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Ed's new toy


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Of course we're all living by the adage that "he who dies with the most toys wins" so I just got myself a 1964 boat to go with my 1964 Riviera.  It's a 1964 Thompson Seacoaster powered by a 1964  75 HP Evinrude.  Another project to keep me busy.  If anyone thinks this is not the place for this post, I'll take it down. 









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They did make nailheads for marine applications you know.  Get creative Ed!!!

There's a rebuilt 425 sitting on an engine stand in the garage.  BUT the boat is only rated for a maximum of 90 hp.  With the 0.030 over and the NH300 cam, I think I'm probably over by about 250 hp.  I like the way you think though.



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Here's a description.  I've got feelers out as to what it's worth.  I know what I'd want for it but I'd like to get a consensus on what it's worth in the market.  I don't want to give it away nor do I want to rob anyone.  Dang, I can't download a Word Document.  This is copied and pasted from the word document that I sent out for feelers.  Let me know what you think.



1966 Buick 425 cubic inch “nailhead.”  I had this engine rebuilt to run in a 1948 Ford F1 pickup truck that I had.  I got an offer on the truck that I could not refuse and now I want to sell the engine.  All stock except for the cam.  This engine was rebuilt but it has never been run.  A couple of times per year, I mist the cylinders with oil through the spark plug holes and rotate it by hand a couple of revolutions.  It's on an engine stand in my garage between the '93 and the '63 Rivieras, it's always been in a garage.  It's painted Buick red.

  • Block
    • Boiled
    • Bored 0.030” (for a total displacement of 432 cubic inches)
    • New pistons and rings
    • Reconditioned rods
    • Polished crank
    • Poston NH300 cam (advertised as 30 hp over stock)
    • New bearings
    • New Mellings oil pump
  • Heads
    • Surfaced
    • 3 angle valve job
    • New guides
    • New intake seals – remember, this is a ’66.
  • Comes with
    • Front cover
    • Water pump
    • Exhaust manifolds
    • Valve covers
    • Valley cover
    • Distributor
    • Three grove pulleys for crank and water pump
    • Rocker shaft assemblies - uninstalled
    • Push rods - uninstalled
    • New lifters – uninstalled (new ones are mandatory when installing a new cam)
    • All necessary nuts and bolts
    • Four barrel intake from a ’63 (basically for lifting purposes)
  • I also have available:
    • Brackets and braces for air conditioning / alternator
    • Rear a/c compressor bracket
    • Bracket and braces for power steering pump
    • A red distributor cap and red wires. (Bling factor)
    • Flex plate for ST400
    • Starter motor
  • Needs
    • Plugs and wires if you’re going back to stock
    • Some gaskets
    • Carburetor of your choice.

Based on the .8 factor for hp / cubic inch of the 401 and 425 single four barrel engines, I calculate that 432 cubes plus the NH300 cam (+ 30 hp) will probably produce about 380 hp at the flywheel.


I also have a 1966 ST400 “switch pitch” transmission and converter.  Pulled from a running car but I’m sure it should be gone through or at least checked out.

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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thanks ED. let me know when you come up with a price.

I think the block I got with the parts car is toast too. see pics on my engine thread. I thought I might be able to sleeve it.. but I am not sure how I can even get the crank out the way it is all bound up.


ya know.... this never happens on Gas Monkey or Counts Kustom ... (stupid cars... :D )


nice find on the boat.

Edited by coOverwatch (see edit history)
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Hi Ed,

That's a great little motorboat - reminds me of my boyhood vacation days up in Maine in '62 and '63 when Mr. Ralph Johnson, a neighbor who happened to drive a black '61 Electra sedan, took us out on the lake near Norway, Maine, on his m-boat of similar size, with an Evinrude outboard engine that had a most delicious gaseous smell! Have fun with it - I miss my 17 1/2-foot jet boat from my days in Michigan, powered by an inboard version of GM's venerable 231 cubic inch V6, also an engine used in Buicks as I'm sure you know, and engineered by Lloyd Reuss. Now that was a fast boat, and Walnut Lake was just about one square mile. Needless to say, I was on the other end of the lake before I knew it! But those wooden hull boats are true gems - lots of upkeep, but worth every ounce of varnish. Enjoy!

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Definitely a nice historic boat!

You probably noticed that boats' steering wheels

and dashboard styling tend to parallel those of cars,

though boat dashboards are usually simpler.

A boat expert can probably tell a boat's year

from its styling, just as we can tell cars.

Now you'll need a small 1964 camper-trailer

to complete the set!

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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Now we are talking ....we all think we are some exclusive bunch with our fancy Rivs ....well let's just say we are paupers waving from the shoreline when it comes to mahogany floating vessels !! Way before my desire to own an art piece 65 Riv , came the realization that early 20 th century Chris Craft , Hacker-Craft , Garwood, were just phenomenal, I have been a fan of , and on the hunt for the right 16 -20 foot classic for some years now ... " a long time " . 2 years ago I was vacationing in the very northern tiers of Minnesota and happened to pull Into the boat launch at the resort " Burntside Lodge" just as a local was pulling in to to get fuel with his 1930 Garwood ....wow ... 26 feet of the most art deco ,wood, leather, chrome , brass , shiny big BALLS you've ever seen . Even if Rivieras could float they couldn't compare . The owner of the boat quickly worked the gearbox , for and aft ,, to maneuver that huge shiny slab of druel into position to reach the 12 foot fuel hose ... To say I was embarrassed to be launching my own new 20 foot Searay runabout is an understatement !!!! I just think the folks that see the beauty in our early / late Rivieras , as well as all classic cars , Buick , or otherwise are art lovers , motion , moving , utilitarian , should be proud , Ed... Slap an American flag on the stern of your boat and have more fun than your ever legally supposed to have !!! God bless you !!!

