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Old 24-10-2011, 10:39   #1
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Engine Access on 37-39 Footers

Could someone provide insight into why one must have the stature of a jockey to access an engine on a sailboat under about 39 feet?

Most sailboats 39 and less require the removal of various panels, stairs etc, to gain access to one side of the engine. Heaven forbid something on the far side breaks!! At 6'3" and 220-crawling through the Laz- is not a real option. I looked at a Pearson 35 that had AC and generator added in and realized that if certain things ever broke I would be S.O.L.

At first I thought it was concerns about vessel loss if a wave came over the stern- but I believe that Pacific SeaCraft 37's (a sound blue water boat), provide access through the cockpit.


Assuming a well secured, and reasonably waterproof hatch, what is the downside of cockpit access to the engine? In the event of cockpit flooding, the force of the water would push down on the hatch and further seat it against the well maintained gasket and securing screws

thanks for the continuing education...

Bill

PS- yes I know if I buy a bigger boat, this problem goes away....
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Old 24-10-2011, 10:44   #2
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Re: Engine Access on 37-39 footers

A good commercial hatch like a Freeman Hatch will do fine. I put one in one of my boats. They are watertight with rubber seal. Limited sizes though.
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Old 24-10-2011, 11:03   #3
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Re: Engine Access on 37-39 footers

Center cockpits, even a dinky 35' like mine, generally have lovely engine access, as the cockpit floor IS the hatch
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Old 24-10-2011, 11:10   #4
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Re: Engine Access on 37-39 footers

Cool HR by Anzo. Likewise check out the AMEL line (for instance the 39' Sharki) which have cockpit engine access. I have another 39-footer yacht for sale in which the owner had the same idea so cut-out a section and put in his own cockpit sole hatch.
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Old 24-10-2011, 12:55   #5
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Re: Engine Access on 37-39 Footers

If your handy, you can provide your own hatch. My engine compartment was extremly hostile for access, same thing, only through the lazerette down through a narrow channel with no room to turn around. So when it came time to do some major engine work I cut a large section out of the cockpit sole and turned it into a hatch cover by building a stainless frame around it. I used stainless clamps to secure it which are accessable by removeing the companionway stairs. Still looks a little rough in this pic but you get the idea.
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Old 24-10-2011, 13:15   #6
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Re: Engine Access on 37-39 Footers

Cheechako/Marksman,

Thanks! Cutting in a hatch is definitely an option.

But from a construction view point, when you cut the floor, the perimeter of the cut takes the load of the hatch (a few lbs more than the floor that was removed) and the stress of people who step/jump onto the hatch. Did you glass in stringers to reinforce the perimiter?


Bill
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Old 24-10-2011, 13:18   #7
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Re: Engine Access on 37-39 Footers

On the Tayana 37 the companion way stairs easily disassemble and exposes allot of the motor it has the greatest access of boats in that length (except a few that have the motor mounted in the galley and have total access), donít get me started on the contortions necessary to work on my C&C 38 with its V drive it tucks the motor under the cockpit but the access is difficult.
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Old 24-10-2011, 13:40   #8
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Re: Engine Access on 37-39 Footers

Designers of sailboats usually give insufficient attention to engines. After all, the buyers are looking for sailboats.

The engine is usually completely tucked under the cockpit, making access difficult/iffy. Better to have it protrude into the cabin, topped by a removable step at the hatchway.
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Old 24-10-2011, 13:52   #9
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Re: Engine Access on 37-39 Footers

I think Perry understood the need to get at it better than many designers. Many of his boats have good access.
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Old 24-10-2011, 14:01   #10
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Re: Engine Access on 37-39 Footers

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwdiver View Post
I think Perry understood the need to get at it better than many designers. Many of his boats have good access.
My berth neighbor's (Perry designed) Islander 38 was inspiration for my reply concerning partially sticking the engine out into the cabin.
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Old 24-10-2011, 14:31   #11
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Re: Engine Access on 37-39 Footers

I have walk around access to my engine on a 37 footer. I tell the diesel mechanics they should pay me to work on this engine. The Green Devil:
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Old 24-10-2011, 16:01   #12
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Re: Engine Access on 37-39 Footers

Very design specific. I have seen a Westsail 32 where one could get to the engine from any angle and service any given part.

Last year I was on an Ovni 45 where we had to cut (!!!) a wall open to get access to the genset (brand new boat).

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Old 24-10-2011, 16:07   #13
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Re: Engine Access on 37-39 Footers

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Very design specific. I have seen a Westsail 32 where one could get to the engine from any angle and service any given part.

In most W32s the cockpit floor is actually a hatch which you can pick up to get INTO the engine room. You can also access the room through the companionway.

You can see the access here:
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I know Sabrekai had his BruceRoberts cockpit floor cut out and is putting a similar hatch in so other people do make that mod. My only complaint is that the hatch is very big and heavy to remove. A lot of the W32 guys cut it into two pieces.
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Old 24-10-2011, 16:16   #14
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Re: Engine Access on 37-39 Footers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
I have walk around access to my engine on a 37 footer. I tell the diesel mechanics they should pay me to work on this engine. The Green Devil:
Ditto!

I can't walk around mine but still can reach everything w/o much trouble. The side panels pull out into the solon w/a front cover to open for inspections. It pays to build you own, just the way you want it. The down fall of buying new.


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Old 24-10-2011, 16:38   #15
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Re: Engine Access on 37-39 Footers

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Originally Posted by Target9000 View Post
In most W32s the cockpit floor is actually a hatch which you can pick up to get INTO the engine room. You can also access the room through the companionway. (...)
Yup. I hate this. I have this in my boat. It leaks. It is good engine access and sure with any water dripping you will have to access the engine pretty often ;-)

That boat had no walls between the engine and the (where normally there are) cockpit lockers - you could walk (well, almost) round the engine.

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