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Old 08-04-2021, 04:16 PM   #1
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Exclamation Tolly 26 project

Hello all, I am new to the forum and looking forward to making some great friends here. Now to the meat of my post. I have recently purchased a 78 tolly 26. It is in good shape, very clean but, comes with the powertrain out of the boat. It was supplied with a (new, still in crate but no longer made) 8.1 L crusader, captains choice 400hp big block and a spanking new 1:1 V drive. Purchase price also includes a brand new oversize rudder. I've looked and looked, but can't find anyone who has swapped a 26 to a big block. I am struggling to find prop info. And if anyone knows anyone or is someone who has made the switch to a BB on a repower. This boat will be used to fish and hunt the Prince William sound area out of Whittier AK. Any and all help and advise is greatly appreciated!
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Old 08-04-2021, 06:07 PM   #2
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What was the former power and what are specs of your existing prop you have. Surprised your V drive is a 1:1 ratio as most 26 Tolly boats with a V drive had 1.5:1 or 2:1. Problem with 1:1 is shaft speed will be high therefore prop will need to be something in the 17 or 16 inch diameter range. I have seen two 26 Tolly´s with BBC power, one a 454 carb´d and the other was a 501 EFI. Both performed well but were thirsty. Motor mounts are same specs as SBC as is trans mounts. Pretty easy swap.

On edit, it is possible the previous power had a 1.5:1 V drive and the thought was with a BBC power spin the existing prop at a higher speed therefore not having to buy a new prop.
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Old 08-04-2021, 06:49 PM   #3
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Tollyclub.com may give you some guidance. A friend had a 26 Tolly with a small block Chev V8 and V-drive. Things were pretty tight even with that smaller set-up. Hope you have room for the big iron.
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Old 08-04-2021, 07:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bill V View Post
What was the former power and what are specs of your existing prop you have. Surprised your V drive is a 1:1 ratio as most 26 Tolly boats with a V drive had 1.5:1 or 2:1. Problem with 1:1 is shaft speed will be high therefore prop will need to be something in the 17 or 16 inch diameter range. I have seen two 26 Tolly´s with BBC power, one a 454 carb´d and the other was a 501 EFI. Both performed well but were thirsty. Motor mounts are same specs as SBC as is trans mounts. Pretty easy swap.

On edit, it is possible the previous power had a 1.5:1 V drive and the thought was with a BBC power spin the existing prop at a higher speed therefore not having to buy a new prop.
I am assuming the previous power was a standard and original 5.7L mercruiser or the like (based on the mount setup etc), but don't rightly know as there's just a hole there now. There is no prop, hence why I am looking for insight, advice. This is a newer comp controlled EFI 8.1L so from what I've read it will actually be *significantly* more fuel efficient than the old 5.7 carb unit. This is my first inboard shaft/prop boat, my others were I/O. My hope is to set this boat up for a comfortable 22-25kt cruise speed. And I especially like the BB torque for rougher seas, that I WILL ENCOUNTER!lol. Any and all input, advice and sarcasm is greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-04-2021, 07:16 PM   #5
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I've tried to look there but seems to be a dry hole. But thanks for the advice.
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Old 08-04-2021, 07:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKBOATMAN View Post
I am assuming the previous power was a standard and original 5.7L mercruiser or the like (based on the mount setup etc), but don't rightly know as there's just a hole there now. There is no prop, hence why I am looking for insight, advice. This is a newer comp controlled EFI 8.1L so from what I've read it will actually be *significantly* more fuel efficient than the old 5.7 carb unit. This is my first inboard shaft/prop boat, my others were I/O. My hope is to set this boat up for a comfortable 22-25kt cruise speed. And I especially like the BB torque for rougher seas, that I WILL ENCOUNTER!lol. Any and all input, advice and sarcasm is greatly appreciated.
I am no expert on this but that 8.1 might be too big for that boat. I believe some of my original documentation on my 26 says max of 450 cc. Not sure how 8.1 liters measures up to that. I would check with others who would be more knowledgeable than I.

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Old 08-04-2021, 09:39 PM   #7
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Why did the PO not install the big engine with 1:1 ratio gears?

Just a thought: Might want to sell the big engine and purchase a 350 ci with fi and high hp package. That'll move the boat well and be a fair bit more economical - I think??!!

Not sure how the 1:1 ratio works in with either size engine??

We currently enjoy our straight drive 34' Tolly tri cabin with twin 350 ci / 255 hp gas engines... at one time we had a 31' Uniflite with similar size and hp twins.

34' Tolly can do 16 to 17 knots at 1 nmpg [we usually cruise at 6.5 to 7 knots at 2 + nmpg - 7.58 knots is calced hull speed]. The v-drive Uni ran all day at 20 + knots averaging just over 1 nmpg.
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Old 08-04-2021, 10:19 PM   #8
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There is absolutely no doubt the BBC whether in 454 (7.4L) or 496 (8.1L) will fit in the 26 Tolly. I have seen the 501 (8.2L) BBC in a 79 26 Tolly. As I remember he averaged about 1nmpg and cruised comfortably at around 18-20 knots. There is actually more room in the engine room to work on it then I have with twin SBC engines. My boat a 78 GlasPly is a close cousin to the 26 Tolly. Major difference is I have about 11 ft beam verses the Tolly 10 ft beam. There is a short You Tube video on a 454 26 Tolly running. For the record, Tollycraft sold as a factory OEM a 454 I/O in 1977.
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Old 08-04-2021, 10:35 PM   #9
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Vic prop calculator. Guessing your weight at 7500 pounds. Thirty knot cruise topping out at 42 knots with a three blade 12.5 x 12.8inch prop.
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Old 08-05-2021, 07:46 PM   #10
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Vic prop calculator. Guessing your weight at 7500 pounds. Thirty knot cruise topping out at 42 knots with a three blade 12.5 x 12.8inch prop.
Actually, the boat weighs about 9000lbs.
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Old 08-05-2021, 09:52 PM   #11
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Vic prop calculator. Guessing your weight at 7500 pounds. Thirty knot cruise topping out at 42 knots with a three blade 12.5 x 12.8inch prop.
There is no way a 9000# 26 Tolly will hit 42 knots (48 mph) on 400HP 8.1 BBC engine. Even at 7500# it would be doubtful. I weigh 11,500 and twin 350hp 383 engines hit 36 knots (42mph) at WOT 4600. Shaft speed must be crazy with the 1:1 V drive to run a 12.5¨ diameter prop.
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Old 08-05-2021, 09:53 PM   #12
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Actually, the boat weighs about 9000lbs.
Ol' Tolly's = built to last. Heavy gals!!
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Old 08-05-2021, 10:27 PM   #13
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Ol' Tolly's = built to last. Heavy gals!!
One of the reasons there are so many 40+ year old Tollys around.
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Old 08-06-2021, 01:06 AM   #14
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One of the reasons there are so many 40+ year old Tollys around.
Yup... I know... We have a fine example of 1977 34' Tollycraft tri cabin as representative. Biggest little best built boat I know of!
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Old 08-06-2021, 03:34 PM   #15
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OK. A recalculated vic prop calculator set of numbers.
25 knots will use 156 hp of your 400.
Top speed of 39 knots using a 3 blade prop of 12.5 Dia x 11.8 pitch
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Old 08-06-2021, 04:49 PM   #16
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As for the 454 engine it will fit. I have a friend who had one installed although now a long time ago.
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