Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

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Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby Jgoring » Thu May 26, 2016 11:22 pm

Hi all -

Potential newbie here. I am forgoing psycho analysis in favor of a very big very old Constellation ('56, 54'). Question - On sea trial this morning, the selling broker didn't spool her up beyond 1500RPM/8knts. The Detroit Diesels have <2,000 hours on them, and the engine surveyor indicated they were sound and could go 2500RPM or more. On returning to the slip, the broker noted - well, she's an old girl and we don't want to stress her.' I get that. But 8 knots? I know I will sooner or later want to see if she moves more quickly than that, and I'd rather not be the first in a decade or so to do that. The original sales literature calls for 20+ knots top speed, and cruising at 12+ knots. That was a hundred years or so back of course. So - Do I hold my breath for a more strenuous trial?

Thanks in advance.

- Jim
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby joanroy » Fri May 27, 2016 5:28 am

Jim, welcome to the nut house. Those max speed numbers were from when these boats were brand new, in perfect condition, and not soaked up and saturated with thousands of pound of water and loaded with stuff. Has she had an out of water survey to check hull and fastener condition? She's a very old wooden boat and depending on the care and maintenance she's received over the years stressing her could mean a lot of things. It's all fixable and restorable, but it just a question of what and how much$$$$$$$$$. Safety First. Good Luck!
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby evansjw44 » Fri May 27, 2016 10:37 am

You didn't state size. I guessing the boat is 48 to 55 ft and has a pair of 6-71 GM (Graymarine) engines. They were found in 50s and early 60s cruisers at 40 ft plus. If you did 8 knots at 1500 your were not planing, just pushing water. I would guess top speed at around 12 - 14 knots depending on length. The 6-71 of that era were 220hp. Some had turbochargers that made them 325 hp. A bit later CC went to 8-71Ns at 350HP and for smaller boats 8-53s at 285-hp. The diesel power boats performed about the same as a gas powered at full throttle with the diesel at 85% power. Thing is, you can run a diesel at 85%power for its entire life and it won't complain. A gas engine at 85% power wears out in a hurry. Diesels are also cheaper to run as they burn less fuel per HP as there is more energy in diesel fuel than gasoline.

I good thorough hull and bottom inspection is in order. If this is a salt water boat then pulling some fasteners is highly recommended.
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby Jgoring » Fri May 27, 2016 10:59 am

Thanks all.

She is being hauled later this morning, and we will certainly be pulling fasteners! I don't want to ask the current skipper to over stress her for my curiosity. But wondering if I should be worried about an issue hidden by the very delicate trial. Were she new, we would have had her up and at full throttle for a considerable time I expect. If I close this deal, sooner or later I'm going to be on dead flat water and will be itching to get the tach up closer to 2000rpm... I'd hate for that to be the first time ever and encounter some 'hard learning'.!

JG
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby dag55 » Fri May 27, 2016 11:10 am

If the machines are sound, it won´t hurt to take them to WOT for a couple of minutes, to see what happens to temperature and oilpressure. I´m of the opinion that taking the motors to full throttle, is the best way to determine if everithing is working as it should. If some thing breaks then, it would have done it later on anyway... Specially diesels need a good burn out from then to the, to get rid of deposits that builds up during idling and slow speed. I think that makes even more sense with a detroit two stroke diesel.
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby robertpaul » Fri May 27, 2016 3:10 pm

Running at 1500rpm and 8knots can be smooth as silk. I would spool them up to make sure there is no shaking and vibrating at higher rpm's.
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby evansjw44 » Fri May 27, 2016 6:58 pm

Those Detroits are designed to run flat out for a life time. They are governed to the design speed with a safety factor. If they can't get to 2400 - 2500 RPM they have a problem perhaps. Typical cruise for 2-stroke 71 series Detroits 2100 to 2300 RPM.
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby cenger » Fri May 27, 2016 8:56 pm

My 671 turbos run up to 2450 and can stay there. I cruise at 2150. You intuition is probably right. I would insist the boat be run WOT for a few minutes.
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby jfrprops » Fri May 27, 2016 9:23 pm

Really good big boat-diesel advice in this thread. I would spin them up a bit and hold it there a while...but that ship has lots of weight gain and likely gear and stuff weight too...so that negates the speed quoted in the early ads and specs.

personally I would hardly ever run such a rig much faster than your trial run...but that is just me.
More important for sure....the condition of the fasteners and planking.

Big boat....

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby tkhersom » Sun May 29, 2016 6:55 am

Good advice all around! Since you are having her pulled and fasteners checked this weekend I would get her wet again and run her up to speed. If the owner is unwilling to do so I would use that as a negotiating tool on the price. Figure in some $ for the lack of knowledge and potential for problems that are not being revealed. You can also tell the seller that you will buy at an agreed price contingent upon a satisfactory high tac run.

The thing that concerns me the most with these big Connies is that they seem to Hog just behind the engines, and the stern appears to sag.

