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Old 16-03-2015, 19:05   #1
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Retrofit 30'Pearson Engine Comparment

Hi I am new to this forum. I purchased a 1978 30' Pearson last year that is in excellent shape. This is my "retirement" boat. At my best I was a mediocre mechanic in my youth and have not done much sense. The Pearson has a reliable 30h Atomic - however the simplest jobs take forever due to a) lack of experience b" lack of space. It seems to me that the engine compartment could be redesigned with removable panels, removable sink etc so that for major work it could be disassemble to give access to the engine. Has anyone tried this on a Pearson or similar boat that has the engine right under the stair way? Ideally the pieces could be taken apart and put back in less than an hour - ideas? Truth be told I am not a much better carpenter that I am a mechanic but I do have all the time in the world!

Kenn
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Old 16-03-2015, 20:23   #2
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Re: Retrofit 30'Pearson Engine Comparment

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Originally Posted by ksovie View Post
Hi I am new to this forum. I purchased a 1978 30' Pearson last year that is in excellent shape. This is my "retirement" boat. At my best I was a mediocre mechanic in my youth and have not done much sense. The Pearson has a reliable 30h Atomic - however the simplest jobs take forever due to a) lack of experience b" lack of space. It seems to me that the engine compartment could be redesigned with removable panels, removable sink etc so that for major work it could be disassemble to give access to the engine. Has anyone tried this on a Pearson or similar boat that has the engine right under the stair way? Ideally the pieces could be taken apart and put back in less than an hour - ideas? Truth be told I am not a much better carpenter that I am a mechanic but I do have all the time in the world!

Kenn
Taurus
I have seen many boats with removable panels so as to allow access to the engine compartment..Pearson 28 from the mid 80s I believe was like that..
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Old 16-03-2015, 20:31   #3
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Re: Retrofit 30'Pearson Engine Comparment

Not familiar with the 30 Pearson but in general it is a good idea and one can make cutouts in panels and bulkheads and replace the cutouts with removable covers BUT make sure that you are cutting out something that's structural and contributes to the strength of the boat.
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Old 16-03-2015, 21:45   #4
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Re: Retrofit 30'Pearson Engine Comparment

I think he meant not structural. Mac
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Old 16-03-2015, 23:37   #5
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Re: Retrofit 30'Pearson Engine Comparment

not sure if the p-30 has one (I think they would) but I made a cut out in the side of my aft 1/4 birth, the length of my engine, put in a couple braces for supporting my deck (just in case) took a door skin, cut it 1/2inch bigger (on all sides, so it fit over) screwed some 3/4in oak around the inside so it fit nicely in the hole, liquid nailed some new insulation on the new panel, sanded, painted, then drilled 6 pilot holes and screwed it in place with 1/2in stainless so I can take it off when I need to do things. seemed easier to me than taking apart/cutting things that have much more people looking at or walking on.
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Old 17-03-2015, 08:29   #6
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Re: Retrofit 30'Pearson Engine Comparment

Ksovie,

I had a P30 for several years, and will tell you that unless you are a contortionist getting work done will be painful! Fortuately the A4 if forgiving. So...

1) I emphatically endorse modding the engine compartment to facilitate access.

2) There is nothing on a boat that can't be hacked.

3) Never mind your current assessment of your skill. You will become an expert in the P30 in no time.

If I may tell you what I wanted to do prior to moving away and selling the P30:

The portside quarter berth: The settee/berth extends underneath the cockpit and aside the engine compartment. It was an idea to cut out the fiberglass bench and install a removable wooden bench. This would've permitted removing the bench, climbing into that part of the boat and setting up shop to work on some pretty important A4 guts - fuel pump, carb, etc. It is not clear if the bench provides structural support in this part of the hull. I suspect it doesn't.

The lazarette: It can be organized to permit you easy access to the starter & alternator.

Put an access hatch in the cockpit sole that permits access to the dipstick and distributor. Also lets needed light in.

And, yes, for your idea of making the galley and step parts removable, 100% would do. Our steps & panels underneath the sink were easily removable. I spent many hours jammed in there basically laying on the engine block bent up like a Picasso before we realized that the panels just came right-the-hell-out! Silly me

My shoulders still hurt from time spent trying to reinstall a fuel pump in a P30.

Anyway - my $0.02. I look forward to hearing what you do!
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Old 17-03-2015, 08:53   #7
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Re: Retrofit 30'Pearson Engine Comparment

Hi Kenn, I understand your pain! I have a P30 with an Atomic 4 also… spent the entire summer last year crawling around and sticking my head into any available space in the engine compartment trying to get my engine to go. (never did btw after a hundred hours working on it and three marine mechanics later… incomprehensible for a low tech 1930’s tractor engine!)
But yes, even reaching across and behind the engine to check the oil level and getting the dipstick back in ‘blind’ is an experience. I finally had to pull the engine and my plan this Spring is to redesign and rebuild that whole cabinet/stairs structure in two or three modular pieces bolted together so all can be removed for access when major engine work is required. A couple of temporary supports for the cockpit structure would be needed on the quarter berth side.
Occurs to me often that the designers of these boats should be made to work in some of these spaces.
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Old 17-03-2015, 09:04   #8
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Re: Retrofit 30'Pearson Engine Comparment

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Originally Posted by Hard Rock Candy View Post
I think he meant not structural. Mac
Doh!

Yes. I meant not structural bulkheads.
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Old 17-03-2015, 09:12   #9
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Re: Retrofit 30'Pearson Engine Comparment

LekiM, we must have been typing at the same time. Yes the only way to get at the fuel pump is left handed backhanded and blind. I am sure you must have heard me working on mine ;-|
I believe the interior moulded pans in the P30 are semi-structural so I would not be cutting out big chunks of them.
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Old 17-03-2015, 09:23   #10
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Re: Retrofit 30'Pearson Engine Comparment

My boat has a large hatch in the cockpit that gives me access to maybe 80% of the engine. The rest I can get to by pulling away the stairs. I highly recommend this, if its possible to do on your boat.
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