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K, KFL, Runabout, Costum Runabout, Runabout deluxe..?

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lauritstherkildsen
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K, KFL, Runabout, Costum Runabout, Runabout deluxe..?

Post by lauritstherkildsen » Sat Feb 23, 2019 4:10 pm

Hello,

The other day I wrote a long text with a lot of questions and thoughts regarding my 1956 CC Runabout. Unfortunately, the website timed out before I got to the end of my long monologue, and everything was deleted. Oh my.

Today, I'm going to give it another shot - hoping this time to be more swift on the keyboard and also perhaps keeping it a bit shorter.

The thing is, that I moved here to the US (Ohio) 3 months ago with my family. My wife does research at the university here - development of new medicine and treatment for genetically diseases. The job offer was to interesting for her to pass, so we went all-in and sold everything in Denmark. The house, the cars and worst of all the boats. Just small fiberglass boats, bot nevertheless.

Shortly after Christmas I was feeling sorry for myself, and decided to look for a smaller beat-up fishing boat suitable for Lake Erie that I could spend the winter and spring fixing up. Instead I accidentally stumbled across a 17' 1956 Chris Craft Runabout in quite a few more pieces than when it rolled off the assembly line back in the days. Long story short, I ended up buying the boat. I just sort of spoke to me - I have a feeling that some of you might know that particular feeling as well. I bought it from the wife of the elderly gentleman, whom it had belonged to for the last twenty-something years. The gentleman was midways in renovation the deck, when he suddenly wasn't able to finish the job due to health problems. He had also taken the engine out of the boat. The wife told me that the engine (as far as she knew) had been faulty and that her husband had bought another engine. As far as she recalled, it turned out that the new engine didn't fit into the boat (or for some other reason didn't fit the boat), and that it therefore had been totally dismantled in order to sell the parts for, well, spare parts.

Now, as we looked through the back barn, I discovered that there was a lot, like really a lot, of cardboard boxes, buckets, bags, you name it, where bits and pieces of the dismantled engine was hiding. I brought it all back with me, and to my surprise 95% of a Chris Craft model K engine appeared in front of me. The other engine in the back barn, the engine that wasn't taken apart, is a KFL.

I have reached out to the Mariners Museum, and asked them about what engine the boat came with. The answer was a bit surprising. It turns out, that the boat came with a K engine, but not the one I now have in my garage. At least the serial# doesn't match, but no one knows if the exhaust manifold have been switched at some point in history. Out of respect for the previous owner I don't want to get into details, but even though he is still around today, he cannot provide any information about the boat, and his wife has told me that there really is no way of knowing what her husband has bought, sold and/or thought of in the time leading up to his illness was diagnosed. He most likely wasn't in his right mind, so to speak. Again, I mean absolutely no disrespect, I'm merely telling that it is a rather large puzzle with no way of knowing if all the pieces are present.

And so, her comes the questions:

- If neither the K nor the KFL is the original engine, what engine would you then put into the boat, knowing that the boat was born with a K but that the KFL is in much better shape (I might plan to have the engine professionally rebuild anyway)?

- I have been trying to compare my runabout with other boats. I seem to come up empty handed when trying to figure out, what the difference is between a "runabout", "custom runabout", "runabout deluxe", "double cockpit forward runabout" and what have you. There seems to be some sort of discrepancy in the terms people use to characterize their vessel. My boat has hull# D-17-1083. I have seen boats with almost the same last 4 digits be called all sorts of thing. It's all rather confusing to a woodie-newbee.

- I might take the boat home with me, when/if we move back to Europe. In that process, the boat needs to get through customs. And in order for it to do so, I need to know the marked value of the boat, AND the boat + engine have to be CE certified. It's all very troublesome. The questions are therefore:

a) If I restore the boat so that it is in, let's say, 8 out of 10 condition. What would the boat then (ball park) be worth in the US?
b) have any of you got any information about anybody, who have exported a old Chris Craft - or other similar boat - to the EU and who have managed to get the engine through the emission-requirement of the CE certification? I have a nagging feeling, that the engine emission part is going to be an hard one to crack. Anybody knows what the emission from a fully rebuild 1956-ish engine looks like?

I hope that some of you out there can enlighten me a bit here. I definitely appreciate all the help I can get on this one.

Thanks for your patience!

All the best
Laurits

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Don Vogt
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Re: K, KFL, Runabout, Costum Runabout, Runabout deluxe..?

