A rare 1969 Leisure Craft houseboat

by Sandra in Tennessee

A rare 1969 Leisure Craft houseboat by James E Cron

A rare 1969 Leisure Craft houseboat by James E Cron

I have purchased a 1969 " drifter style " houseboat. She is a Leisure Craft. The name plate includes "Jising Houseboats by James E. Cron , Gallatin TN."

She is moored without shore power and I don't know if there is a bilge pump in the forward section of the hull. I can access the hull at the stern where the motor is located.

The forward section I cannot locate an opening to access it? The stairs at the bow slides out, however that whole section is a storage area with no way to get beneath it.

There doesn't seem to be an access in the head for the hull either. The wiring from the wheel has been "augmented".
Someone has carpeted over the original vinyl, and short of tearing all the carpeting out, I'd rather yell HELP !

Does someone out there know where I can access the hull's bottom for a new 12v bilge pump install? ANY information on this boat / builder / an owners manual / research links - would be so greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Sandra in TN.

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Reply - Answer

Well Sandra, congratulations on your purchase and I am sure that slowly but surely, all your questions and issues will work out.

In regards to accessing the forward bilge area on your Leisure Craft, I am not sure where the access panel is, OR if you will have to create a new opening.

I'm sure that someone who is very familiar with this extremely rare model will be replying shortly with more detailed information.

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers and visitors will share and post comments about any LeisureCraft houseboat experiences and tips.

Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.

Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats

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Comments for A rare 1969 Leisure Craft houseboat

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Supporting boat
by: David Cron

I would not recommend supporting the boat by the
walks on the outside of the hull. We supported boats by setting steel 55 gallon drums underneath the boat.

We would put a piece of wood between the boat and the drum, usually would support along the outer edge where bottom and side are formed.

Hope this helps, Thank you, David Cron

hull repair
by: Benji Rutland

Is the walk way around the outside of the boat strong enough to support the hull by jack stands to do hull repair?

Rear section repair
by: David Cron

You should Google search steel fabricators in Orangeburg, SC as there appears to be several in your area. Ask the ones that are not interested in doing the repairs if maybe they can recommend someone, or maybe one of the fabricators can do side work after hours.

Note: when you do find someone, ask if they have performed work on boats. Be sure they understand not to leave any holes in their welds.

We arc/stick welded everything, the welds below the water line, we clean the flux from the weld using a wire cup brush on a hand held grinder.

Inspect the weld, then weld up any holes, clean and inspect again. No matter how good the person doing the welding, there will be holes in the welds.

Hope this helps, David

Help with hull repair
by: Benji Rutland

I need the hull of my 1969 Leisure Craft repaired. The rear of the hull needs to be replated or replaced. I can't seem to find anyone in my area that is willing to tackle the job. I'm in Orangeburg SC.

Metal thickness
by: david cron

The metal thickness is 1/8" inch.

Steel hull repair
by: Benji Rutland

Thanks David for the response. I do have bad rust in the last half of the hull. I'm thinking about getting a reputable welder to replate the underside of the boat. any advise on metal thickness?

Under floor
by: David Cron

Hello Benji; the floor of your boat is 1/2 inch plywood screwed to a formed steel "c" channel. The channels are tack welded to the bottom of the hull and the ends are welded to the sides. They are approx 6 in. tall with a 1-1/2 in. lip, spaced 16 inches apart from front to rear bulkhead.

If you look under the front deck there should be some of the channels exposed, this may help you understand better how they are made. My dimensions may not be exact but should be close, memory not that great.

There should be enough room between the floor and the bottom of the boat where it would be easy to see. After the hulls were assembled the metal was acid cleaned to etch the metal, then primed and painted inside and out. Of course this was done in 1969.

Hope this helps, David Cron

1969 leisure craft hull design
by: Benji Rutland

I too own a 1969 Leisure Craft houseboat. I'm concerned about rust on the inside hull. I would like to drill some holes in the floor so I can stick a bore scope down under it and look around.

But I'm not sure how the hull is designed under the wooden floor. Any help or references to resources would be much appreciated.

Thanks, Benji

1969 Leisure Craft
by: David Cron

I am the son of James Cron, the builder of your boat. Great to see some of them surviving. I will do my best to answer your concerns.

The boats originally were not equipped with bilge pumps, unless ordered by the customer. To access the front area under the front deck, the step inside the front door, you should be able to slide the step to the side then pull the step away from the wall.

This should be open to all of the area under the front deck, which was considered a storage area. If there is a steel bulkhead behind the step then there should have been a hatch in the front deck.

The hatch would have been located under one of the front windows, if there is no hatch, at some point someone may have blocked it off.

We started building boats with water tight compartments in the front and rear. This is why I mentioned a steel bulkhead behind the step.

The engine controls and wiring would be routed down the right side (pilot side) wall. This would be inside of a channel made of wood and attached to the wall, it goes to the rear and routed through a tube welded in the upper right hand corner of the rear bulkhead of the engine compartment.

Some of the wiring is routed along the upper corners of the wall and roof. The roof rafters will have notches cut in them where the wires are routed through.

There should be a removable wood panel, possibly close to the floor, on the steering wheel mount panel, also where the gauges are located, this panel should raise up. There should be a fuse panel behind the removable wood panel.

I hope this helps, David Cron

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