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Old 25-08-2021, 11:50   #1
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Leopard 47 systems access

this is specific to Leopards



The narrative - feel free to skip to the question
I have a new-to-me 2003 Leopard 47

The access to pumps, thru hulls, waste lines, waste tanks and god knows what else are located between the two heads. The area is 13 and 1/2 inches wide and the bilge is 32 inches below the access door. My arm from axilla to fingers is 22 inches which means that by hanging upside down I can just touch the bottom with my left arm. This is important because courtesy of youthful stupidity my left arm doesn't work very well. This process usually involves a blood sacrifice.
Since there are a lot of safety systems down there it would seem that access to them for maintenance and inspection would be very important if not critical so.....



The question.
Has anyone improved access to this area if so how?
I am thinking of cutting out a substantial portion of the toilet base and replacing it with a bolted in-place piece of material to support the toilet. This doesn't look like it would compromise structural integrity but I would be happier to know that I wasn't the first to do this.


As always thank you for your thoughts and advise.
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Old 26-08-2021, 13:13   #2
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Re: Leopard 47 systems access

I'm not familiar with Leopards, but I do have a few thoughts for you.

To me, it's unconscionable that builders put through hulls whre they can't be reached in an emergency. There, that's off my chest.

Can you be certain that the deck that the head is sitting on is non-structural? Structural reigidity often comes from a box beam - such that the sole may be the top of that beam, with the hull as sides and bottom. It could be what keeps the bow from buckling upward. If it's structural, beware. Any patch that you can put in place, a platform for the head to sit on, will have the be so firmly reinforced and bolted in place that it will be useless in an emergency.

If it's not structural, its current attachment probably will reflect that - it won't be all that difficult to remove. If that's the case, have at it. You could attach the new platform just firmly enough to keep it from falling over or rattling. It could be "quick release."

One other approach. Could you relocate the valves at the top of really high quality plumbing, such that they are in reach, with the understanding that whatever it is that fails, it won't be the pipe extensions?
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Old 27-08-2021, 03:07   #3
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Re: Leopard 47 systems access

I don't think it is structural but it is hard to tell which is why I am asking if anyone else has done this. There is a chap on the facebook forum that took out his toilet altogether and added a hatch. That seems to work well. Others have suggested taking out the toilet and putting in a composting one I assume still putting in the hatch to get to the stopcocks. Once I get to haul out I can do a number of different things although it will mean spending more time on land than I had originally planned but "ya gotta do what ya gotta do."
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Old 27-08-2021, 04:53   #4
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Re: Leopard 47 systems access

OK. That fits in the "free to go" category. I like the composting toilet idea, because you could simply pick up the head, put it down, and lift the hinged flap under it to get to the through hulls quickly. I hope you'll post your design for others to see.
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Old 27-08-2021, 10:18   #5
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Re: Leopard 47 systems access

I recently replied to you on the Leopard forum, (name is Tim) but I did not address this issue, since I found it workable to kneel on either side of the toilet and bend over from there. My arms may be longer, and it was not ideal, but it worked fine. Perhaps practice some yoga!


As to that platform, it is not structural. Since you have an owner's version, you will see it does not exist on the other side. However, depending upon the space around your particular toilet, you should be able to cut an access hole in the vertical wall behind the toilet, and put a nice round access port there. Then you could reach everything, through that. But, if your toilet base is really big, like a composting one, I doubt this would work. By the way, some of the L45/47's have such an access port in the aft cabin, at the bottom of the engine room bulkhead, between the steps and the closet. If you don't have one, you might consider installing one. Correctly placed, it gives you access to the engine room thruhulls, without needing to go into the engine room.


Best of luck.
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