Post by Don Vogt » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:46 pm

this is an interesting story, Laurits.

According to the conrad book (he formerly worked at the mariners' museum where the cc records are kept and has written a fairly definitive account of the various models), Hulls D-17-1001 to D-17-1094 were for the 1956 model year 17' "runabout." It was not characterized as deluxe, custom, etc. just plain Runabout. He also states that this model, and the similar 57's and 58' runabout model used the following engines (doesnt say which engines were available in which years) cc: B, K, Klc, and kbl.

The next question is what engine to use. That really depends on what you want to accomplish. If you want to be as close to a ;urist as possible, then you might choose a K. Otherwise you can use whatever you like. Modern power might help you with the emissions question but a Kfl would be closer to historically or "period" correct than say a new crusader. Modern power would be more reliable and less effort and could provide more horsepower, depending on what you think you might want/need, but might cost you more, depending on what the old engines require in terms of rebuilding, etc.

Might check the Hagerty insurance website to see if they provide value information on that or a similar model. Might also check with a major seller, like antique boat center, cincinatti, Katz marina, n.j., etc. to get some ideas.

There was no great consistency from time to time in the use of these models terms by chris-craft , except to say that in the hierarchy of pricing, usually the runabout term by itself might be lowest in price where there were related models, then the deluxe, which was less expensive than a similar model characterized as "custom".

the double cockpit forward (of the engine) was a term used in some of the pre war runabout models. (As opposed to a "split" cockpit where one set of seats was forward of the engine and the other set was behind the engine.)

in the pre-war era, sometimes it related to what equipment was standard, but could also be used by chris craft when they were designating models to differentiate boat size. in the post war, it often related to boat length, as in the 20' Custom in 1948 vs. the 17' Deluxe model of the same year. custom of course being more expensive, and usually finished more nicely, than the shorter deluxe. A bit confusing but in your case the model was simply a 17' runabout.

Hope this helps some. Good luck and keep us posted as to what you end up doing.
1938 Chris Craft 17' Deluxe Runabout "Jennifer II"

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Re: K, KFL, Runabout, Costum Runabout, Runabout deluxe..?

Post by lauritstherkildsen » Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:04 pm

Thank you for your reply!

The "Conrad Book" you mentioned, is it by any chance this one?

https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Craft-Esse ... merReviews

If anybody have any suggestions on what books to read in order to get a bit more educated on what, I have a feeling could become somewhat of an obsession to me, they are more than welcome to share those suggestions.

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Re: K, KFL, Runabout, Costum Runabout, Runabout deluxe..?

Post by Don Vogt » Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:30 pm

right. you can also search the archive here in the club website to see what materials might be available that specifically relate to this particular model.

the thought also occurs to me that I believe the motor number was on the hull card and stamped on the engine block when made. If that is the same engine block, then it is possible that some of the peripheral items were added later that included a different hull number tag? If so and you want to use the same engine, a new tag can be made that has the correct hull number on it.

Or alternatively, a full k engine might have been saved from an otherwise derelict boat with that hull tag, and purchased to replace a bad engine in this hull?
1938 Chris Craft 17' Deluxe Runabout "Jennifer II"

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Re: K, KFL, Runabout, Costum Runabout, Runabout deluxe..?

Post by Don Vogt » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:13 pm

one more point of clarification. the boat serial number had 2 components, the model designation, and then the second part was the particular boat made in that series. for example. the D17 part designated the model ( in this case the 1956-58 17' runabout.)The second part, in your case the 1083, meant that your boat was the 83d boat in the series. as it was toward the end of the run for '56, it was probably built in the summer of '56.

Chris craft followed the auto convention in those days and started the "56 model year production, for example, in the late summer of '55, and would finish the year's production around the middle of the next calendar year. So in comparing boat models you want to look at the first part of the number to understand what particular model is being discussed, not the second part.
1938 Chris Craft 17' Deluxe Runabout "Jennifer II"

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Re: K, KFL, Runabout, Costum Runabout, Runabout deluxe..?

Post by lauritstherkildsen » Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:44 pm

Thank you very much for clarifying the different terms/suffixes. That was very informative. Also the link to the book - I might as well get that myself.

Also the Hagerty link was really helpful - thanks again.

