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Thread: Kingscraft owners and fans

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  1. #1
    Member KC55's Avatar
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    Kingscraft owners and fans

    Hello,

    My wife and I are getting ready to purchase a Kingscraft Houseboat and I am hoping to connect with other Kingscraft owners. I will post the particulars on our boat as soon as we close the deal (should be within two weeks) and I hope you will consider saying hello here.

    I have done a fair amount of research on Kingscraft and had decided this is the boat I wanted. We talked to folks all over the midwest about their boats for sale and were pursuing only Kingscraft. The all aluminum construction was what sold me, but then I began to really appreciate the classic lines of these vintage boats. My budget dictated an older boat but I wanted something lasting and my wife wanted something pretty. I think we are both going to be happy.

    I am very interested in any mechanical, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing drawings there are on Kingscraft. Original manufacturer or custom drawn. I hope to document any work I do and share it here.

    Wish us luck on this endeavor and I hope to see you here soon!

    KC55, The Admiral (My Wife), and 1st Mate (our 9lb Maltipoo)
    1974 Kingscraft 55x15
    1987 Ebbtide 190 Catalina Open Bow w/Mercruiser V8


    http://www.kingscrafthouseboats.com

  2. #2
    Super Moderator OLD HOUSEBOATER's Avatar
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    You will like your KC. We owned a 47 and a 48. Both were outstanding.
    The fries are cold so we gave you extra.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Do you already have one picked out or just started looking? Info will be hard to find. I started a blog about my Kingscraft ownership. Kingscrafthouseboat.blogspot.com. Any questions I can answer I will.

  4. #4
    Member KC55's Avatar
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    OHB- Thanks, I lurked here for a bit and read old postings and your favorable opinion of KC helped me pick it as my first choice for a great HB.

    JTA- I am happy you posted, I had already found your blog and I am impressed. I have picked a boat and will hopefully have everything lined out to purchase it in 2 weeks. It seems to be in very good shape, I am going to do a hull thickness test next week and then get it surveyed. I am sure I will want to ask you many questions, I appreciate the offer!

    Is there anything I should look for before I purchase? What would you look for if you were going to buy a KC now.

    Best regards,

    KC55
    1974 Kingscraft 55x15
    1987 Ebbtide 190 Catalina Open Bow w/Mercruiser V8


    http://www.kingscrafthouseboats.com

  5. #5
    Hi KC55,
    I have a Kingscraft 40' with twin Chrysler 360s and Kohler 7.5 genset. I bought it about 5 years ago and have learned a lot in the years since. I also looked for a KC as I see way too many Gibsons around here with sagging roofs and soft decks.

    There are lots of "systems" on a boat, though, and the hull is just one of them. The electrical system on mine, both 12 and 120v are a mess. Looking under the helm where the fuse/breakers are located there are wires piggy backed and wires not connected to anything. It's not clear or obvious how the various 12v components are powered, and I'm an electrical engineer by training.

    Here would be my list of things to check out if I were buying another Kingscraft (or other older HB) (not necessarily in order of import)

    - have electrical systems been redone
    - galvanic corrosion is a concern especially with aluminum hulls. Check the hull for pitting/corrosion.
    - assuming vdrives, when where the stuffing boxes last packed? they are a royal pain, almost impossible to access
    - engine ignition conversion to electronic
    - condition of fuel tanks
    - condition of water tanks
    - window guides been replaced?
    - inspect for water damage from leaks around window bottoms. A common problem is for the bottom window guide to fill up with debris causing rainwater to run over into the inside

  6. #6
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    Welcome to the Kingscraft world, I have a 1975 15x44' for about 15 years, let me know if I can help.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    I'll comment on Fish's suggestions and add a few more:

    - have electrical systems been redone
    This has been a time consuming job for me. If it has been done, make sure it is nice and clean. Hopefully things are labeled correctly.
    - galvanic corrosion is a concern especially with aluminum hulls. Check the hull for pitting/corrosion.
    This is a biggy!! Make sure your hull isn't pitted like mine. Even though mine is straightened out, I would still rather it not have any pitting.
    - assuming vdrives, when where the stuffing boxes last packed? they are a royal pain, almost impossible to access
    This is on my list for the winter. I plan on pulling my transmissions this winter to get them rebuilt. I can see this will be a tough job.
    - engine ignition conversion to electronic
    I didn't have this issue as mine were already done.
    - condition of fuel tanks
    My fuel tanks are the originals. It is going to be such a difficult job to get these tanks out as well as an expensive replacement.
    - condition of water tanks
    Can we even change this out with it being in the Keel?
    - window guides been replaced?
    Mine are pretty much destroyed. I am weighing my options of replacing all the windows for $6500 or just buying new window tracks. I am not sure yet.
    - inspect for water damage from leaks around window bottoms. A common problem is for the bottom window guide to fill up with debris causing rainwater to run over into the inside
    I have water damage by the rear window from this. Luckily it is just some wood trim and paneling. Nothing structural needs replaced.


    Things I would add onto this. Depending on the price you're getting on the boat I would inspect a few other things.

    1. Make sure the water pumps work
    2. Check for number of working bilge pumps. This can get costly adding to the final cost.
    3. Do a test drive of the boat for a significant time frame. Long enough to really get the engine at full operating temperature. Pull the dipsticks on both engines and look for a whitish sludge in the oil. You might even get enough of it to really sludge up the dip stick. This is water in the oil and should be investigated. It could require you rebuild the entire engine.
    4. Make sure the Generator starts without issues and will run with load.
    5. Check the Vdrive fluid. If they are Paragon transmissions, there are two dipsticks on each transmission. Check fluid level as well as if it is burnt. You will be able to smell it as well as a black look to it.
    6. Check all the water tubing for the interior. Not a huge deal but another thing that bit me.
    7. Check the condition of the props. Make sure they aren't bent up. This can be a costly repair.
    8. Check every light, spotlight, horn, Nav lights, etc..... for working condition. I currently have a spotlight that is just a roof ornament.
    9. Check all gauges work at the helm. Make sure you validate the flybridge controls as well.
    10. Check any appliances (AC, Fridge, toilet) to be in working order.


    As with anything, if any of the items don't pass inspection you can take it off the cost or walk away. The only real issues that are tough to deal with are major engine issues. Even with all the issues I had with my boat I would have still bought it. I would have just talked the owner down a lot further in price. The boat is great but don't over excite yourself to just buy it if there are issues.

  8. #8
    In my opinion, Kingscraft didn't do a very good job designing the windows and doors. I really like the huge window sizes, I just think they should of made the actually opening part a separate, smaller window and made the rest of the window fixed. I've though that it would be better to change the windows in the main cabin to be fixed, non-opening tinted glass. I think some owners have done this.

    Jamie, I'm curious what is included in your $6500 window replacement?

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by fisheatingbagel View Post
    In my opinion, Kingscraft didn't do a very good job designing the windows and doors. I really like the huge window sizes, I just think they should of made the actually opening part a separate, smaller window and made the rest of the window fixed. I've though that it would be better to change the windows in the main cabin to be fixed, non-opening tinted glass. I think some owners have done this.

    Jamie, I'm curious what is included in your $6500 window replacement?
    That is the pricing I received for 6 sliding windows on the port and starboard and two from stationary windows. They will be the double pane 1800 houseboat elite series. They will also be double slides, so they will remain the same for functionality.

  10. #10
    Member KC55's Avatar
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    Questions

    I too agree the windows are a weak point, I am considering filling the lower side windows with appropriate sheet aluminum (welded in) and replacing these windows with slightly smaller, production marine windows. Do any of you know a source for 3-track aluminum replacement window tracks? I know this was covered in previous postings but I just wanted to ask in case someone had found a manufacturer or supplier.

    Have any of you tried replacing your handrails with a system like this http://www.hollaender.com/?page=sliponfittings? I am wondering how difficult it would be to attach the baseplates to the deck. Would I be able to bolt on or would welding be necessary or advisable?

    Can you offer any advice on inspecting the clean water tank? Are there any inspection/access ports ? I am leary of using a metal tank this old for drinking water.

    Last question Have any of you modified (lengthened) you swim platform? How did you do this and are there any operational/legal issues with this?

    Thanks again for your responses.

    KC55
    1974 Kingscraft 55x15
    1987 Ebbtide 190 Catalina Open Bow w/Mercruiser V8


    http://www.kingscrafthouseboats.com

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