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Repowering a 1959 Alumacraft Queen Merrie

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  • Repowering a 1959 Alumacraft Queen Merrie

    This is my first post on this forum. I purchased a 1959 Queen Merrie for $500 (with trailer) just before the snow began to fly last year. I knew when I first saw it that it would be the perfect boat for my wife and I to enjoy for a long time to come. I really was in disbelief at how well it is built, I've spent hours just looking at it and admiring the craftsmanship. It did not come with a motor at all, and I purchased a 80's vintage Johnson 70HP from a friend with intentions to hang it in spring after planting and farm chores were complete. Well I am at that point now and I am apprehensive about putting the old motor on the boat. It needs carb work, not a big deal, it needs a water pump, tune up, lower unit seals, and after all that it will still be ugly. I boat primarily on the Mississippi north of the Quad Cities, our pool has about 25 miles of navigable waterway. We also share that water with humongous barge strings that swallow stranded boats and spit them out in their propwash, so I never want to get stranded. I am basically looking at three options, put $1000 into the old Johnson, purchase a quality remanufactured motor from a reputable builder (about $5000), or put a $9000 or so into an Evinrude Etec 90HP on it. Does anyone have any advice on this issue. Money is not the largest concern. I can purchase a very good used boat for less that $9000, they are all over the place. I just have a hard time with the thought of putting $9000+ into a boat that is over 50 years old. I think it would be a marvelous boat at that point, and I can't really think of a boat that would be better suited to the way I use a boat. We go cruising almost every night on the river, tubing, ferrying passengers to the white sand beach across the river, and occasionally fishing. It is well suited to all these things, maybe not ideal but a good all-around. I have not driven the boat yet, or ever ridden in a similar boat. It's light (580 lbs or so), the only boat I have driven near that light is my 1957 Feathercraft Vagabond II, and that boat is great until things get really rough. I just don't want to spend money I won't be able to get back to repower an old boat and then realize I would be fine with another motor or that I don't like the way the boat handles. Any advice or feedback would be welcome, especially from someone with a 90HP on the back of a similar boat.
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  • #2
    Re: Repowering a 1959 Alumacraft Queen Merrie

    Sorry I (and others) missed your thread when you started it. Since you posted in the other 2 inactive threads today, I looked up this thread.

    Have you made a decision yet about the motor?

    Although it isn't new, I wouldn't classify an 80's OB as vintage. If you haven't chosen an OB for the Queen, I think you could do everything you'd 'need' to for significantly less then the $1K# you mention above. But that would be the basics to get it running & keep it running good.

    Totally overhauled, including some engine work (machining maybe too), all new seals & gaskets, wiring, a re-spray, new decals & etc, $1K is a good ballpark. No major engine work & I doubt you'd spend 75% of that.

    A decent, period accurate OB that's been gone thru & restored could be found for less then the $5K reman'd motor you noted above.

    A brand new Etec would certainly provide plenty of giddy up & go, and come w/ a warranty. But wow, $9K sounds like a lot to spend on an OB to put on your 'new' to you $500 boat. And would devalue much quicker then when a new car drives off the lot.

    Great looking boat!

    If you've done any work to her, post up more recent pix.

    A FeatherCraft too? Nice tin collection you've got going.

    Thanks for trying to help other Queen Merrie owners. But try to let the inactive threads stay that way. If the OP hasn't posted in more then 90days, they may not be back & any further discussion doesn't benefit them or their project. The PM system can be used to contact them, and touch base about the project's status. That might prompt them to post to their original thread, and that'd make it active again.

    You could also start another thread & quote the poster you were trying to assist.

    Sorry it took 60+days to get here, but if it's OK w/ you, I'll hang out while you work on the Queen. Thanks again
    Money spent @ Boat Restoration should be measured in Smiles & Pride SHOP IBOATS-BOAT SPECS-FORUM HELP-REPAIR/RESTO

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    • #3
      Re: Repowering a 1959 Alumacraft Queen Merrie

      BTW: the iboats server finds similar threads & lists 5 of them at the bottom of your thread:
      Similar Threads

      Money spent @ Boat Restoration should be measured in Smiles & Pride SHOP IBOATS-BOAT SPECS-FORUM HELP-REPAIR/RESTO

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      • #4
        Re: Repowering a 1959 Alumacraft Queen Merrie

        I did end up buying a new 90 Etec just before the 5 year warranty offer expired. I haven't got the outboard installed yet because I am restoring and repairing everything on the boat. I hope to have it seaworthy by mid August. I am not that concerned about resale because I plan on using the boat for a long time. Time will tell if I made the right choice. I guess the long and short of it is there is no new boat made today that is configured like that one, looks like that one, or is as light as that one. So I'm going to build the boat I want from that starting point. I just hope it really does move out with that new motor. If the Etec works out on that boat a 50 horse version may be getting installed on the Feathercraft next year.
        Last edited by Mad Scientist; July 19th, 2013, 10:57 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: Repowering a 1959 Alumacraft Queen Merrie

          When you get it mounted & wet, give us some eye candy
          Money spent @ Boat Restoration should be measured in Smiles & Pride SHOP IBOATS-BOAT SPECS-FORUM HELP-REPAIR/RESTO

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          • #6
            Re: Repowering a 1959 Alumacraft Queen Merrie

            I will. I've taken a bunch of before and after pictures as well as pictures as I go, so the project should be well documented.

