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Old 08-08-2020, 23:26  
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Please name this Fiberglass structure used in place of "Stringers" for engine mounts

I am aware that true "stringers" are longitudinal braces on wood and metal boats. That is not what i am talking about. On many boats, including GRP and ferro, the engine mounts lag screw to two hunks of lumber often covered in fiberglass and often called "stringers" (If there is a better term, i am all ears)
Every Nor'Sea 27 i looked at had just that. Except the one I purchased. It had this odd structure shown in the photos. It is almost a bridge over the fuel tank. What would be timber "stringers" are largely hollow, open below. The top of the structure is smooth and gel coated as if molded. It is very sturdy (3/4" thick) and bedded perfectly to the hull. It looks to calm my fears of the lag screws coming loose in a roll over as this bolts through. looks sturdy. Nice idea.

What is this 'fiberglass bridge like stringer thinger dinger' called? Does anyone else have one?


I need to remove the in-keel fuel tank and would like to salvage this structure but it is in the way. Has anyone removed and re-bedded one? please advise.

Thanks in advance for the help Pete.
(boat is from 1984. hull 199)
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:26  
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Re: Please name this Fiberglass structure used in place of "Stringers" for engine mou

I don't know the proper term but I would simply call it an 'engine bed'.
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Old 09-08-2020, 02:01  
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Thumbs up Re: Please name this Fiberglass structure used in place of "Stringers" for engine mou

If the engine is fitted to the structure fastened or glassed into the vessels hull its an engine bed ,if water or fuel tanks are fitted to a structure in the hull that is a tank bed , beds are where things rest or are fastened to ,stringers maybe part of an engine bed or tank bed ,modern grp vessels generally have a grp moulding glued into the hull incorporating these structures
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Old 09-08-2020, 06:34  
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Re: Please name this Fiberglass structure used in place of "Stringers" for engine mou

Great thanks!!! A bed.

Is there a way to remove it and replace it after the tank work?
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:28  
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Re: Please name this Fiberglass structure used in place of "Stringers" for engine mou

Use a 4-5" angle grinder with a 1/8" metal cutting (abrasive) wheel (and a shop vac to catch the itchy dust) and slice through the fiberglass tabbing that's laid over the engine bed outside flanges (around the perimeter of the molded engine bed where it's attached to the hull). Only cut deep enough to cut the overlaid glass "tabbing", not into the hull laminate. If you're lucky, they didn't "glue" it to the hull with epoxy or something else good like 3M 5200 and and with a little prying it'll pop off.
To put it back, clean mating surfaces really well, rough it up with 40 grit sanding wheel or paper and set it in thickened epoxy, using the cutline of the tabbing to locate it. After the epoxy cures, grind the top of the tabbing about 3-4" on either side of he cut until it's clean, then overlay with 4 or 6" wide heavy fiberglass cloth/tape, preferably using epoxy resin, about the same thickness as the original tabbing.

Is there no clearance to slide the tank forward under the floor without disturbing the engine bed?
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:40  
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Re: Please name this Fiberglass structure used in place of "Stringers" for engine mou

Thanks for the help,
and thanks for the method Bellinghamster.

> "Is there no clearance to slide the tank forward under the floor"
There is no clearance to move the tank forward or aft and out. The bilge is only about 10"-12" long and then i hit lead. The tank is as far aft as possible. tanks is 5' long, maybe more.

I would be willing to destroy the old tank but when replacing it with a new tank will just be the same issue.

The tank is as wide as the stringers, it is possible to remove the center flat area. But it obviously gets it's strength as a "bridge" over the tank so that would fail without some macgyverisms.

> "If you're lucky, they didn't "glue" it to the hull"
Sure looks like a solid bedding of chop strand below and cloth above the flanges/wings on the structure. I predict it is laid down with resin and tabbed, as you said. After pulling the engine last month i pried a little under the flanges and saw no movement. I can pry with a bigger bar again today to test what holds it down.

