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Old 07-25-2019, 12:23 PM   #1
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Larger Chris Craft repowered to Bravo 3?

No I don't have a Chris Craft but my boat is very similiar to one, I'll give a facebook link which will show it at the time I bought it. The boat is 29 feet long, 10 foot beam and roughly, anyone's guess, about 13,000 lbs wet. Construction of the hull is fiberglass over wood, original build. The boat is called a "Mariner" and it is supposedly built in Vancouver BC but this is difficult to ascertain. I've seen roughly 5 others advertised in Pacific Yachting over the years. Any opinions appreciated.

I searched for a hull number and came up with PME92914, nothing else. When I googled this, a company that came into existence in 1995 cropped up. No way was this boat constructed in 95, by then all construction was pretty much all fiberglass, except for the all wood guys who would never desecrated a hull by putting fiberglass over it... lol.

The build date I was given by the second or third owner, not sure, was 1969 but I am beginning to suspect it might even be earlier.

Upon purchasing the boat, I gutted everything below the deck and much above the deck as well. I believe this boat has been repowered twice before, the last engine I recently sold was a remanufactured Mercury dating to 1975 with one of those massive legs, like a TR... something. So new composting head, external bow thruster added with two Firefly batteries powering it, along with the windlass. A new Firefly battery bank (4), new fuel tanks, new water tanks, other goodies added, including Efoy and Wassel diesel heater, small hot water tank, and stuff I can't remember.

In repowering, I went from a 270 hp Merc with hp measured at the engine, to a 2019 Merc 350 hp measured at the prop. I was going to use a Bravo 3 stern drive but the advise I got from many parties (and I have the long distant phone bills to prove it...) was to install a Bravo 2 instead.

My question is, have any of you with an older, heavier, longer CC used a Bravo 3?

Link to boat images:

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...2498835044761/

Since Chris Craft boats are the closest to what I have of everyone on the Trawler forum, you are my people.
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Old 07-25-2019, 01:07 PM   #2
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The Bravo 3 was typically used in faster boats while the Bravo 2 was specifically designed for larger heavier boats that were not as fast. Your boat screams Bravo 2 to me, buy YMMV.
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Old 07-25-2019, 02:45 PM   #3
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The Bravo 3 was typically used in faster boats while the Bravo 2 was specifically designed for larger heavier boats that were not as fast. Your boat screams Bravo 2 to me, buy YMMV.

The issue with the B3 is prop pitch. Prop pitch starts at 19 inches and goes up to something like 28, but nothing below a 19 except for a company called Hill who makes a B3 18 inch pitch. I have been warned by a prop shop that quality can vary with a Hill prop.

The thinking is my boat is on the cusp and if I have to go lower than an 19 inch pitch, I will be stuck with a leg that stresses the motor not achieving WOT RPM's. Since I will be passing this boat onto my son, I am trying to keep the motor in top shape for him, so I have told my power guy to install the B2.

Now I drive up to where my boat is on the hard, Comox BC, and talk to the cushion guy who is installing new cushions everywhere. I get to play that well known cushion head game - Why do covered cushions cost so much?
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Old 07-25-2019, 02:56 PM   #4
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Cushions cost so much partly because they are labor intensive. I do all my own canvas with a Sailrite machine. I have not gotten into cushions yet but this winter the Stidd helm seat on my boat is due for new cushions. So I guess I will learn all about cushions. Good luck with yours.
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Old 07-25-2019, 02:59 PM   #5
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Oh, BTW a friend of mine had a 28 Bayliner with a big block Bravo2 drive. It was probably a bit lighter than your boat but it was a sweet performer. Planed quickly and if you stayed out of the secondaries it got reasonable fuel economy.
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Old 07-25-2019, 06:02 PM   #6
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When I first bought the over propped, over diametered prop boat, its top speed was roughly 11.5 knots. When I installed the larger engine my hope was maybe 16 - 18 knots. I have been informed by the engine/leg guru at the Merc headquarters in Wisconsin - name of Jay - my boat should be capable of 40 + mph with the B2, it was hard to stifle a laugh when I heard that.
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Old 07-25-2019, 07:00 PM   #7
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40+ maybe going downhill or over Niagra Falls... I would think that you will maybe get in the high 20s and cruise economically aroung 18 to 20.
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:57 PM   #8
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FWIW most of the Chris Crafts , not all , were straight inboards. My 83 280 with a single 350 inboard would get up to about 18-20 knots. I usually ran much slower. When the secondaries kick in your wallet will start to cry...
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Old 07-25-2019, 09:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
Cushions cost so much partly because they are labor intensive. I do all my own canvas with a Sailrite machine. I have not gotten into cushions yet but this winter the Stidd helm seat on my boat is due for new cushions. So I guess I will learn all about cushions. Good luck with yours.

