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18ft rayson craft

stupidbaker57

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I just bought a barn fresh rayson 18 footer with a chrysler 440.
I counted out the v drive ratio. I think they're 15's. The engine turns 10 and the prop turns 11 1/2 . The prop is a 12d 14p bronze 3 blade. I had it running kinda. It needs some work but I had it up to 50.

I was told that the gears are high and that they should be changed to a lower number. I felt that the boat got out of the hole pretty good. Not a drag racer, but you could yank a skier out quick enough.

If this was your boat, what changes would you make? Add a tranny, change gears and prop? If so to what ratio for all around use? (skiing, cruising, and once in a while,,,spanking one of those damn outboards)
 

vdcruiser

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15 gears sound about right. What is the max rpm. Don't want to turn that bronze prop too many rpm's.
 

harlanorrin

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Get the engine running to max., then you will have a base line.
POST PICTURES.
HARLAN ORRIN
 

stupidbaker57

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I'll post pictures later today. The prop calculator that use says:1500 lb boat, 15 gears, running 375 hp at 5000 = 11 1/2d x 20p with a speed of 94 mph. possable?
 

vdcruiser

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Have never seen anyone use a 20 pitch prop with this type boat. Most generally use 15 or 16 pitch. 11 1/2" dia sounds ok. Yes definately hard to figure what prop/gears you need if the engine isn't running properly.
 

PokerRun388

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I'll post pictures later today. The prop calculator that use says:1500 lb boat, 15 gears, running 375 hp at 5000 = 11 1/2d x 20p with a speed of 94 mph. possable?
Congrats on your new boat.:thumbsup

Looking forward to seeing the pics.:)
 

RiverDave

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I'll post pictures later today. The prop calculator that use says:1500 lb boat, 15 gears, running 375 hp at 5000 = 11 1/2d x 20p with a speed of 94 mph. possable?
I wouldn't think it would run that hard with that little hp..
 

stupidbaker57

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Here's some pictures of my Rayson. Does it look like a LP to you guys? drag boat 001.jpg

drag boat 002.jpg

drag boat 003.jpg
 

DaveA

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Congratulations on saving another Raysoncraft from oblivion!

This is gonna be a long post....

You didn't say what year this boat is registered as, but I would suspect it's a mid- to late-sixites and I refer to it as a Raysoncraft J-hull. LP is a low profile 2-seater that's about 17.5' down the centerline and is markedly more freeboard-challenged. Your's is longer in the cockpit area especially- and can manage 4 seats. That old-school seat setup is typical of that period. Unique driver's seat setup, too.

Observations from somebody who's been thru this before:

Get the 440 fully tuned before you spend any more money on the boat- Harlan's advice is golden. Things like worn out distributor shafts, blow-by due to stuck/worn rings, nasty crud filled carbs etc still allow the engine to run to some extent, but not to it's best. Take your time and go thru everything, including things like water pump impeller, fuel filter (and if it doesn't have a large capacity filter, install one- more on this later). Unless you have a major hull problem, like delamination back near the cav plate and under/near the fuel tanks etc. the engine may be your most expensive/time-consuming aspect of making it useable.

It appears this hull still has the factory installed 'shoebox' fiberglass fuel tanks. If so, I would strongly recommend removing them and using a stainless or aluminum replacement. If you need encouragement to go to this expense, just run some ethanol based fuel in them for a season and see what it does when the polyester resin in the tanks is emulsified into the fuel and is carried into the engine. The junk then drops out of suspension (due to the engine heat perhaps?) and deposits itself on top of valves and pistons, causing all sorts of problems that have been documented time and again in posts and photos on various boating websites. I just cut the two original tanks out of a Rayson outboard because one had developed some seepage- and it was only gonna get worse, so I had 2 aluminum tanks built off the old ones- just gotta put them in now. My first LP had seeping tanks and I cut them out, and found that the seepage had helped cause the delamination in the bottom (of course years of rough use and poor prior repairs to the bottom exterior didn't help either- look for cracks etc around the prop shaft and cav plate areas in the bottom.) When I cut the glass off the top of the plywood core, it reeked of old varnished gas. Made me a believer.

This hull was typically set up as a hot rod ski boat- rarely seen with huge power back in the day. Living on the West Coast rivers a transmission wasn't so necessary from what I've been told by those that had them there, but I'm on a man-made lake in NC with the need to be able to dock, backup, and turn around in narrow coves etc. so you'll see more East Coast stuff with Velvet Drive 72C trannys if they were rigged here originally. Your's may have an in/out attachment on the v-drive so you could run in neutral. Just don't go jammin' it in gear with the engine running...not designed for that.

A 94mph boat? Nah. RiverDave's right- won't run that hard on what you most likely have- it's probably a good 65 or so boat once you get all the right things tuned up. Don't go stalking any big motor clamp-on's or jets anytime soon.

Take us some more photos of engine details, v-drive type, and get under the boat and look very closely at the back 4 feet of the hull around the cav plate, prop strut, etc. I wonder if it was built with a blast plate above the prop to stop hull erosion from the prop turbulence...probably wasn't.

