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Old 13-03-2012, 21:54   #1
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Built Myself an Engine Gantry for a Reasonable Price

I have a pilothouse cutter I'm refitting and putting in a new engine requires removing the pilothouse roof.

The upside is a large, easily accessible engine bay.

The downside of that is that I can't just use a couple of 2 x 4s and two guys with levers to get it onto stringers below the companionway stairs. Everything has to happen from above.

So I weighed my opinions, and built a gantry. Eighty dollars for materials, about $70 for the chain hoist. The hardest part was shifting the thing without a car.

If you wish, read about it here:

The world encompassed: Arise, O diesel! Alignment awaits!

If you have a slow connection, be aware it's somewhat graphics-heavy, as I do tend to make diagrams.
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Old 13-03-2012, 23:36   #2
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Re: Built myself an engine gantry for a reasonable price

Now that there is some kine riggin !! Con Grats on a good idea, beats hell out of tearing everything apart to do the job and will be useful for other things in the future ! ans also thats a fine looking boat at the bottom of the page !!
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Old 14-03-2012, 09:12   #3
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Re: Built Myself an Engine Gantry for a Reasonable Price

Thanks, yes, I plan to keep that set up in a "lie flat" state until I need it again for putting tanks, batteries and the crazy lead ingots the P.O. used to trim the boat in the absence of offshore amounts of anchor chain.
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Old 14-03-2012, 10:06   #4
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Re: Built Myself an Engine Gantry for a Reasonable Price

That is a great design. I have the same thing going on, and I cannot remove the top of the pilot house, I will have to slide the old engine out the back of the house on a couple of rails, which could prove to be interesting, I am swapping a 471 detroit for a 6 cyl Isuzu. Coming out will be trickier than going in, (I hope!). Good luck.
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Old 14-03-2012, 11:00   #5
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Re: Built Myself an Engine Gantry for a Reasonable Price

The companionway was about 1 inch too narrow, even if I had removed the sliding hatch. Given I have access to a Polecat, it was easier just to take that off (after removing 40 bolts and a thick bead of 5200, believe it or not).

If your pilothouse is glassed on, of course, it's a different story. Don't rule out partially disassembling the engine to make more manageable chunks...if you get down to a panless, headless block, even a six cylinder diesel is significantly lighter and more compact than a complete engine.

Otherwise known as "getting an Atomic 4 into a 25 footer".
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Old 15-03-2012, 18:33   #6
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Re: Built Myself an Engine Gantry for a Reasonable Price

Nice job on the Gantry Marc, I'm impressed. Isn't it wonderful to have straight up and down access? I was originally going to pull my old Volvo out into the main cabin, remove the head, and haul it out at a 45 up through the companion way. Then I saw the light while looking at Tates blog on their rebuild of Sundowner. So I bit the bullet and hired a contractor to cut an access hatch into my cockpit sole. Removal of the engine and fuel tank was a cinch afterwards.

My new Beta is now living across the cockpit seats while I scramble to get the new mounts in and I will also need to make up a gantry. But since mine needs to lean aft to pick up the engine and then pivot forward it will be a tad more complex. I'm currently thinking 2 inch water pipe with threaded elbows and a couple of tees as bearings for the rotating part. Imagine a door frame. Two verticals and a horizontal with the rotation point at the base of the verticals. A block n tackle from the mast step will allow me to move it fore and aft and a second guy to the stern will keep it from going too far forward. I too picked up a 1 ton chain fall. Got mine from Princess Auto, marvelous aren't they!
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Old 15-03-2012, 21:33   #7
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Re: Built Myself an Engine Gantry for a Reasonable Price

Peter, I thought to go with 2 inch as well, which is why I thought of Kee Klamps as used in film and TV industry scaffolding. You could brace it forward and use a come along fore and aft to let the Beta "fly" at an angle.

You are welcome to contact me to come over and see the thing in action if you want, because even a look-see might save you some experimentation. Certainly, my "take away" was that the key is to spread the compressive load. I have a clue how Neolithic farmers might have pulled off Stonehenge now.

Yes, the chain fall is a thing of beauty. You could live with a half ton, as could I, but Fastenal sent me a one-tonne for the same price, so I'm not complaining. The gearing is very low, which would annoy me on a job site lowering buckets of cement down to a foundation, say, but which is perfect for this application as it seems to take several "arm throws" to lower or raise the engine two or three inches.

Anyway, for reasons of safety and investment protection, you CANNOT use whatever you without a dry run first, preferably on flat ground with plenty of space around. I hung from mine and twitched until I felt it would bear a non-twitching diesel without stress, and yes, it was about as dignified as it sounds.

At least with a 38 HP, yours is about 120 kilos lighter than mine...a mere 170 kilos or so!
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