It is believed that Pizzaz went down due to this very issue.
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby boat_art » Sun May 29, 2016 7:38 am

As an owner of a '56 Connie 46' I will say that you are getting some very good advice here. I only wish I had your Detroits instead of my 401 Buick's. Your diesels were built to run all day wide open as others have suggested.
My first reaction is to say that if you only plan on easy cruises like we use our Connie, then spooling up isnt a big issue. BUT, in event of an emergency, you need to know if you can hit it WOT to avoid collisions, etc.
That emergency power and maneuverability are critical!
Tom
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1959 Caulkins bartender
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1953 Chris Craft Holiday
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby Jgoring » Mon May 30, 2016 4:00 pm

Thanks again all -

Good advice and taken to heart. I did get her out again, and though the broker/skipper had the throttles as far forward as he could get them, it wouldn't budge past 1500+ RPM/+/- 9.5knts. As far as he was concerned, that was WOT. I did some online checking (the WEB must be hell for salespeople of all stripes) and a marine power company in Oxnard had very good advice for this sort of thing. Check to make sure the engines are actually getting 100% throttle before dismantling them! Heh.. So later in the afternoon when the marine surveyor and I were still on board and with the engines off, I worked the port throttle - went all the way forward, maybe a 90 degree rotation of the lever. And the starboard throttle - aha! - it only rotated about 60% as far as the port. Since you gather them both in one hand, I'm pretty sure he just stopped when the starboard throttle ceased to move. I would have. Hoping that is it. She is a beautiful beast and I'm trying to remain rational.
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby boat_art » Mon May 30, 2016 4:19 pm

Jgoring wrote:She is a beautiful beast and I'm trying to remain rational.



Ok...that probably is the problem, but when do WE get to see that beautiful beast?? :)
Tom
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1953 Chris Craft Holiday
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby jfrprops » Mon May 30, 2016 5:37 pm

I don't think that is the problem/solution....sure maybe it didn't travel far enough to get to wot but no way that is all she's got or had in that past.....not by half.

????
John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby Jgoring » Mon May 30, 2016 6:19 pm

Oh, I think I agree John. I don't think there is any purposeful concealing of problems. I just think the skipper thought he had her as full throttle as he could get her. Which, coincided with a lot of white smoke from that starboard engine. So I'm going to ask for the throttle linkages to be checked, verify WOT physically achievable on both motors, and check the starboard injectors.
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby tkhersom » Mon May 30, 2016 8:17 pm

I am with Tom (AKA Boat-Art) I want to see pictures! :D
Troy in ANE - President CCABC

1957 CC 21' Continental "Yorktown" (Mom's boat)
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22625/
1958 CC 38' Connie "American Beauty"
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22607/
1985 Formula 242LS "Gottago"

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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby jfrprops » Mon May 30, 2016 9:29 pm

Troy always wants to "see pictures".......when Playboy ditched the good ones recently...he let his subscription lapse.

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby Jgoring » Mon May 30, 2016 11:18 pm

Pictures as soon as I close the deal. I promise.
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby Jgoring » Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:41 pm

Well.. here is sort of a picture. Actually of the wake of the boat showing smoke from starboard engine at minor throttle up.

That look blue or white to you guys?

https://www.icloud.com/attachment/?u=ht ... z=31503354
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby tkhersom » Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:56 pm

Hard to say. I guess I would say blue. :?
Troy in ANE - President CCABC

1957 CC 21' Continental "Yorktown" (Mom's boat)
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22625/
1958 CC 38' Connie "American Beauty"
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22607/
1985 Formula 242LS "Gottago"

Life Is Too Short To Own An Ugly Boat
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby joanroy » Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:32 pm

Bluefish White. I'm no diesel expert, but I'd say the starboard engine has a problem. Kinda smokey.
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby dag55 » Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:42 pm

That is blue smoke, no doubt that engine don't feel to well... Before signing, a serious inspection of what's wrong.
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby cenger » Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:36 am

Any smoke from start up should dissipate 10 seconds after start up. Storyboard engine will need some work.
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby Jgoring » Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:36 am

Thanks all. Can't tell you how helpful this input has been. Trying to get second motor survey. Really want to get this boat... just would rather not have a $30k+ surprise on the trip home with her. Totally ridiculous.. buying an old gigantic boat and not being a millionaire. Its like watching a slow motion train wreck that you feel compelled to step in front of.. with a smile on your face!
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby tkhersom » Sat Jun 04, 2016 2:56 pm

Jgoring wrote:..... Totally ridiculous.. buying an old gigantic boat and not being a millionaire. Its like watching a slow motion train wreck that you feel compelled to step in front of.. with a smile on your face!


I think we ALL know that feeling. :D
Troy in ANE - President CCABC

1957 CC 21' Continental "Yorktown" (Mom's boat)
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22625/
1958 CC 38' Connie "American Beauty"
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22607/
1985 Formula 242LS "Gottago"

Life Is Too Short To Own An Ugly Boat
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby robertpaul » Sat Jun 04, 2016 5:28 pm

Next time it is out of the water, lie under a her at the stern on a garage crawler, feet towards the bow and a scraper in your hand. Look long and hard down the entire length of that immense hull and ask yourself..... "is this what I really want". Look long enough towards the bow on that baby and you will see the curvature of the earth. That said, it will fill your days and twisted people like me enjoy that sort of thing.
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby jfrprops » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:19 pm

sage advice from Robertpaul

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby Jgoring » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:24 pm

Holy mackerel I've met a lot of codgers and characters trying to sort out this engine. Second diesel expert said it sounded fine, started right up, oil samples tested clean, runs on all six at 1800rpm unloaded - just buy it. (He didn't want to run it WOT at dock). Asked him if he'd cruise it 400 miles up the California coast, he said sure. Carefully. So.. Am gonna lay down on the tracks and watch the train approach!. Closing deal. Will post pics soon.
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby jfrprops » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:40 pm

Heck yeah...buy it.....that guy sounds legit.....go for it...GO BOATING....and send us pics and adventures...because you will have adventures....!!!

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)
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Re: Sea Trial expectations - vintage Connie

Postby tkhersom » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:12 pm

Troy in ANE - President CCABC

1957 CC 21' Continental "Yorktown" (Mom's boat)
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22625/
1958 CC 38' Connie "American Beauty"
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22607/
1985 Formula 242LS "Gottago"

Life Is Too Short To Own An Ugly Boat
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