Use this site and others like www.raysoncraftresources.com - post up with photos often and you'll get a boat-load of assistance....listen to the experienced voices here and you'll get around alot of the problems that usually crop up on projects like this one.

DaveA
 

stupidbaker57

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I've run the block numbers and it seems that the engine is a 383. The guy I got it from said 440. The 383 has a forged crank rather than a cast one, so I'll be building it as is.
Any thoughts or sugestions for building this motor for maximum HP? I'm not rich but I am a retired auto mechanic and I have an auto machine shop in my loop of friends.
 

Rattle Can Lou

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Do not even consider "horsepower" in this boat...and it's a 61 to 65 hull...this is a ski boat designed for probably 300 hp max...the last thing I would worry about is "horsepower"...
 

74 spectra20 v-drive

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Cool Boat, I would run what you got and clean it up.

15's are not very tall most v drive ski boats ran 19's if I am not mistaken, you should be fine with the gears.

If you want a trans, I like Velvet drives, I had had one in my Sanger for years and my Dad ran one in his Sanger behind (in front) a Boss 429. for a ski boat having a trans is very cool.

Speed in a small v-drive is a funny thing, I run a pretty stout BBC in my Sanger, pulls hard to 6,200 and 65 to 70 is plenty fast for what we do, you can run around all day, pull skiers and tubes and run pump gas. This is also is a hull that was designed to run faster speeds. Funny and dangerous things happen when horsepower out paces the era of the Hull.
 

stupidbaker57

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Thanks for all the good info. I'll be closely inspecting the hull and taking pictures. Yes the tanks are glass and were 1/2 full of old fuel. I pumped them out. The boat is a 1970 (I'm told). I got under the bow to look for the numbers on the stringer and found none.
 

lebel409

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I skied a lot behind one of those...he had a 392 hemi and a 1 to 1 v drive...The boat wouldn't go more than 45, but you could pull stumps.

After 30+ years of being a turnkey ski boat they decided to freshen up the engine and make it a go fast boat...never happened and now it's in a field somewhere.

Replace the tanks, amke sure the bottom and transom are solid, and run it as is.
 

stupidbaker57

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I've inspected the bottom as best as can be seen. The installed tanks are over the bunks of the trailer making it hard to inspect well enough. It looks ok from what I can see. Over the winter I'll be cutting them out and installing a pair of 19 gallon moeller tanks. The transon looks good where it meets the cav plate. I see no erosion of the hull above the prop. At what point would a blast plate be needed?
 

Rattle Can Lou

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I've inspected the bottom as best as can be seen. The installed tanks are over the bunks of the trailer making it hard to inspect well enough. It looks ok from what I can see. Over the winter I'll be cutting them out and installing a pair of 19 gallon moeller tanks. The transon looks good where it meets the cav plate. I see no erosion of the hull above the prop. At what point would a blast plate be needed?
you will never need a blast plate..hopefully you will never need a blast plate...

you don't need to inspect under the talks...Rayson made his tanks one peice and glassed them in...so you just cut along the bottom and the sides and use a crow bar or something under them to pop them up..
 

stupidbaker57

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A little up date. I cut the glass tanks out and built new ones out of gavinized sheet metal in the shape of the old ones. New stringers are in and glassed. The boat is now upside down and a new coat of paint is curing. Next week it gets righted and work will continue on the paint. All the aluminum and other bright parts have all be repolished. The V drive has been rebuilt. Misc brackets and steering pulleys have been powdercoated.
 

DaveA

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Let's see some of your work- post up more photos when you can...we love this stuff.

BTW, what's the story on the Hydrostream in the woods? Another project? They're cool, too.
 
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stupidbaker57

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I've been going like hell on this project since i brought it home. I cut out the gas tanks, striped off the top paint, replaced the stringers, repolished all the bright work, painted out the inside, then flipped it over (thanks for the info,,,it rotated over real easy) then painted the bottom. I'll flip it over after the strut comes back from the shop with a new bearing.

As for the hydrostream,,,,,,,it's my son's boat that he bought about the same time as me. He has a 150 merc on the back and gets 71 MPH for a base line.
 

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stupidbaker57

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Here it is with a "faux wood" deck paint (part one, rear of hull is later) The gunnels, transom and inside will be gold metalflake. paint job 002.jpg paint job 001.jpg
 

stupidbaker57

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I haven't been to good on the updates of the resto,,,,,,,,so,,,,here it is. I'm done! boat on mooring 001.jpg
 

stupidbaker57

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Had it in the lake yesterday. After jetting up to 75's in the primary, and swapping the prop to a 12/16 from a 12/14, I got 65.1 MPH. I just have to check that the carb is wide open when the pedal is on the floor. Not too much hopping around 55 and up, but that's if the lake is flat. More down plate adjustment may be needed.
 

DrHW

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That is a great looking Boat. Good job with it. :thumbup:
 
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