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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to buy my first flat project, 76 Barron Sprint. It's been under a cover for years, but is solid (seemingly) and will run with fresh water and fuel lines. I haven't brought the boat home yet, mostly trying to make sure all my ducks are in a row as much as possible, and formulating some sort of plan.

This is an old circle boat, formerly an alcohol boat, pump gas BBC now but still snout driven. I’ve done some research on the snout drive aspect, some folks say the engines don’t live as long this way, but I haven’t figured out why? There’s also no cover at all over the flywheel, and it has a pulley mounted to it for driving an alternator, but it seems like it should be covered in some way, no? I’d like to keep the boat snout driven, I just don’t see many set up this way. All the rigging is complete, It’s like they just got tired of boating one day and parked it, but I understand props and parts may be harder to come by, so is it going to be too much hassle to think I could keep it this way?

Thanks for any help and input!

Cody
 

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Village Idiot
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I think there are some guys up there with circle boats. If everything is solid and the plates are not screwed up it should not be too big of an issue to get going. They do drive different than a drag boat. Drag boats you can get off the down pretty quick (from what I hear). Circle boats you have to finesse the down till you are up to speed before fully being off the down. At least the ones I have driven. Many true race circle boats did not have covers over the flywheel. You can buy a drag style cover that will allow the pulley to still be used.

as far as the snout driven cranks. The lifespan depends on a few things. One, does it have a dampener on the front of the crank? Second, does it use a solid drive shaft or does it have u-joints? I have seen times when solid drive shaft boats hurt cranks due to the fact that when running the boat flexes and therefore is putting a bind on the end of the crank. We learned a trick from a circle race team, they put a joint end on one end of their shafts and the problem went away. Some others followed suit. Either it allowed for movement, or the joint absorbed some of the vibrations and harmonics from the prop and driveline. We have not had any issues with the boats we have set up when using a u-joint. Just an opinion , but it has worked for us.

Paul
 

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I say run the snout drive. When I was still in my 20's, I had a snout driven Hondo that I put tons of hours on cruising and skiing. Never a problem with the drive line or crank.
1042248
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the help!

Paul, I'm unsure on the damper or U-Joints, when I initially looked at the boat I didn't realize snout driven was any rarer than the traditional PTO. I will pull the driveshaft cover and look at the shaft and the damper before I bring it home.

Sharpshooter, that Hondo Looks great, hopefully this one makes it to that point some day!

Hoping to bring it home tomorrow. I plan to change all the water and fuel lines, oil, oil filters, impeller and spark plugs. Also plan to drop a little oil in the cylinders and let it sit a couple of days while I get the lines and everything situated. Then I need to grease the rudder and shaft log seals and give everything a good once over and hopefully get it on the water! Anything else to look at?

This winter I'll worry about seat upholstery and polishing, she's pretty dirty having sat for 15 ish years, but if I can get it do be a decent lake boat the girlfriend and I can cruise around in after work I'll be happy!
 

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Village Idiot
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looks great. Like Jerry (Sharp Shooter) said, if you are just going play with it at the lake (not race it) then I would run it as is. I would only consider changing it if racing or you were going to re-rig it. I would clean and service it and give it a whirl. As a side note, many race boats have not have crank issues even with the solid driveline. Good rigging and engine building practices are big contributors.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If you do, I would absolutely love to see it!
As far as I know, the boat has been at Berryessa 20 years or so, was an alcohol boat, the current owners ran it that way for a while before having this pump gas motor done at LJ Speed and Machine in Napa. The gel and rigging are believed to be original, all the parts look to have been anodized blue (maybe purple).

I’d love to know any history anyone has, and I’ll get better pictures when it’s in my possession, something weird to me about posting someone else’s boat.

Thanks again,
Cody
 

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Steady Rollin
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cool story man, go get that thing and rescue it from that pine needle hell its in now. It needs a proper home in a garage, or give me his number.... =)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for reminding me on this!