As for the engine#'s and the hull#, I'm still a bit puzzled. The previous owner was - as I wrote earlier - changing the deck planks to new ones because he wasn't pleased with the caulking of the deck. Again, I have no idea why the deck needed brand new planks in order to get that job done. But in the process, he most likely screwed out the hull number plate, because I found the plate in a small card board box with 4 brass screws. I have attached a picture of the hull plate. The hull plate says: D-17-1083. Is there any way of telling if this hull plate actually goes with the hull I now own? Are there any carved-in numbers in the keel or any other wooden part of the boat that I can cross check?

The K-engine, that I have now been able to put somewhat together, has a plate on the exhaust manifold saying K-59377 (see attached picture). However, I have a feeling that the K-engine might be a mix of different K-engines. If you look at the picture of the put-together K-engine, it seems obvious that the cylinder head comes from a different engine, since the paint color is much different from the other blue parts.

The Mariners Museum tells me that the boat with that specific hull number came with a K engine #73311

The KFL looks to be in overall good shape. The question is if it will actually fit in the hull...?

Last, the stamped number on the K-engine block, that you are referring to, are those numbers located right next to (to the left of) the fuel pump? I have some punched numbers and letters on the side of the engine block, but it seems to me, that there have been some other numbers on the engine block way back in time that have later on been removed with an angle grinder and then new numbers have been punched in. That is confusing me - did CC put some generic number on the engine block, then polished them of with angle grinder and then finally punch in new numbers? I've tried to attach some pictures of the engine block with punched in numbers.

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Re: K, KFL, Runabout, Costum Runabout, Runabout deluxe..?

Post by lauritstherkildsen » Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:18 pm

Seems to have some troubles uploading pictures.

Let's see if it works this time
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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Re: K, KFL, Runabout, Costum Runabout, Runabout deluxe..?

Post by Don Vogt » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:36 pm

thanks, i am glad this has been helpful. You are asking questions that are getting outside of my limited expertise, so perhaps there are others who can be helpful here. Off the top of my head, i am not sure where exactly the engine number is but i think it was part of the casting. somewhere on the top i recall. the motors came that way, I do not know what the deal is with grinding numbers off and then stamping them the way you show. Makes one wonder.

In any event, the ideal thing to do is to first establish the hull number. I am not sure exactly where it was put in that model, but usually there are a number of places it was put. at least in the pre war, such as stamped into the wood on the stringer, on the frame board under the back deck by the hatch opening, written on seat backs, etc.

As for engine, I am not the one to ask about how a kfl might work.?

Keep digging! good luck.

btw, at least in pre-war the hull tag was attached on the inside of the hatch cover, fwiw.
1938 Chris Craft 17' Deluxe Runabout "Jennifer II"

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Re: K, KFL, Runabout, Costum Runabout, Runabout deluxe..?

Post by drrot » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:13 am

The KFL will fit in the same spot. Couple things to check first are if the rear carburetor will clear the engine stringer and do you have the 2 3/4" exhaust needed.
The photos do not show up on my screen. I get "You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post."
Anyone know why??
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1947 Penn Yan 12' Cartopper WXH474611
1950 Chris-Craft 22' Sportsman U-22-1532
1957 Chris-Craft 26' Sea Skiff SK-26-515
1968 Century 17' Resorter FG-68-174

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Re: K, KFL, Runabout, Costum Runabout, Runabout deluxe..?

Post by Don Vogt » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:35 am

Unfortunately, that has been a problem here on and off for a while. i am not encountering it anymore, but when i did, i had to keep relogging in, and after several attempts, the attachments would show up. ?
1938 Chris Craft 17' Deluxe Runabout "Jennifer II"

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Re: K, KFL, Runabout, Costum Runabout, Runabout deluxe..?

Post by mbigpops » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:10 pm

Happens when your dog logs you off.
1953 CC Rocket Runabout "Rocket Man"

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Re: K, KFL, Runabout, Costum Runabout, Runabout deluxe..?

Post by drrot » Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:14 am

I thought about that but there was no fur on the keyboard :shock:
Jim Staib
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1947 Penn Yan 12' Cartopper WXH474611
1950 Chris-Craft 22' Sportsman U-22-1532
1957 Chris-Craft 26' Sea Skiff SK-26-515
1968 Century 17' Resorter FG-68-174

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Re: K, KFL, Runabout, Costum Runabout, Runabout deluxe..?

Post by lauritstherkildsen » Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:05 pm

Just a little extra question...

I have now received the Research Package from the Mariners Museum. It's really interesting to se the old hull card and to read through the old material.

One thing puzzled me about the hull card though. On the hull card is written - in hand - the following: "ITEM #1-BUILD-AS-A-COMPLETE-CUSTUM-RUNABOUT".

