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Old 26-10-2011, 17:44   #31
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The purpose of my original post was to both validated my observations and to open a discussion on alternatives. And yes when you get up into the 40+ foot range there is room for us tall guys can take a nap in the engine room.

The alternative of retrofitting a hatch in the cockpit did not raise howls, so I am assuming it is safe if done right.

Thanks to all for providing both and continuing my education.

Bill
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Old 26-10-2011, 23:25   #32
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A hatch in the cockpit floor can work, but you will need to put in stringers, of sufficient size, as bracing to make up for the loss of structural integrity apt to be caused by cutting out such a large hole. I would suggest contacting a naval architect, or a reputable boatbuilder, for thorough analysis before proceeding. Better safe than sorry!
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Old 20-11-2011, 15:08   #33
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Re: Engine Access on 37-39 Footers

Hello, my first post
My wife and I have owned a PSC-34 (yes 34 but similar) for over 4 years and have now done the entire east coast of the US twice. Given that it is a 1987 boat I have been in the engine compartment many times. The access to the front of the engine from the main cabin is excellent. The access by removing the cover in the cockpit floor is quick and very useful, one removes 4 hand operated large flat-topped "nuts" and tips up and ties the cover. You get access to the rest of the engine, transmission, and packing gland by stepping down and neiling facing forward at the back of the engine. It is worth trying to see if you can get comfortable. Older folks like me should take extreme care, use padding, and limit duration to protect our knees, I learned the hard way. Going further aft there is not a lot to worry about but getting to the underside of the steering quadrant and the cockpit seacocks is difficult and would seem to require going in head first (aft), possibly suspended from above.
I am fairly satisfied with the access and consider it necessary/a selling feature. One needs access to winterize, diagnose and make repairs, change oil..... We have replaced the cockpit gasket once. In this case the boat seems sufficiently strong despite the "hole in the cockpit", which is to say it seems well engineered with sufficiently heavy construction for which PSCs are known. I would definately have it again.
On rainy weekends we seem to aquire maybe a tablespoon of water from somewhere which I havent figured out (condensation?). Off-shore we previously took one wave that entirely covered the boat. The diesel continued running (it should, no ignition) and after considerable inspection there seems to have been no ill effect (aside: I consider the engine control panel a vunerability). Overall for me, cockpit access works in a well engineered boat at some modest expense to cost and weight.
Ed
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Old 20-11-2011, 15:28   #34
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Re: Engine Access on 37-39 Footers

PS
FYI: The access hatch in the cockpit of my PSC is a raised hatch.
Also I completely agree with the idea of stringers and (cross) braces. One consideration is the compression that occurs when a boat is raised in slings, with considerable attention paid to where the slings are positioned.
Ed
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