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The Epiphany

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:59 am
by bob smith
I've been at this since '08. How to have the classic look with a stern mounted v-drive big block.
Specifically, I have a '75 Century Arabian w/454 vdrive that is pretty tired topside but is mechanically in great shape.
My plan all along has been to use it as the donor and build either a Tahoe or Riviera. As has been thoroughly discussed in the forum, there is not a good way to make this happen. I went to the Gathering in 2009 and was reinvigorated by the outstanding boats (and builders) there. I was particularly inspired by Bill Yonescu's and Butch Barto's boats.
I have plans for the Riviera and the Dragster and toyed with melding the two designs but chickened out. finally I decided to redux the Century in wood and retro style the superstructure. It hung suspended in the garage all winter while I did a take off on the hull and constructed plywood templates for the frames.
Then the epiphany.
In purusing the Riviera plans for the upteenth time it dawned on me that the dimensions at the chine are remarkably close to the Century's. Hmmmm, Century bottom/Riviera up top. Well that's the plan and get this. Cut the Century at the chine, build the Riviera from the chine up using the chine dimensions of the Century hull.
Hull will be finished bright with CM plywood superstucture finished off with mahogany planking
The Century's hydrodynamics don't change (center of balance, strakes, wetted area are unchanged).
There is now room for the BBC in the Riviera superstructure.
The BBC (now 468 cid) is undergoing a weight loss program w/ aluminum heads, intake, exhaust and waterpump. It may weigh-in less than a 350. "There is no replacment for displacement."
Specifics will follow with pix but for now I am comfortable with the transition/connection between the top and bottom.
I am comfortable that the performance and handling will be as good or better than the original Century's and the
Riviera's look will be stunning.
All I have to do is to gather the courage to fire up the Sawzall. No turning back then!
If this works as planned, it may present a pathfor others to the elusive stern drive barrelback
Oh, by the way, since it's technically an existing hull, no new hull number/registration/titling is required.
I would appreciate your comments/critique/advice/encouragement.
Bob Smith

Re: The Epiphany

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:08 pm
by Bob Levar
I think you have a great idea and hope it works.
Do you have any suggestions for someone without an existing bout to use for the bottom?
Thanks for any suggestions.

Re: The Epiphany

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:00 pm
by BruceDow
That is a brilliant idea.

A lot of us have been looking for the rear engine vee drive plan.


I like your logic.... I hope you don't mind some "friendly challenges" to help you build confidence that you have everything thought through.

I have a monaco (shorter version of the Riv).

If you plan to be Riv "from the chines up", are you sure that you will have enough height for your motor and vee drive back there?

You might want to check the height at the back of the Century, and compare to the height you would have in your "hybrid".

Because you are changing the width of the boat at the stern, you will probably need to re-think the arch of some of the aft deck beams.

Mr Hot Rod's site has a "deck beam calculator" that can help you work out custom arches and radii.

Re: The Epiphany

Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:13 am
by bob smith
Thanks for the kind words and your interest. i realize it will be quite an undertaking with numerous gotchas. To house the moter and vdrive I need 26.5 inchs from the chine. Due to the Century's hull design, the top of the motor stringers are at chine level. I will have to scale up some of the deck beams and thanks to Paul Kane that should be simple. The BIG hurdle is taking the saw to my good old boat. "breaking eggs to make the omelet. Please don't be shy with any critique/advice or praise!
I'm off to the beach for a week of contemplation and then I'll crank up the saw!
Bob Smith

Re: The Epiphany

Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:51 pm
by Lewis Barrett
Hey Bob when you get a chance post some pictures even if it's just the Century "Pre-sawzall". I'm trying to picture the boat in my mind and I'm not getting much. :lol:

David

Re: The Epiphany

Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:45 pm
by BayouBengal
I too share your quest. After ordering and playing around with the Glen-L Renegade plans and Riviera Study Plans for quite some time trying to figure out a way to modify from the waterline up to do a similar thing, I've gone outside of Glen-L (and I hate this). I'm building a Clarkcraft Mariner hull on which I modified the transom and aft three frames above the waterline to get a classic tumble home transom with a stern mounted engine and larger uninterrupted cockpit.

I'll look forward to following your progress.

Re: The Epiphany

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:04 pm
by bob smith
Here's the Century hanging in limbo!
Bob Smith

Re: The Epiphany

Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:50 am
by Lewis Barrett
Thanks Bob for posting the pictures. That's gonna be real nice. There is a website (I think Classic Craft Boats) where the hull is fiberglass and the rest is mahogany. They look really good. Check it out.

David

Re: The Epiphany

Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:23 am
by jprice
Sounds like a really cool project Bob.
Honestly, I wouldn't have the cojones to take a saw to that boat. But commend you on your guts to take on a project like this.

Re: The Epiphany

Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:49 pm
by bob smith
I'm at the beach gathering the nerve to make the cut next week. Thanks Lewis for the info on the outfit doing fiberglass hull/ mahogany "uppers". It validates my thoughts on this project. I've spent countless hours contemplating how to go about it and have yet to run up against a roadblock. I'm sure there will be some unanticipated issues but so far I'm convinced it will work!
Gathering 2013 for sure!!
Bob Smith

Re: The Epiphany

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:40 pm
by bob smith
No turning back now................We have separation!
Bob Smith

Re: The Epiphany

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:44 pm
by jeffh
Wow, this is going to be Glen-L history.

Re: The Epiphany

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:49 pm
by jeffh
...Oh BTW, there is a guy on Lake Keowee in SC who took a really tired Century Ski Dart and something amazing with it. It is for sale also for $23k. Check it out:
http://www.nautilusrestorations.com/four.html

Re: The Epiphany

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:48 pm
by bob smith
Wow, the Dart project is a real inspiration.
Thanks for the link and the kind words.
PS My Century came from Lake Rabun.
Bob Smith

Re: The Epiphany

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:17 pm
by leakcheck
Bob, just for the record: I am firmly convinced that I could have done what you have done so far! (Of course, from here on out I am lost...but I am king of the sawzall!! You can ask my wife, I can tear ANYTHING apart...now the going back together thing I am still working to perfect! :roll:

Keep the pics coming!

Steve