View Full Version : Possible changes to the Chris Craft

Rob B
04-27-2003, 02:49 PM
" Ok guys, here it goes,

As a few of you know, I have recently rescued a 1977 25.4' Chris craft catalina.

Im considering replacing the inboard with a bracket and an outboard, preferably a Honda 4 stroke 250HP.
I know this would take away the look of the old cat, but the manuverability of an outboard versus an inboard are enormous.
Where I do a lot of boating is in the new river of Ft lauderdale, surrounded by megayachts, that are worth more than my home.
The thought of manuvering a single screw inboard in that river are downright scary.

What Im wondering is, has any one seen the conversion done, do they know any pitfalls or advantages that I havnt stated, also do they know of any "how to" sites for this process, and lastly, does anyone know if the hull(transome )of the CC can handle this?

Thanks in advance,
Rob "

04-28-2003, 12:46 PM
"You're kind of out there in uncharted territory, Rob. Although I recall seeing an ad for an outboard 251 on yachtworld.com, there were no detailed pics.

I doubt that the transom by itself could take that kind of stress, so the mount for the outboard would need to tie into the stringers very securely. CC did make a model 253 I/O Catalina, but again, the engine was mounted inboard on the stringers.

It actually might be more cost effective (and help resale value) to put in a bow thruster if you're worried about manuevering in tight quarters. There may not be enough vertical clearance under the V-berths, though. Just a thought.


04-28-2003, 08:46 PM
" Rob, I have seen a picture floating around on the net of an outboard conversion. Man I gotta tell you, its as ugly as sin! Don't let the single screw inboard scare you. It may not be as quick to respond at low speeds as an outboard, but is does indeed respond to rudder. I have had I/O's and outboards so when I got this boat (4 years now) it took a little practice to get used to the way it responds. I constantly had a tendency to oversteer because I was used to the almost instant response of the outboard. They are quite predictable once you get the hang of it. The big thing that took some time to get down was backing into my slip. The boat does not really respond to rudder postion when backing down slowly. It is however very predictable, it will always pull to port when in reverse. It takes a while to learn to make it work for you, not against you. When backing down and she strays too far to port, just give a short burst of forward with full left rudder. It will kick the stern back over and straighten you right out. Then resume backing. Repeat this till your in. I would think it would be much more cost effective to just repower her as an inboard and as the original design meant it to be. Weight distribution etc. A bonus is that they are very easy on fuel. Don't mean to sound like a preacher but I think once your used to the boat you will be happy.
Keyboard you soon, Joe PS - Croozertoo thanks for the picture of the thermostat housing! "

04-29-2003, 03:59 PM
"Tell it Joe! Handling an inboard in tight quarters is one of boating's finer skills. A time-honored tradition! Of course another tradition is to hang a bunch of fenders out if you're feeling a little puckered around those mega-yachts! ;^)


04-29-2003, 10:17 PM
" Yep a bunch of fenders and the wife in the stern with a boathook! Seriously, I would think that all that weight in the stern and none down low amidships as designed would make it a real dog to handle in a blow. The bow would probably get taken down wind in a hot hurry when going slow or backing down. Don't even want to think about all the reinforcing needed on the transom to support the weight of a big brute of an outboard on a bracket. What say Rob? Did we change your mind?
Regards, Joe "

Rob. B
04-30-2003, 08:52 PM
"Well, I think you guys have persuaded me, I will probably stick to the original inboard. The cost of the new outboard is much steeper than the inboard replacement.

May mount a hydrulic thruster in the future, but for now I think it will be just the inboard.

Found a few places on the web with engines, also found a local place that sells the complete packaged engine supposedly brand new GM350(260HP), for $3995 includes just about everything.

The place is http://home.att.net/~daddyosmarine/ ("")

Any one ever here anything about them, good or bad?
The BBB doesnt have anything on them, I checked.

Aloso, anyone know of any better deals on a brand new or reman, with all the goodies like thes place?

OK peoples,
Back to the grind.

05-01-2003, 09:29 PM
"http://www.propowermarine.com/default1.htm ("")

Rob, check out this engine site. They have a reasonably priced 350 Right hand motor. My buddy used them for a re-power and was satisfied.

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richard cabral
09-03-2006, 09:19 PM
"I have just completed the same conversion on my 1988 210 scorpion , although I only used a 150.There were no major mods inside the boat.The transom was already 2 inches thick and I added 3/4 ply to this.I made a bracket to support the engine and it worked great.I can provide pic's."