Sorry guys, but is really isn't rocket science to play with the engine bed. You just have to get past the fear that you can do something wrong, which, as long as you don't cut through the hull
, you won't. Make the template of the new engine. All engines provide a dimensional drawing with the detail to allow you to make this template. Remove the old engine by removing the nuts holding the engine mounts to the engine, removing (and labelling) all wiring
to the engine. Remove all the hoses, making sure that none of them can bring water
into the boat. Lay the template down on the existing bed to see if the existing logs are spaced wide apart to use, or if they are low or high enough. If there is a minor issue, add or subtract some width, or chop (or build) what ever it takes to get the dowel to match where the shaft is. If nothing works, figure out a way to put a pair of parallel bed logs where they need to be. You can use lumber
, or have something welded up and bolted to the bulkheads. Sure, it may take time, but the carpentry skills are elemental, and you will have a much better sense of what your engine room can truly be.
When I did mine, I installed PVC tubing in the bottom of the compartment to allow bilgewater to flow past the engine room, then I foamed in the floor to isolate the engine compartment bilge
from the rest of the boat, so spilled oil
wouldn't contaminate the rest of the boat. I only had to remove about two inches of vertical height of the existing engine bed log, and I epoxied a couple pieces of plywood
vertically on the inside faces to give better support to the engine mounts. I epoxied everything, made all the corners into smooth curves to facilitate cleaning
. It was a fair amount of work, but I work cheap
for myself, and I got my money's worth. When I lifted the engine into the aft cabin
, via the companionway
using the main halyard
, I set the engine onto a piece of plywood, which sat on a 2x6 plank spanning the frames of the engine room. After disconnecting the halyard
, I could easily slide the engine forward into the engine room compartment, by myself. Then I lowered a chain hoist (I could have just used the halyard, but this allowed me to work alone) to lift
the engine off the plank. Now, it just hung there while I placed the engine mounts back on the engine. Slowly lowering the chain hoist, with one hand, I could guide the engine lightly onto the engine bed and maneuver it to the point where it just "kissed" the shaft coupling. Continuing to take some of the load with the chain hoist, I could raise and lower the engine mount nuts to get an almost perfect alignment. The most important measurement was where the bolts or lag screws that hold the engine mounts, would be affixed. For a two hundred sixty pound engine, lag screws into solid beds is sufficient (each lag screw needs only to support less than 50 pounds). Then I reversed the original process, removing the engine so that I could permanently install the engine mounts, then replaced it again.
Making this installation
gave me the confidence that I could simply remove the engine if I needed to do any major service
, without this being a major worry or cost. It took time to set up, but the actual installation
of the engine takes only a couple hours, and a couple friends to crank the halyard, push and pull the engine around in place, and drink the celebratory bottles of bubbling bilgewater that serves as industrial solvent for this operation. And it is so cool when your neighbors see you wheel
a brand new engine down the dock
, pop it in with no fuss, and then fire it up a couple hours later and motor
off for a test run.