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Oh and by the way ....my son , Owen and I ,met Dave Kindig this past weekend in Salt Lake City at his shop !! Bring your wrecked Riviera ...your dreams , and your checkbook , WOW ....THEY CAN CREAT ANYTHING,,!!! Real Gentleman , Dave , and as funny and personable as you see on TV

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For those of you who might have an interest in mahogany beauty, you should do some research on Garfield "Gar" Wood and the Garwood boats that he built.  How about 124+ mph in 1932 on the Detroit River.  The boat was powered by four 12 cylinder Packard engines.  Google Gar Wood boats and look at some images of these beauties.


I sort of got hooked on wooden boats when I was lucky enough to be in Sturgeon Bay, WI one weekend when I was able to attend the Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Festival. Talk about beauty, like WOW!  If you're any kind of artisan, you can really appreciate what goes into these boats. 

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First two pics are our 21' `66 Century Coronado, I`ve thrown in some other Coronado pics for reference. Ours is powered by a 413 Chrysler, top option was a dual duad 440 Chrysler, but these were available with Buick 401 marine nailhead engines marketed thru Gray Marine.

I first became interested in the Century boats because the `66 Buick owners manual illustrates several Buick Marine engines. I discovered Graymarine marketed those Nailheads and Century offered them so the search for a top of the Century line Coronado with Nailhead power was on....I couldnt find the right boat with Nailhead power but our Coronado popped up for sale a few miles from our home and I couldnt pass it up. Nice original boat, low hours, and as it turns out everybody in the boating hobby wants Chrysler power anyway. I have, however, secured a complete Nailhead changeover (also a few miles from home base!) and might repower the Coronado with a 425 Super Wildcat to be towed by our `66 Riv Super Wildcat. Maybe when I retire....

Century also installed Nailheads in a smaller boat in their lineup called the Resorter

  Tom Mooney







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Nice boat Tom. I thought about wood, but almost overwhelmed with maint already on the 'stuff' so my 32 year old aluminum isn't going away. We have a fewgreat wood boat shows and the 'nats' were here this year=lots of fun. A couple years ago I was 'helping' a wood boat restorer sorting out a '67 430-so they even went past the nailhead. The wife's family had a wood Chris Craft and it ended up sunk at the dock after dropping it in for the new boating season. Clueless as to swelling process so the sump pump eventually drained the battery and down she went. Of course, they also hatched the engine in the old Model A as coolant/oil mostly missing=oh well.

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When he retired, my Dad bought his dream boat. He's been a conservative penny pincher his whole life, but went big this time. It's a 26 foot Hackercraft double cockpit runabout. Looks old but is new with unbelievable mahogany topsides and a West system bottom. With a 300HP/350 and a racing prop it runs like a scalded locomotive. It's like riding across the water in a piece of fine antique furniture. At 60 mph, it's slow to turn because there's not much in the water. Unreal. I'm hoping he remembers me in his will. PRL

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Dan, Pete,

  I had a local wood boat shop redo our hull from the waterline down in 5200 epoxy. Unlike the original design intent, the hull is completely dry, no soaking, etc...and the hull rides nice and high in the water, gets up to speed and on plane very quickly...not like a water logged cardboard box plowing deep thru the water..

Originally, the Chris Craft boats had a double hull but the Century was built with a single plank hull. That is why, in spite of the name recognition Chris Craft enjoys, the Century boats were the choice for skiers, etc... because the lighter weight hull produced faster speeds. I had our Century hull rebuilt with an initial layer of 1/4 " marine grade plywood set in water tight but flexible epoxy and layered over with mahogany planking also set in 5200 epoxy, all secured into fresh mahogany framing (the original frames were white oak). If anyone is considering a wooden boat purchase, something to keep in mind from an antique auto enthusiasts perspective, which is very, very basic, is "wood is not metal".

As a natural material, wood is different as compared to metal in that it reacts/respond/ deteriorates relative to it`s inherent characteristics, which are not necessarily consistent, and subsequently it`s reaction/tolerance to environment. A great piece of natural wood will much better tolerate poor environment and poor maintenance as compared to wood which is initially compromised due to substandard inherent development. The end result becomes an unpredictable/unforeseen Pandora`s box in regard to restoration costs. It is very common to dismantle a seemingly meticulously maintained boat and find thorough deterioration/rotting as compared to dismantling an outwardly disregarded boat to find pristine framework during restoration.

In the first case, perhaps the well intentioned owners used aggressive chemicals to regularly clean the bilge, stripping the substandard framework ("2nd choice" materials) of its protective "bilge paint" leading to bacteria related rotting. Perhaps in the later circumstance the owners did nothing, leaving the original protective coating in tact and over the years a light coating of engine oils helped to protect what was originally, just as a result of coincidence, quarter sawn, tight grained framing. This translates directly into the cost of wooden B.O.A.T. (bust out another thousand) ownership. In some cases, it becomes B.O.A.T.T. (bust out another TEN thousand) ownership. Repeat after me...."Wood is not metal, wood is not metal, wood is not metal".....but it sure is pretty.

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