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Need advice on a possible purchase for restoration of a 1958 Roamer 42'

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  • Need advice on a possible purchase for restoration of a 1958 Roamer 42'

    Greetings all!

    I have come across a 1958 Chris Craft Roamer 42' steel hull that I am interested in for a restoration project.

    It has only been used in fresh water on the Great Lakes, though has been out of the water the last 20 years or so. It was professionally winterized when it last came out of the water and was stored under cover and/or wrapped since. I was told it ran perfectly when taken out for the season on the last use with all intentions of going back in the water the next spring, which never happened due to the owners aging and health. From appearances I suspect this is true as this had been cared for when it was used, and despite some weathering care has been taken to protect it fairly well as it has been sitting.

    It has the original 200HP engines (I believe they are the Hercules 226 WBR series?) with about 800 hours on the clock. I am unable to see how I could turn them by hand to see if they are seized, but visual inspection shows no immediate concerns. The prop shafts turn freely. It has the original generator and that does turn over by hand without issues.

    My interest is to restore the boat to good (not showroom) condition for pleasure use on Lake Superior. I want to keep with the style and theme of the era, but am not opposed to modern components when safety, convenience, or significant savings would dictate otherwise.

    I have rebuilt a few GM 4.3L V6 I/O marine engines for much smaller (and newer) boats, but feel confident that if parts are available I could perform the overhaul myself. Not knowing much (yet) about these boats I am a little unsure what I would need to budget (I am assuming an overhaul is going to be necessary even if my miracle they start).

    I'm not an expert but the hull appears to be in good order, though it will need to be repainted (I have scraped and painted a 45 foot sailbot - so I am fairly knowledgeable of what this would entail). The interior is actually in fairly good shape. No signs of wood rot anywhere, though it all will need to be refinished and carpet/upholstery replaced. The fiberglass roofs will also need to be replaced or repaired.

    I am not looking for someone to tell me I can make money on this boat, or that I can make it pretty in a month with a hundred bucks and some elbow grease. I get that this boat needs some serious time and money. I am just looking for some insight on whether this could a good candidate for restoration, and perhaps some insight into the ease of rebuilding the engines as I am not familiar with these old Hercules setups. Also any advice on what I should be looking for as common/potential problems with this model.

    If I can get it running, I will be happy to use it as a floating cabin as I work on the rest of it. While at the marina I have food/showers/restrooms available so I can get to all that stuff over time.

    I have added a few photos for reference.


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    Last edited by ccrobin; October 20th, 2016, 12:24 PM. Reason: Added photos

  • #2
    Looks like an awesome project to me but I know little about large boats. I'm not sure how much other comment action you'll get down here in then Chris Craft section.
    2002 20' Hydra-Sports 202DC 200HP Yamaha HPDI
    1976 18' Starcraft SuperSport 90HP Evinrude
    Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=357767

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    • #3
      Thanks. It is a Chris Craft (Roamer was the model) so I am hoping this will be a good place for some info.

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      • #4
        nice looking restoration project. permission to come aboard?
        1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - http://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

        Past Boats
        1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
        2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheasheads in Paradise"
        1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

        What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Scott Danforth View Post
          nice looking restoration project. permission to come aboard?

          SURE! May need someone to help paddle it until I get it running.

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          • #6
            Sign up today
            I'll bring very little to the table, but I love the approach and looks like an awesome boat...permission to come aboard?



            11/2015-Current 2003 Cobalt 220: 5.7GXi Volvo Penta DP

            9/2013-1/30/2016 1996 Chris Craft Concept 18: 5.0FL Volvo Penta SX Outdrive 1.66-SOLD

            8/2007-9/2012 1982 Baja BR184: 200 Mercury Blackmax
            -SOLD

            "I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake"

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