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            • #7
              Re: Repowering a 1959 Alumacraft Queen Merrie

              Thanks for the link JB . Looking forward to many more pictures Mad S.
              1952 Duracraft Sportsman

              Duracraft boat history

              89 Bayliner center console/ 2001 Mercury 150 modified/saltwater addition ,early 50's DuraCraft 14ft Aluminum runabout/88 25 Johnson, late 60's Lamar 15ft fiberglass runabout with a 59 Evinrude 35 hp Lark outboard. From Collinsville, MS and GulfShores AL.ASE master recertified many times over LOL . But most important, Saved by the grace of God!
              sigpic
              "Let the fun you will have with it be your payoff and you will never feel short changed"

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              • #8
                Re: Repowering a 1959 Alumacraft Queen Merrie

                I finally got back to working on the boat, I got shingles at the beginning of August and have finally gotten back on my feet. Luckily my family really stepped up to the plate and sanded, varnished and painted while I was out of commission. The transom boards are done and ready to be reinstalled, maybe I can get those installed this weekend. Then the boat goes to the dealer to have the new outboard mounted, then back home to plumb and wire, then back to the dealer for dial-in and setup. I need to replace the steering. None of the steering systems available that I can find have fixed tilted wheel. The dash is vertical and if I mount a teleflex steering to it the wheel will be vertical and will look dumb and be a pain to drive. What do I do? I pulled the really nice cable steering out already because the Evinrude warranty book says that it needs to be teleflex style steering or hydraulic, no cables. What do I do to get a tilt wheel?

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                • #9
                  Re: Repowering a 1959 Alumacraft Queen Merrie

                  There's a beveled trim ring available to tilt the wheel up a bit:

                  Made by teleflex, maybe others. I think it's a 15deg bevel, and is used in place of the one that comes w/ the steering setup.
                  Money spent @ Boat Restoration should be measured in Smiles & Pride SHOP IBOATS-BOAT SPECS-FORUM HELP-REPAIR/RESTO

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                  • #10
                    Re: Repowering a 1959 Alumacraft Queen Merrie

                    Originally posted by Mad Scientist View Post
                    ... I need to replace the steering. None of the steering systems available that I can find have fixed tilted wheel. The dash is vertical and if I mount a teleflex steering to it the wheel will be vertical and will look dumb and be a pain to drive. What do I do? I pulled the really nice cable steering out already because the Evinrude warranty book says that it needs to be teleflex style steering or hydraulic, no cables. What do I do to get a tilt wheel?
                    I replaced the steering on my 1958 Queen Merrie too. I can give you the specs if interested. I can also show you fairly detailed pictures. I worry that my help may be too late.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Repowering a 1959 Alumacraft Queen Merrie

                      Originally posted by deananywhere View Post
                      I replaced the steering on my 1958 Queen Merrie too. I can give you the specs if interested. I can also show you fairly detailed pictures. I worry that my help may be too late.
                      Here's a picture to see how it ended up. If you want to see/know more, let me know.

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                      Here's a video too

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                      • #12
                        [ATTACH=CONFIG]n8136379[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]n8136380[/ATTACH] deananywhere, I love your boat, I especially like the recessed LED lighting in the video you posted on Youtube. My wife insists that I put them on mine. I also like how you covered your dashboard. I had the dealership install the new steering when they installed the outboard, but they really botched the job up. I went with Teleflex Baystar hydraulic steering. When they installed it, not only did they not install the tilt helm that explicitly instructed them to put in, they also hacked the crap out of the already hole riddled dash, cutting away the bead extrusion on the bottom of the dash and installing the wrong helm pump so it protrudes down under the bottom of the dash. They made an awful mess of it. Now I'll have to weld in and blend a piece of aluminum to repair the bottom lip of the dash, but I'll have to cover the dash with wood or something instead of the engine turned aluminum panel I had cut for it.
                        Last edited by Mad Scientist; July 19th, 2014, 10:40 PM.

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                        • #13
                          I'm sorry about the botched helm install. I created my steering mount from scratch using parts that came with the cable. I'm not too surprised that they took some shortcuts though. It takes a fair amount of pondering to do it right. The LED lights were tricky too. I used a square white plastic rain gutter down spout, split in two, with custom made wood inserts and clear plastic clips to hold it up without visible screws and no shadows. The LED strips attached to the underside of the trough with all the cables and wires running through the trough. It will take more pictures to explain if you want to know more. I would be happy to share if anyone is interested. From what I can tell, it looks like you've done a nice job polishing the hull. My hull has excessive pitting issues that forced my hand to paint it. Keep up the good work. My wife loves the boat. While I have many things to finish, it is very functional right now.

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                          • #14
                            Any new pictures to share Mad Scientist?

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                            • #15
                              Sign up today
                              Dean,
                              Best to let inactive topics (no posts from the original poster for 90+days) remain inactive.

                              If Mad Scientist posts updates and you subscribe to his topic, you'll be notified of the new posts.

                              Thank you
                              John
                              Money spent @ Boat Restoration should be measured in Smiles & Pride SHOP IBOATS-BOAT SPECS-FORUM HELP-REPAIR/RESTO

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