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1986 Chris Craft Scorpion 178 BR
Submitted By: fixb52s
Date Created: 02-28-2008
Description: I found this boat through a lead in a car forum. I was looking for something I could take out without much work, and this seemed solid. I had a mid 80s Supra and thought I learned my lesson about boats that were built with wood in the deck and stringers. I thought i knew what to look for and it really seemed good. Of course I found out otherwise. Deck and stringer work, something I wanted to avoid, was needed. The 140 Mercruiser is in great shape. The engine ran OK and a compression check confirmed it to be sound. The lower unit was missing the exhaust bellows and the driveshaft bellows was cut. The outer hull is very solid and the gelcoat still looks good. I could not find any major stress cracks, so it came home with me.
Related Projects: (1986 Chris Craft Scorpion 178 BR)
    Deck and stringer repairs
    Sea trial
    Hull restoration
Tools / Materials: Go to the Boating Store

Photo on the forum
This boat was at an RV dealer in Ocala. It was traded in for an camper. The owner passed away and his widow did not know what to do with it. She wanted an RV so she could travel with her grandson. They took it in and needed to get rid of it, so I got it for $1K. I got a few people upset because they too wanted it, but I came up with the cash on the spot.

I contacted Chris Craft and they sent me some scanned photos they had. It is really the only thing they have for this boat. They could not provide much info or owners manual, so I am on my own.
Sale flyer from Chris Craft

Interior flyer
This is very helpful because I can see what it is suppose to look like when it was new. The side storage is gone, along with most of the seat/side padding. It now had carpeted wood there now, and it will be replaced.

The boat looks great from the outside. Here it is in my driveway. The drive from Ocala was uneventful. The trailer has a new axle, tires and bearings. The bunks look like they were redone recently.
At the house after the 95 mile trip

After some cleaning up
The hull was wet sanded and buffed out. New stripes and lettering was installed.

Rear shot
Looks like it is in good shape, but the stripes have to go.

Removing the stripes take the 80s dating away.
Cleaned up

The floor seemed solid and looked great with the new carpet. I knew it probably was not properly installed, but since the boat was cheap, I could live with it. Things are not always as they seem.

Works for now
After the deck was replaced, the old interior went back in until I get more time to replace it.

After removing the rear seat and firewall, I started to dig. I was happy to find a solid transom and rear stringers, but did not like the way the front floor was replaced. What was suppose to take a week or two is now going to take a few months. Now the fun begins.
More work than expected

New deck
The stringers and deck have been replaced, making this a solid boat again.

The engine runs good on the hose. It too would require some work and the outdrive turned out to be junk.
140 I/O

With some part and tuning, the engine runs quite well. The outdrive was replaced and all is well.

First trip out to Beer Can Island in Tampa Bay. The weather in Tampa was rain, but the island was sunny and warm.
On the bay

Ah crap! Another boat
Boating is a sickness. One boat is not enough and the Sea Doo followed me home. $700 and the hull is in excellent shape. New carbs, jet drive and a good trailer has this going for it.

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