I just think of all the soggy stringers on boats I worked on.... All the custom brackets I saw people wrapping over the sides to hold the engine UP if the boat rolls upside down (throughbolts instead of lag bolts) .... this "Modern" bed is really is a better system than i have ever owned before. It just will not let me remove the leaky tank. Grrrrrrrr.
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:43  
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Re: Please name this Fiberglass structure used in place of "Stringers" for engine mou

First-will the tank slide out without removing this bed.
If not,I would cut the bed away from the hull (flush" using a reciprocating saw with a 10",or so,blade. / Len
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:04  
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Re: Please name this Fiberglass structure used in place of "Stringers" for engine mou

"Engine bed" or "engine Pan".
Cutting the center pan out to remove the tank would leave you with your locations of the mounts intact. But it will de-strengthen that engine mount.
Cutting along the hull will leave you with the entire thing no longer located and aligned where it was.
Tough choice.
It doesn't appear you can remove the entire engine pan with a skil saw, no room. You will probably have to use a Sawzall. The good news is, you can probably saw it out with a Sawzall and fit it back in place along the saw line as it will be somewhat irregular actually helping you to do that. The Sawzall blade will be thinner than a Skil saw blade also ...which may be a good thing.

Do you need that big a tank? If you could just get the old tank out, you could cut a rectangle in the flat pan, put a smaller rectangular tank in through that, then bolt a pan "doubler" over the cutout to make it good and rigid again.
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:20  
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Re: Please name this Fiberglass structure used in place of "Stringers" for engine mou

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Do you need that big a tank?
It is longer than it is big. only 25 gal. rather narrow. I like your idea. I would be ok with two or more smaller tanks and had spent much time thinking how i could replace these with removable tanks.

the tanks on norseas were always a problem. moist. hypoxic. level with bilge water, near stuffing box.
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:35  
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Re: Please name this Fiberglass structure used in place of "Stringers" for engine mou

I would cut that out where it meets the hull with a fein multitool or any other brand similar, it uses a thin blade and vibrates, it cuts great and makes very little dust. I could not live with out one of these tools, they are fantastic for cutting and sanding, with a carbide blade I have cut a big rusted nut off water pump In just a minute after trying everything else for a week.
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:44  
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Re: Please name this Fiberglass structure used in place of "Stringers" for engine mou

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadmus View Post
It is longer than it is big. only 25 gal. rather narrow. I like your idea. I would be ok with two or more smaller tanks and had spent much time thinking how i could replace these with removable tanks.

the tanks on norseas were always a problem. moist. hypoxic. level with bilge water, near stuffing box.
Yeah , a lot of boats have issues with bilge tanks. I had 2 boats with that problem. One failed at only 6 years old.
Plastic would be nice down there.
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Old 09-08-2020, 09:31  
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Re: Please name this Fiberglass structure used in place of "Stringers" for engine mou

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Plastic would be nice down there.
Yes, For sure. I considered a GRP integral tank of vinylester. 2005 ABYC allowed them. Many formidable experts support them now. But, it is so narrow and my hands are so big, i doubt i can lay anything well down there. One who did it on this model said it was a giant time sink and advised against it But yes. I am pro plastic.
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:02  
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Re: Please name this Fiberglass structure used in place of "Stringers" for engine mou

From what I can see, I believe stringer is correct.
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:33  
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Re: Please name this Fiberglass structure used in place of "Stringers" for engine mou

Just about every saildrive driven vessel in the world has a similar engine “bed” glassed to the hull just like yours, except those beds are configured to hold the engine and the saildrive.

The beds are either glassed to the hull like yours, or incorporated into the hull inner liner and then the liner is bonded/glassed to the hull.

Slice it out as already recommended by others and reverse the process after the tank swap.
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:13  
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Re: Please name this Fiberglass structure used in place of "Stringers" for engine mou

Engine pan.

Never stringers in wood but engine beds.
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