1974 Chieftain 25 "Adventurer" Restoration

IslandExplorer

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
341
Finally found my Chieftain 25 project. Just got her home a month or so ago and started to working on her. Poor old girl was left collecting leaves for 10-15 years in owners yard. Looking to get this boat cleaned out, tuned up, and refitted for the water This year. I know that sounds incredibly unlikely but you may be surprised, we shall see! I'd like to chronical this rebuild in the hopes that it will encourage others to dig into a classic piece of history like this and bring it back to good use. Here are the pictures of how she looked when I first went to check her out this past fall.
 

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IslandExplorer

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
341
2nd visit, this time to remove axles to be refurbished at home and brought back.
 

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IslandExplorer

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
341
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Got her home finally.
 

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IslandExplorer

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
341
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Lot's of clean up. Over a dozen contractor bags of old styro mixed with leaves and mulched plywood.
 

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IslandExplorer

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
341
Digging out and removing all the crap.
 

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IslandExplorer

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
341
For better access to replace transom, engine needed to be pulled, so a crane of sorts was in order. Used an old Catalina 27 sailboat boom to lift the Mercruiser V8 out. Nearly failed but the makeshift setup held. This was the mock-up setup and the somewhat reinforced setup that was whipped up quick.IMG_20230518_131341.jpgIMG_20230518_134832.jpgIMG_20230518_151700.jpgIMG_20230518_154350.jpgIMG_20230518_155521.jpgIMG_20230518_160451.jpg
 

Moserkr

Chief Officer + Starmada Splash Of The Year 2021
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
804
What a beauty!! Some fine redneck engineering to boot on that motor lift. That wagon with it is epic to top it all off. You have a huge blank canvas that needs a lot of work. The potential is there, looking forward to see your vision come to life!
 

IslandExplorer

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
341
What a beauty!! Some fine redneck engineering to boot on that motor lift. That wagon with it is epic to top it all off. You have a huge blank canvas that needs a lot of work. The potential is there, looking forward to see your vision come to life!
Thanks, I am really excited to get her back together and start doing some of the more fun things like the interior and cockpit customizations. Definitely have a vision for the old girl!
 

IslandExplorer

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
341
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Update: Replacement crane boom completed. This one is 12' instead of the Catalina's 10' 6", and solid, 7018 welded, steel. 😎 Lifted and moved Mercruiser no problem so should be safer than the last one that nearly failed. Great success lol
 

IslandExplorer

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
341
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Transom mush removal. Pretty much just pulled it apart by hand, was at about a burly 0% structural integrity I estimated. The last of the 6 legged stowaways perished in the soapy bilge mulch swill. Still need to unbolt outdrive collar? portal? (not sure what it is called) so last of wood can be cleaned out and new transom template can be made. Gettin there! Slowly but surely...
 
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havoc_squad

Senior Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Mar 5, 2011
Messages
679
I'm curious how those engine mounting points on that boat are constructed. Most of the time we only see the 3.0L inline 4 and inline 6 front engine mount construction on these tinny boats with sterndrives.

More detailed photos of that would be appreciated if possible.
 

IslandExplorer

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
341
I'm curious how those engine mounting points on that boat are constructed. Most of the time we only see the 3.0L inline 4 and inline 6 front engine mount construction on these tinny boats with sterndrives.

More detailed photos of that would be appreciated if possible.
The V8 sits right on two boxed beams, open only at rear, with nice reinforcement plates that extend down between the ribs. I have discovered that this is not the only structure however and there is a wood piece about 4x4x36 (estimated) secured underneath the aluminum beam, located in place by 2 studs with stainless steel nuts fore and aft. The motor mounts then bolt through the beam and presumably screw down into the 4x4. I am going to test the integrity of this piece of wood once the transom is completely out and I will add more detail. Here are a few pictures of it for now:
 

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