Cushions are actually quite easy once you get over the fear of making/sewing piping. I got my cushion start in the early 1970's when my 2nd-hand living room sectional needed recovering. I signed up for an adult ed upholstery course & loaded one piece/cushion in my Rambler station wagon each week for a semester & by the end of the class I had a completely refurbished couch that I eventually passed on to a daughter years later. The very first night of class made my 1st cushion, & I haven't stopped since. Boat cushions, usually Sunbrella, are easier because 1) the fabric is not a thick as most upholstery fabric, so a pro machine is not required; 2) Velcro (I prefer the soft version) is easier than zippers.


I took a Sailrite sewing machine cruising years ago, but was frustrated by the fact that I had to re-thread whenever switching from straight to zig-zag stitch. It's great if you need to stitch sails or make a bimini, but overkill for slipcovers & many other boat projects. I sold the machine in Mexico to a fellow cruiser & bought a household machine that carried me through for thousands of miles & 2 bolts of Sunbrella. It was invaluable for making all my own clothes on the household machine as we traveled & I discovered the fabulous fabric stores in Latin America (where all the wares are 60" wide). I eventually passed on that machine to a granddaughter & a quarter century later I think it is still being used.


I now own more sewing machines than I can count without using my fingers, several that are designed for specialty stitches (hemming, serging, embroidery). However, when I took up a pastime that required some heavy-duty stitching a few years ago, I invested a c. $125 in an exceptionally sturdy & versatile machine that worked so well I bought 2 more as 1st sewing machines for great-granddaughters. It is similar to my own first machine, purchased in 1962, that I used heavily until I sold it in 1991 when I left the U.S. This new Singer is also mostly metal, unlike most plastic machines today, & is sold under different model numbers (4411, 4423, 4432, 4452). Yes, you can add a walking foot, & there are several different built-in stitches. Switching from straight to zig-zag is just a turn of a dial. This Singer is so inexpensive & versatile, as well as easy to set up, that if one ever needs to invest in a Sailrite, you just might want to keep the Singer for less heavy projects. It is fairly widely sold, & you can probably see it in fabric stores like Joann's. However, the best price I've found is at Amazon (FREE shipping), which sometimes has it on Lightning Deals & Black Friday. I've also bought it at a discount through Amazon Warehouse. This is the sewing machine that will cruise with us on our next boat.
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:05 AM   #10
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The reason I whine and complain about cushion prices is I just paid half the bill as the cushions are assembled. For the full price of the cushions, I could purchase a 9.9 Yamaha outboard. Now how is the price of one comparable to the other?

In fact, the cushions are more expensive than the Yamaha 9.9!
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Old 07-26-2019, 12:02 PM   #11
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When I took the Mercury Prop Selector test, the results are listed below:

YOUR SETUP
Boat type: Cruiser
Usage: Overall good performance/0 ft
Engine Manufacturer:
Mercury
Engine Type: Sterndrive
Engine Year: 2019
Number of Engines: One
Engine Family: Small V8
Engine: MerCruiser 6.2L 350
Drive / Gear Case: Bravo II 2.2 Gear Ratio
DETAILS
Calculated Pitch: 18.09
Calculated Weight with engine(s): 13,556.00 lbs
Calculated Engine RPM: 5,200
Calculated Boat Speed: 35.50 mph

