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Old 10-14-2019, 11:22 PM   #1
City: Los Angeles
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 1
Engine replacement access (ROOF CUTTING!?)


Apologies for first time noobie question!

My wife and I have come very close to buying our first boat for use as floating office/weekend condo/occasional island visitor and hit a snag...

She's a 1985 Chris Craft Corinthian 380 and basically needs at least one new longblock (454's at present).

I've tried to research the cost of this because everything else on the survey was great and we really like the boat... It seems that a new longblock could be had for under $3k. But the cost that might be prohibitive is the labor... what little I could find suggested that the roof might have to be cut away...

Doesn't seem to be much info out there on these models!

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Old 10-15-2019, 12:06 AM   #2
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City: Au Gres, MI
Vessel Name: Never Say Never
Vessel Model: President 41 DC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 11,749
First, welcome aboard. There are sometimes several ways to get a block in and out of a salon. If it is stripped down sometimes through the door or a window. My boat has a soft patch on the flybridge in order to get the engine out. You have to remove the headliner and then cut away the caulking that secures the soft patch along with the screws. Then get a really tall crane and pull it through the top. In your prospective boat I would look at things like what would have to be removed on the top, like a flybridge. It really isn’t that big a deal if you have to cut a hole in the top, it’s just fiberglass and can easily be repaired and painted. Depends on how handy you are or you going to hire it done then it will be a bit of money. I am getting ready to haul my boat for the winter and I have to pull an engine and stack it over the other engine so I can get to the fuel tank on that side and replace it. Now that you are members here, ask away.

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Old 10-15-2019, 05:03 AM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 21,928
A roof hatch is fairly common on lobster boats.
Some are powered with recycled gas engines , so when it dies its a weekend or overnight to R&R the drive train.

Think skylight sized hatch to close the hole.The engine is usually pulled with the tranny attached, for a quicker easier install.

Building a non leaking double coming hatch can be found in a number of Maurice Griffins books .

Weather to paint or varnish ,depends on the level of joinery.

Go to it !
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:30 AM   #4
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City: Wilmington, NC
Vessel Name: Louisa
Vessel Model: Custom Built 38
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 6,176
A 454 can be stripped down to the short block, which is then small enough to fit through most doorways. And not that heavy either. Then land the short block on its mounts and build it up in place.
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Old 10-15-2019, 07:26 AM   #5
City: Rochester, NY
Vessel Name: Hour Glass
Vessel Model: Chris Craft Catalina 381
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 3,488
I'd be surprised if you have to cut to get a 454 out of a Corinthian. Worst case, strip the heads, etc. off the block to make it smaller, as Ski said.

When I had to get a 454 out of my Catalina 381 it fit through the companionway (barely) with the heads still on (lifted out with a crane).

Definitely measure every doorway, opening, etc. on the boat to see what you've got. IIRC, with heads and valve covers installed and the exhaust manifolds and such removed, a 454 is about 23 inches wide. Stripping it to a short block would make it another few inches narrower and would also get it light enough that a few strong people could carry it in/out if the opening isn't conducive to using a crane.

Going from pictures, my first thoughts would be either up and out through the flybridge access (might have to remove any stairs/ladders for clearance) or remove one of the big port side windows and go out that way.

I can say that if you buy the boat and get it all running well, you'll love how it performs. As far as I can determine, the basic hull on the Corinthian is the same as mine. And it's a surprisingly good performing hull.
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Old 10-15-2019, 08:23 AM   #6
City: LI or Fla
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,148
I've see roof cut and doorway with stripped block, at this point you got some good information, now stop in at a few yards and get a feel for them, you could hit one where they can easily explain the process and give you an estimate, the only problem comes in when..... "While I'm at it list".....
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:19 PM   #7
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City: Bellingham, WA
Vessel Name: Excellent Adventure
Vessel Model: 1995 Jefferson Ker Shine 45
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 395
Quite often the block will fit through the window opening when the window is removed.

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