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Old 20-10-2007, 12:13   #1
Jax
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Easy access to engines under the beds

Hi everyone. First post from long time lurker. Has anyone heard or seen a system that would let you lift the bed over the engine for daily check of oil level, belts, etc. without having to take the bed apart? My tiny amount of experience is with a FP Athena 38. While its not a big deal to move the bedding it would be nice to be able to lift or tilt the bed up for access. I've done some searches on this subject but can't find any info. On this forum,I have learned that if it has been done or can be done somebody here will know about it.
Thanks
Jack
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Old 20-10-2007, 14:23   #2
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Hi Jack- im just back from 6 months on the Athena 38 and , I dont bother to check daily,, but then who really does? I check about every 50 hours or if I hear something different going on- I suppose you could put some kinda hinge on the bedboard and it might work?
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Old 20-10-2007, 17:05   #3
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How often I check my oil depends on what I'm doing with Exit Only.

If we are are on a windless passage motoring 12 hours on the starboard engine, and then 12 hours on the port engine, alternating every twelve hours, I check the oil before starting up the engine that will be going into service. I usually time my oil checks so they can be done during daylight hours.

If I am cruising some place like the Bahamas where I will use the engines a small amount every couple of days, I check it less often. But I make sure that the low oil pressure alarm is working.

Most oil leaks are slow and don't pose a threat to the engine. When I sailed to Fiji from New Zealand, I met a Kiwi diesel mechanic who had such a large oil leak from his engine that he put a turkey roasting pan under the engine block to catch the dripping oil, and periodically he removed the pan and poured the oil back into his engine, and then he put the pan back under the engine for the next recycling of the oil. It worked for him, but I must admit I wondered why a diesel mechanic would allow his engine to leak so much oil.

On our Land Rover Defenders, the oil seals leak a lot. We had a saying about oil leaks. When the oil stops leaking, it means you have run out of oil.
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Old 20-10-2007, 21:04   #4
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I am not familiar with the Athena, but on our cat the mattresses are sectioned (2 per berth) I tip one up on the other, lift the forward most cover and check oil. If motoring down the ICW, I check them each morning. I am getting some hours on them and if I run them hard they consume some.

A key point, do not handle your bedding with oily hands. The Admiral will have you demoted to a rank below bilge rat, the cooking will become bad, and the loving non existent.

George
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Old 21-10-2007, 01:28   #5
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... A key point, do not handle your bedding with oily hands. The Admiral will have you demoted to a rank below bilge rat, the cooking will become bad, and the loving non existent.
George
I always “bannished” Maggie to the beach (or at least the cockpit), when I performed engine maintenance (especially oil changes) on our half-cat.

Would a Hydraulic Hood Lift Kit (gas spring lift struts), such as installed on car engine bonnets, help?
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Old 21-10-2007, 04:32   #6
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This boat has hydraulic lifts like on a hatchback. I got to go aboard during the Annapolis show. Quite a vessel

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Old 21-10-2007, 05:50   #7
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This does bring up a good question about designed engine placement. I've seen some cats in which the inboard engine placement is as far back in the boat as you can go. Access is by lifting the transom steps. I wonder how many guys have slipped and gone into the drink when checking the oil? Or what they are going to do on a dark and stormy night when the water pump">raw water pump fails or the fuel filter clogs?

Cats ride easier when weight is kept off the 'ends' of the boat. This is the reason for designing trampolines forward on just about all new designs. IMHO, the engines should be mounted as far forward as is practical, both for easy (and safe) access and seakeeping ability.
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Old 21-10-2007, 07:31   #8
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Manta has a hinged system with struts - just lift it up and check. Ours is this way and it is a joy to check the engine now. Put it back down and the bedding is untouched and in place.

Mark

http://www.cruisersforum.com/attachm...ngine_room.jpg
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Old 11-11-2007, 14:45   #9
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On our FastCats we use electronic Dipsticks made by Ottersbach in Germany
They work fine
when you switch on the ignition key a red or green light and a buzzer tells you if the level is good or not and of you go.
The belts are a 50 hour check item so twice or 3 times a year will do
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Old 12-11-2007, 20:42   #10
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On mine I open a door in the vertical front of the bed area which allows me to check belts, water and oil.

To access the engine bay I'll have to deflate mattress and climb in through the hatch which is large enough to remove the engine through.

Even more impressive is it is large enough to allow me access into the engine room . (I can actually climb inside the compatment with the motor)

The lid is 9mm gaboon so easily lifted.

I plan on checking oil and water every day prior to first start, with a visual check every couple of hours while on passage.

Dave
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Old 12-11-2007, 20:58   #11
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Manta has a hinged system with struts - just lift it up and check. Ours is this way and it is a joy to check the engine now. Put it back down and the bedding is untouched and in place.

Mark

http://www.cruisersforum.com/attachm...ngine_room.jpg

I did the same thing on our vee berth in our Dragonfly, but we use the space as a pantry and spare parts storage.
I went to the local recycling yard, found a wrecked car with a huge rear window all glass hatchback. I bought the struts for 2 dollars, I went home and made it happen. I mounted one strut in the center and with a 1" ss crossbeam at the bottom. Now instead of a big hassle, it's a one finger operation.

Steve B.
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