Intro from Virginia

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New members please include your location - Other members close to you may be of great help in locating materials and other needs.

Moderator: Bill Edmundson

Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:35 am
Location: Bedford, Virginia

Intro from Virginia

Postby JPM98Keydet » Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:59 am

Glad to see the addition of the introduction board to the forums! Since we never have a second chance to make a first impression, figure I should give a brief intro.

Fro a paying gig, I’m Civil engineer / project manager currently working for local government… hope to get back to the private sector when the market correction pass us by. Highway jobs are my passion and I currently have several retaining walls to replace here in the city.

I grew up as a farm boy on a family dairy farm that evolved to a beef operation. Small scale, but with a diversity of experiences that only come with farm work. I suppose this one reason I have an affinity for diesel power… my two favorites being Perkins and Detroit. I just don’t understand why those big green tractors burn twice as much fuel as our red and grey ones with the Perkins engines! And who doesn’t love the moan of a leaky-troit!

My wood working experience comes first from the father’s basement and the high school shop. While somewhat limited, it has focused on furniture making with hand tools and traditional joinery. The second phase of my shaving making affliction has been in the form of timber frame cutting. Community service projects through the late ‘90’s and early 00’s feed this need.

Now… why join the Glen-L forums? Well, I recently came into possession of a 1976 Century Raven that is in dire need of either a total rehabilitation, or the business end of a Caterpillar 320 excavator. Here’s a link to a few pictures. ... g-LMk06lA#

Issues includes:
•OMC Electric Shift sterndrive… talk about dinosaur and difficult to find parts!
•Blistering gelcoat and gouges in the hull
•Potentially rotted transom
•Huge hole in the transom to fill in if I switch to an Alpha drive… which would probably require a new engine with it.
•Rotten stringers?
•Deck rotted enough to require complete replacement
•And the list goes on….

So after reading up on a selection of forums, I’ve pretty well decided to part it out and trashing the hull. Fixing the list of stuff above would well exceed the value of the vessel and there is definitely no sentimental value in it. Doubt I’d get much money for the parts, but hey, it’s worth a try.

The “classily styled” runabouts (Tahoe, Riviera, etc) are much more appealing than the fiberglass options available these days. And, the notion of building such a vessel makes it even more interesting.

Now, the potentially good thing is the power unit. It just happens to be a 190 HP Ford 302 and may be suitable for conversion from its I/O configuration to inboard configuration. I’ll probably have to scrounge around the local boat shops to see if I can fins parts for the reconfiguration and see if it’s really a viable option. My decision will be driven by what brands are most easily serviced here around Smith Mountain Lake.

Just to put things in context… my intention is to do more homework / reading before starting discussion threads on here. That being said, here are a few questions I’m pondering:

•Wonder how much of the electronic crap we can strip off the 302?
•Am I better off to just buy a turn-key package?
•Will I come out ahead w/ the 302?
•Can I fit a 453 Detroit in the Riviera? Is it too heavy? Will it spin the prop fast enough to really cruise?
•Maybe I should use a Volvo or VW diesel?

One collection of questions I have that would be a good discussion are as follows:
Would it be a good idea to build a small outboard Glen-L for practice? The runabout being my ultimate goal, maybe I should jump in head-first and build the V-8 powered runabout of my choosing and not expend resources on the smaller vessel.

So, that’s more than enough for now… Thanks for all the great reading already available on here.

Best Regards,

User avatar
Bill Edmundson
Posts: 11080
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2005 6:45 am
Location: Birmingham, AL, USA

Postby Bill Edmundson » Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:18 am


Welcome, from another Civil. I built the Tahoe 19 w/Yanmar Diesel (John Deere). You can see it in Customer Photo Archives.

I built a 12' sailboat many many years ago. Then a wood strip canoe a few years back. The Tahoe was a BIG jump. It took me 3 years & 8 months, approximately 1900 hours. (And Lots of Beer)

You will need a C&C. That's Chair & Cooler. You'll spend many hours thinking through your next step.

But, You Can Do It!

Mini -Tug, KH Tahoe 19 & Bartender 24 - There can be no miracle recoveries without first screwing up.
Tahoe 19 Build


Postby upspirate » Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:31 am


I think you made the wise decision about parting that one out.

I always like to advise building a small boat just to test the waters so to speak & see if this stuff is for you.

you will be encouraged by the build going faster than a bigger, more involved one& later you can tackle the harder one after you learn skills on the first. Details like bending,epoxy usage etc.

Pick one you can use for your desires,family etc.

The Ford will be more expensive to use than say a Chev small block,but you already have some marine parts(manifolds,cooling system etc)given your manifolds aren't rusted out.

I think Glen-L sells the rest that you'd need to convert to a straight drive.

If you have the bucks,a new turn-key EFI equipped pkg is better,but you may enjoy rebuilding what you have.

Not sure if the detroit will work,but Bill Edmundson on here has used a Yanmar turbo diesel in his Tahoe and is very pleased with the combo.

Enough of my opinion(everyone is entitled to it!!!)

Good luck & keep us posted

Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:35 am
Location: Bedford, Virginia

Postby JPM98Keydet » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:12 am

Good to know another CE in on the boards! Thanks for all the info you’ve previously posted on your project. The Yanmar is highly motivational! I’ve got a .pdf saved of your chronicles as a reference document.

As much as I do enjoy the smell of diesel in the morning, :) I’m of the notion that it’s not a financially viable option. We play on Smith Mountain Lake here in VA and it’s not physically possible get out of sight of the shore. Also, looking at it from a life cycle cost perspective… the budget doesn’t work. Now if budget was no option… I’d definitely find the finest diesel option available!

I like the notion of building small first as practice and moving on to the larger boat later. I have a stool, two chairs, and about 25 (combined) gallons of cooler volume in the garage. Just remember… life is too short for cheap beer!

Like most guys, I’m currently limited garage size, and budget. Of course, my responsibilities as a parent, family and home-owner priorities come first too. I’m also limited to the fact that I can only squeeze a 14-footer in one side of the garage. Given these constraints I’ve looked at the Zip and the Jet Cat. Both are pretty interesting, and I think a surplus outboard available to me will work on either of them.

Thanks to you too for the welcome. The parting out is yet to begin, as I’m investigating the available sources of conversion parts for the engine. The father-in-law and I will bump the engine some time to see if it’ll turn over before I decide to junk it or convert it. It appears (based on searching the web a little) that the parts for converting the Ford are about as scarce as hens’ teeth. The smarter option may be to find a donor boat at the lake or bite the bullet and purchase a complete new set-up. The new turn-key EFI V6 in one of the smaller classics would fit my size, speed, and budget needs. While there are gear heads in the family, I’m not one of them.

That’s enough for now.
Best Regards,

John K
Posts: 1560
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 5:19 am
Location: AL

Postby John K » Wed Dec 03, 2008 6:27 am

Welcome to the forum. I hope you find your built a personal success and very rewarding.

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