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Old 27-07-2013, 07:06   #1
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Cockpit floor access hatch good idea?

Hi:

I need to rebuild my cockpit floor and someone said I should install an access hatch over the engine.

Good: better access to the engine.

Bad: Big fat hole in the boat if it goes south. Probably have to replace it every 10 years as the UV eats it away. Not that they cost much, but work is work. Also who is to say the same size will be available in 10 years time.

Useful idea or am I just making work for myself if I pursue this?

Regards,

Boulter
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Old 27-07-2013, 07:15   #2
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Re: Cockpit floor access hatch good idea?

What material do you plan to use for the hatch? I had a boat with a removable cockpit floor for engine access and the floor was the same fiberglass layup as the rest of the boat. Heavy duty latches to keep it in place in case "it goes south", and no worry about UV.
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Old 27-07-2013, 08:45   #3
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Re: Cockpit floor access hatch good idea?

In our boat the whole floor removes. It is a bad idea (small boat, aft cockpit). But it is the only idea that grants good engine access in this design. So.

It is a great idea in center cockpit boats.

Sometimes you can get good/decent engine access by cutting out ports in the panels that form the walls of you engine pit - that's where many filters/pumps etc are located. I think it is also essential to have quick access to the dripless seal.

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Old 27-07-2013, 08:54   #4
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Smaller pacific sea craft boats build the cockpit sole as one large removable panel
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Old 27-07-2013, 11:18   #5
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Re: Cockpit floor access hatch good idea?

CSY 37 has a large aft cockpit hatch that makes working on most of the engine easy. Plus the entrance stairway lifts up and out of the way to access the tranny and v-drive. The hardest access is to the shafts dripless seal under the oil pan of the engine. Not that hard, but it can be a pain for us older guys....
The CSY's large hatch makes it easy to get to the main thur hull valves and with a little fabrication a get place to store essential spare parts, oil, filters, prop, ect....
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Old 27-07-2013, 11:30   #6
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Re: Cockpit floor access hatch good idea?

i have a 5ftx 2ft6" hatch above the engine room on my 63 footer,can easily lift the main engine out through it as well as the genset.

the best thing is being able to open it in the tropics if i am doing an oil change or working on the engine,lets in air and lots of light.

seal is a simple raised lip on the deck,and lip on the cover with neopreme gasket,bolts down to removable cross bars.
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Old 27-07-2013, 12:18   #7
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Re: Cockpit floor access hatch good idea?

I have a 8 inch round section with a rubber gasket mounted to it and then it seals with an aluminum "lid" that is beveled around the edge and sits into the opening rather tight(gravity only?) If it goes south ,I think I would loose it..It allows you to work on the trans and the packing gland...It is of my personal belief that all "blue water boats" have an 8 inch hole cut into the cockpit sole!!?
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Old 27-07-2013, 12:19   #8
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Re: Cockpit floor access hatch good idea?

A freeman aluminun hatch is watertight. They have gotten expensive now though. It's a good solution, requiring no painting etc. Had one in my 30 footer and it was invaluable. Just open her up and work in the engine space in daylight.. and standing up at times!

Round , Oval or rectangular:
http://www.freemanmarine.com/Hatches2400Summary.htm
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Old 28-07-2013, 06:02   #9
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Re: Cockpit floor access hatch good idea?

Hi:

Thanks for the replies. Seems a reasonable idea in general from the comments.

I'll have to spend some time sitting in the lazarette contemplating my specific situation.

Cheers

Boulter
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