posted and we will assist in any way we can. And.........send photos !!

Regards,
Paul

forum moderator/host
I knew there was an italian division and I suspect the boat I've seen could have been produced there that's why I wanted to find the serial number...
Now I have 2 choices, bring it to total originality, including the Stewart Warner dashboard, discovering what engine it had (difficult to find because the current owner received it from a fraternal friend who died 15 years ago and he only has a document dating to 1994 when the boat was re-registered)

Should XK19 have the Cgris Craft 350 or 327? I think the would be both difficult to find here in Italy...

The dashboard I was referring is the one of the Commander SS, I know it wouldn't be original but if I cannot restore the originality of the boat that seems to me the best choice, best dashboard ever installed on a boat.

Regards,

Marco
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Joined: October 15th, 2007, 8:14 am

September 4th, 2017, 11:36 am #6

Hello,
my name is Marco and I'm writing from Monza, Italy.
I'm 43 and I'm a classic bike restorer
I'm a huge fan of american boats since when my dad bought his first Bertram 28.
We currently own a 1986 Bertram 46.6 and a Boston 13 from 1971 (blue gelcoat interior).
I've always liked Chris Craft boats and I was looking for a Lancer but here in Italy they're quite scarce and I haven't found a suitable candidate...
Instead I found an XK19 in burgundy, I suppose it's the only one in Italy, I still haven't bought it but this saturday I'll go and have a look at it.
I have read avidly almost everything on the forum regarding Commander SS and XK19.
The boat I'm going to see it's a 1970 model with sterndrive and an OMC 504STHR which replaced the original unit (still have to ask what it was).
Unfortunately the dashboard has been modified to install OMC gauges (not a well done work).
My intention is to restore it so I need to find a CC engine and to replace the ugly dashboard with the lovely wooden unit with chrome bezel CC gauges. Unfortunaely I know almost nothing about gauges and I'd like to know if I can wire the OMC engine to CC gauges...
Well, let's see if I can bring the XK19 home!!
Have a nice day,

Marco














































Last edited by FEfinaticP on September 27th, 2017, 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Paul
Paul

September 5th, 2017, 1:57 am #7

Looks like you have a great starting point for a true classic.

It will be interesting to see what's underneath that bolt on fascia board dashboard someone installed in the past. I am wondering if what it there can be removed, repaired, refinished, and put back in service. I see the throttle and gear lever is new, and the steering wheel. The hardware all looks like it can be restored or replaced in good order. The clamshell vents are potmetal so if you have any pitting they'll have to be flame soldered in order to refinish those, as it's pretty rare to find those on the market these days in good shape put I guess it can be done. The question is, "how does it run"? If the motor is installed and runs well, I would be pretty hard pressed to pull it and replace it until it needs serious work, but for the purist I would certainly understand.

I would lose the swim platform, as I think it detracts from the lines of the boat. Many people will argue this point but it's a preference I have and if I were judging a show I would absolutely mark off for that, especially on a premium collectible like this one. There are some nice stowable stainless steel ladders that can be hidden under the seats for water skiing, I have one on my skiff that is placed in a spot intended for it, and I don't ever have to look at it unless I or someone else is going to get in the water With a swim platform, you haul it around everytime you are in the boat. Like I said, it's a preference and an opinion, and everyone has one !!

Thanks for the photos, keep us posted on your progress and let us know how we can help.

Regards,
Paul
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Joined: October 15th, 2007, 8:14 am

September 5th, 2017, 8:47 am #8

Hello Paul,
thanks a lot for your advice.
I looked under the bolt on dashboard, old holes have been filled with wood plugs when the original engine was replaced.
The engine is clean and runs smooth but it's too quiet! I can keep it until I find a suitable replacement (
What was the original engine? who knows! Was it the Chris Craft 327 or a different one according to the fact that it could have been built in Italy?

I don't like swim platforms either, but this one is an ugly one too!

Today I'll call the seller and see if we can find an arrangement on the price.

Will let you know!

BTW As a judge how would you consider a "modern" engine in a boat? I mean, will it detract from the value of the boat or it is acceptable? And the dashboard?

Regards,

Marco

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Paul
Paul

September 5th, 2017, 1:30 pm #9

Here are a couple photos of a show winner at Buffalo Launch Club, the oldest powerboat club in the world. This is a 1969 v-drive model with the side opening engine access panels. Later XK models used a large one-piece lift up hatch for engine access. You can see this one had the 230-hp 327Q motor. Italian models got the same mechanical package shipped directly from the US. Other models from Italy, mostly larger boats, received diesels such as Perkins and Fiat AFIO, in addition to gasoline motors from the US.










Here is another one but I am reluctant to say, it has been modified beyond what I would want with the wood dashboard and swim platform, both of which are unnecessary and not original. This boat was in the same show and did not win.



Here is the same boat 4 years earlier before it received the custom wood dash.



This one was owned by Country Music Super-Star, Alan Jackson, which he donated by auction to a charity cause for $35,000. Today that same boat would sell for considerably more. Photo from 2006,





Regards,
Paul












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Joined: October 15th, 2007, 8:14 am

September 5th, 2017, 1:57 pm #10

The first one is IMPRESSIVE!!!
Mark 1 was much better with the original dashboard, that's the dasboard I fell in love with and the one I'd like to install on the boat I have seen if I cannot restore to 100% originality...
So you know for sure that XK19 has been built in Italy sa well?
Ciao,
Marco
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