Got the boat home Saturday morning, washed the outside real quick, then set the girlfriend to work vacuuming out all the pine needles And I pulled the valve covers to try and pre oil the top end. Then we checked the oil and hooked up a battery. Turns out, none of the batteries in my possession would turn the boat over, so a new blue top was installed, we dumped some gas in the tanks and some in the carbs and got her running!! Runs good, sounds good! That was one of my biggest fears with the boat.

Cleaning the interior showed some small spots of delam, but no visible rot (though I can imagine that’s coming). I also found 2 spark plugs with cracked porcelain, the cav pedals were frozen, the steering was frozen and the throttle linkages were frozen. I managed to free up the steering a little, as well as the plate and throttles. They’re all still a little rough around the edges, but that’s future me’s problem, its hot outside!

The plan, as it stands, is to Replace all of the water and fuel lines, pump impeller, spark plugs, change the oil and grease up all those Steering bearings and see if I can get that to turn easily. Once all that is accomplished, I hope to get the boat on the water a few times this summer.

I don’t know that I have the skill set to go through and re do the entire floor, but winter plans include removing all the rigging to be polished, as well as the motor parts. I plan to cut out and re glass the small delam spots, then possibly a veil Over the whole floor? As long as I find no rot. I’ll also have the headers and drive shaft tube ceramic coated, and try to buff out the paint. As much as I wish I had the time and skill set to make this boat as beautiful as the ones I see on here, it’s probably resigned to be a lake boat for us for the next couple of summers. Awfully hard looking at the lake all day with no boat! Hopefully one of these days I’ll have the skill set, or the friends set, to do a full show quality resto on this boat, it deserves it. The previous owners (neighbors about 6 houses up) took really good care of it, and ran it 3 days a week for years, they’re really happy to see it getting some attention.

That’s all for the moment, I’m off to do some more vacuuming! If anyone has tips, tricks, suggestions I’m all ears!

Thanks again,

Cody
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That's a Weiand Pro Hi-Ram intake you have there. Nice piece. I have 3 of them left over from old muscle cars and boats. One of the best Tunnel Rams we ever used.
Nice boat. Good luck with your project !

Mod
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the info on the tunnel ram! I can't wait to get that polished up this winter.

Boat Update: She floats! Last week I got all new AN lines ordered to replace the corroded water lines, then had to make a quick family run to Ky. over the weekend, but got back Sunday to a bunch of boxes on the porch! Monday I was able to finish up some other projects, and Tuesday I pulled the fuel tanks and battery to get to the pickup, and leaned to make AN fittings. Finished them up and re installed the battery and fuel tanks Tuesday evening.

Wednesday morning we (neighbor and I) took her down to the launch "just to see if it floats." Backed it down at the launch and left it floating, but still pinned to the trailer for around 20 minutes and it floats! One thing lead to another, and before I new what happened I was paddling out of the dock and dropping the boat into gear!

I suppose I felt a little more comfortable having the neighbor his boat with me, so we had it on the water about 3 hours or so. All in all, it runs pretty good. The idle is a little low in gear, and I think it's loading up in the no wake zones, but that's all easily fixed. I'm also wondering about my J Drains, there were a few times I had more water in the boat than I was expecting, especially when letting off the throttle (not coming over the stern). I think that even though I have probably 30 hours in pine needle removal, I'm still getting crap in the drains holding them open. I may order rebuild kits for them, but I've honestly thought about going to D21's plug setup. This is going to be a lake boat, and it has a bilge, so maybe I'd rather not worry about a pine needle sinking my boat while we're trying to hang out on a beach somewhere? Any input on that appreciated.

Anyway, super happy with the boat so far! It got lots of looks at the dock and on the water, and it handled and ran well. Ready to get back out there! Here's a picture, don't mind my Reg. the new one is in the mail!

As always, any input or suggestions appreciated!

Boat Pic.jpg
 

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small block jet
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Thanks for sharing. I love seeing these time capsule boats show back up on the water. Good job and it sounds like you have a solid plan.
 
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