And on the old "Price Schedule 1956 Showboat Fleet" it says under the 17' Runabout: ""To make a Custom Runabout add chromium plated stem band, panel cockpit with mahogany, finish bright, linoleum on floor". This upgrade - as I read and understand it - is available for all 5 engines (60, 95, 105, 120 and 131 hp) and comes at an additional price of $85.

According to the "Price Schedule 1956 Showboat Fleet" the same upgrade is available for the entire '56 "sportsman "Series"" (i.e. the 17' Sportsman, the 17' Runabout and the 20' Sportsman).

This information makes me wonder about two things:

- Is it not then a possibility, that a 17' or 20' Sportsman or a 17' Runabout boat manufactured in the '56-'58-period as a default would not be a "Custom", but that the buyer could add the Custom-upgrade if he or she wanted to pay the few extra dollars? If so, there could be a number of "Custom Runabouts" (and Sportsman for that matter) scattered among the 330 17' Runabout hulls build in '56-'58 and the only way to know for sure would be to look at the boat's hull card?

- According to "The Essential Guide" (The Mariners Museum send me a copy of the relevant page), the 17' Runabout from '56-'58 was offered with 4 different engines: B, K, KLC and KBL. But according to the "Price Schedule 1956 Showboat Fleet", the boat could indeed be purchased with 5 different hp's as mentioned above - either a 60, 95, 105, 120 or a 131 hp engine. Now, the 60 hp would be the 4-cylinder B-engine. The 95 hp would be the 6-cylinder K. The 120 hp would probably be the KLC. The 131 hp could be the 6-cylinder KBL (I suppose it could also be the KFL). So what engine would yield the 105 hp? The KL, which apparently is just a K with a longer stroke?

Anyway, I'm still looking into the stamping on the engine block thing. It's still confusing be terribly. The more turquoise-colored head has a cast number 3656, which is "normal" for both the K-engines #73311 (number on the hull card) and #59377 (number on the exhaust manifold) according to this old post: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6772.

Isn't there any way to tell for sure if the exhaust manifold has been changed? If the block is the original one, I would really like to know this for sure.

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Re: K, KFL, Runabout, Costum Runabout, Runabout deluxe..?

Post by drrot » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:34 pm

Find this pad on the starboard side where the head and block meet in the center. Send the numbers to the Mariners Museum and ask them if it is original to the hull.
I have to assume it uploaded. I don't have permission to see my own files!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Jim Staib
www.finewoodboats.com


1947 Penn Yan 12' Cartopper WXH474611
1950 Chris-Craft 22' Sportsman U-22-1532
1957 Chris-Craft 26' Sea Skiff SK-26-515
1968 Century 17' Resorter FG-68-174

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Re: K, KFL, Runabout, Costum Runabout, Runabout deluxe..?

Post by lauritstherkildsen » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:31 pm

Well I'll be...

Thank you very much for the good description on where to find the number and also the picture (I had to log in 3-4 times before I could see it)

Can't believe I didn't see that sooner. It was all covered in old filth.

It say's QXD5M 2814161. I'll ask the Museum right away.

If it turns out that the engine block is indeed the original one, and the exhaust manifold therefore must be a later replacement, would it then be possible to have a new exhaust manifold plate created with the real engine(block) number on it? Have I understood that correct? And if so - how does one go about with that?

Thanks again!

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Re: K, KFL, Runabout, Costum Runabout, Runabout deluxe..?

Post by mbigpops » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:45 am

Exhaust manifolds fail and get replaced and several of the well known parts sources sell the plates and will even stamp them for you.

Mark
1953 CC Rocket Runabout "Rocket Man"

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Re: K, KFL, Runabout, Costum Runabout, Runabout deluxe..?

Post by jwmccman » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:02 am

This information may be of some use.
KFL41685
Block number 2910059
Originally installed in Hull number CC 17 3273 3-15-57

K59377
Block number 2814161
Originally installed in Hull number CC 17 007 6-20-52


K73311
Block number 2886319
Originally installed in Hull number D 17 1083 5-18-56

Joe Morrison

lauritstherkildsen
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Re: K, KFL, Runabout, Costum Runabout, Runabout deluxe..?

Post by lauritstherkildsen » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:47 am

Thank you very much for that information!

Although it wasn't what I wanted to hear, it's still good to now finally have some clarification on the origin of the engines. Thank you again!

- Laurits

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