So the speed in this selector is lower than "Jay" at Mercury predicted. As I type this, the begins of the new engine going in is occurring.
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Old 07-26-2019, 01:04 PM   #12
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I have a B3 outdrive on similar sized boat although lighter. My SeaRay 280 Slx is about 29 ft weighs 7000 lbs dry with 350 Merc and has a 9 ft beam. The one huge benefit of the B3 is the counter rotating props buried some 40 inches below the water. Tie this up to an automotive type block and the torque and speed is outrageous. I am man enough to tell u that I backed off the throttle at 4000 rpm and 38 mph in a two foot chop. The draw back of this outdrive is the wake it produces - even at 5-6 mph I sometimes get called out on the radio in no wake zones.
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Old 07-26-2019, 01:47 PM   #13
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The new merc engines aren't automotive engines marinized, they have been designed from the ground up for boating and built in Wisconsin. I called a Prop guy in Everette Washington and he said his Merc chart for B3's stopped at around 9000 lbs. I was told the boat would actually go slower with a B3 than a B2 as the B2 can handle the extra weight whereas the B3 with my boat would have been a crap shoot as to whether it was capable or not.

The torque on the new engines is suppose to be a lot smoother from ideal to WOT.
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Old 07-26-2019, 02:05 PM   #14
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Not sure that these stern drive blocks aren't auto based st least to the block guts Mercury does not make enough engines to drive down tooling costs. A 350 HP verrado is about $36k whereas I can buy a 350 6.2L motor for about 16k - most of this difference is due to quantity of blocks in production. Just my years in manufacturing things.
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Old 07-26-2019, 02:42 PM   #15
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If memory serves me, the B2 drive has a larger lower gearcase so it can handle the larger load from the bigger prop. With a large heavy boat you need the larger prop to transfer the power to the water. And the larger gears to handle the load. Merc tried using a big block in the late 80s or early 90s with an Alpha 1 drive. It worked ok with a light fast boat but then Searay put it in some cruisers in order to keep the price down. The smaller gears could not handle the torque of the big block and would fail usually while trying to get onto plane.
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Old 07-26-2019, 03:41 PM   #16
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Mercury propoganda. The following video shows the 6.2 l engine with 300 hp, it also comes in a 350 hp package as I have. But you will here the changes made to the engine design:



The 350 at the Paris show: Just a panning video of the engine



And finally (I got the optional fresh water cooling):

The MerCruiser 6.2L sterndrive platform – like the recently introduced MerCruiser 4.5L V-6 platform for 200hp and 250hp engines – was designed and is manufactured at Mercury Marine’s world headquarters in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Mercury designed and built the 6.2L engine specifically for marine use rather than adapting and marinizing an automotive engine. The company said the 6.2L is not burdened with automotive restrictions and unnecessary technologies that result in additional cost and complexity without adding value.


The MerCruiser 6.2L engine offers a runner scrolled intake manifold that optimizes airflow for higher torque, which translates into greater acceleration and improved boat performance. High displacement provides a more enjoyable and safer boating experience by letting consumers plane their boat quickly, handle rough seas better and stay on plane at lower speeds.

The 6.2L V-8 also offers Adaptive Speed Control (ASC), which automatically maintains a set RPM point regardless of load or condition changes, such as tight turns, tow-sport activities and lower speeds on plane. The result is increased throttle response and a “sportier” feel for the driver, who no longer has to make continual throttle-control adjustments. An option for the 6.2L V-8 with DTS is Axius Joystick Piloting for Sterndrives, providing the ultimate in docking experience and maneuverability.

“The new 6.2-liter V8 engine is another outstanding example of a Mercury product designed from the ground up with technologies, design features and materials that deliver unmatched value to our marine customers,” said David Foulkes, chief technology officer for Brunswick Corporation and vice president of Mercury product development, engineering and racing. “It joins our extensive and proven portfolio of products that provide exceptional performance, fuel economy, durability, smoothness and quietness, combined with intuitive operation, service and maintenance.”

An air-intake resonator on the 6.2L suppresses harsh sound frequencies throughout the engine operation range, while an all-new, aft-facing throttle body directs noise away from the cockpit for easier conversation. Larger and optimized engine mounts isolate undesirable engine vibration and reduce resonant vibration sounds.

The 6.2L is available with optional freshwater cooling and the SeaCore drive corrosion protection treatment, which provides extra corrosion protection only when needed, such as saltwater environments. Freshwater cooling uses a heat exchanger and coolant fluid to maintain engine temperature, rather than raw water from a lake or ocean. The coolant travels through the engine and the exhaust manifolds, and prevents internal corrosion of the cooling passages. The SeaCore drive is a hard-anodizing process that alters the surface layer of the aluminum drive casting to prevent saltwater penetration that leads to corrosion.
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