Well while I wait on the V-drives to get paint, I finally got one of the boats out on the river. I'm not sure if I'd call a 50 MPH day cruiser a performance boat, but it sure was nice to be back on the water. I bought the 79 Riviera and had it hauled to the house to be there waiting when I got home. It was a turn key boat, but that still doesn't stop a person from fixing little things prior to getting it wet. Well that and the fact that the state of Iowa has some very stupid requirements for registering boats gave me some time to install a simple fuse holder and put all the boat's electrical through fuses. I added the bimini top and upgraded the radio, correction make that added a radio to the boat. It did have a tape player previously and one good speaker.
The first trip out it was quite reliable and turned 4500 RPM on a placarded A impeller (Berkley). Not to shabby for a boat that hasn't seen the water since 97 at least. The boat GPS'd a top speed of 55 and change but that was down river. Up river I saw just a tick over 51 on the boat. Not to shabby for the ol gal since she isn't exactly dainty. I think once I upgrade the points and stock coil to electronic with a MSD control, add a hydraulic diverter, and rebuild the carb, I might acctually see high 50s to low 60s. The boat has a lope to her at an idle so hard to say what cam is in her. She does like to run at 3000 RPMs and will hit her 4500 max quickly and just stay there untill the speed catches up and tops out.
What is a safe max speed for these old day cruisers? I have my Mopar block that was going to go into a CJ project that I keep looking at and thinking about dropping in the ol girl. Would 650 - 750ish HP be too much for a cruiser? Going to be running a single 4 so I can keep the cover and spark arrestor (that and they stole the mopar tunnel and both 850s).
and since threads needs pics, here is a quick shot of her as I bought her.