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Old 04-18-2014, 11:05 AM   #21
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As i get older and stiffer, the engine and maintenance spaces carry more and more weight in my decisions. Eventually, I won't be left with many choices, maybe "Trawler Yoga" for seniors or a Great Harbour N-series. Come to think of it, a head would be a great idea in the ER.
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:22 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by FF View Post
Today gauges , especially alarm style can keep track of an engine better than a mere eyeball.
For the past 8 years of owning our vessel every significant issue discovered has been eyeball related, gauges detecting problems zero. All our engine gauges have done is verify RPM, EGTs in line, oil pressure OK, temps OK and alternator function.

Our ER space permits easy access for visual and IR gun checks every 90 minutes or so when cruising (God Bless Art DeFever). Following a day's cruise easy 100% access for drips, smudges and other lurking problems pays enormous dividends.

In this day and age of "cloud smarts", mechanical and electrical skills and acumen are pretty well lost as relevant subjects of interest except for old timers, hobbyists like us and the well trained and disciplined professionals.

A better question for this group may be who lifts their hatches except when problems occur? Judging by some of the tasks undertaken quite a few it would appear. Keep on eyeballing guys and get really worried when all the gauges say all is well.
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:26 AM   #23
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On larger boats, a decent engine space is easy to set up. Simply more room to work with.

Smaller boats are a challenge. When I set up my 38x12 single, I designed a U-shaped access path from one side of engine, around the front, and back down the other side. Deck height gives you about 3 feet of clearance, so by no means stand up. But you can crawl around to everything necessary. Gen, batts, muffler, air comp, water heater, pumps, etc are all on shelves outboard of the U-shaped path. Overhead of engine is a big hatch that engine will come out through, minus some bolt ons like alt, aftercooler, etc. Engine then will clear the pilothouse door directly behind. If I have to pull the gear, that may be a bit of a challenge, but not horrible.

This design came from years of dealing with impossible engine rooms. I have so many cringe-worthy stories about not being able to do this or that in machinery spaces. Too many!! On smaller boats tight access is understandable. But most of these cases were simply STUPID. A few minor changes would have opened things up to the tolerable level. No one apparently cared.
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:45 AM   #24
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In a smaller boat like the 35 I can see where the noise and open floor right next to the Admiral might be a distraction. But in a pilot house setup I don't think opening a hatch in the saloon would be too bad - except that as someone pointed out - you have to keep it clear. I have a separate water-tight door but if I didn't have a mountain of equipment in the ER I wouldn't mind a hatch in the saloon that dropped me down a ladder. With all the equipment floor access from above would prevent walking around the engine. I was poking around a Monk 36 and when you open the hatches in the floor of the saloon you had really good access to the engine room. Not too tall, but good access.

I guess the nice thing about a watertight door, aside from being watertight, is the ability for me to put on ear protection and go in and close the door so my wife doesn't have to listen to the engine.

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Old 04-18-2014, 12:06 PM   #25
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One of the parameters spelled out by my late wife when looking for this boar was, "get the engine out of the living room". Psneeld (Scott) had a tour of Moonstruck's engine room about a month ago. There is hardly ever enough space, but this is pretty good for 42'. The rear pilot house gives almost stand up headroom.
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:52 PM   #26
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It's just among the many items one has to weigh. To some most important and to others less. Perhaps less space of more difficult entry is ok if it really gives you something else. For example in sportier boats, boat garages are becoming popular, especially in Europe. Well, the cut down on storage space and engine access. Each purchaser has to decide if its worth it. I've seen some things I considered crazy on otherwise well designed boats.

One I was looking at yesterday had a ladder to the engine room but to get to it you had to raise the cockpit seat and go down. It immediately struck me as what happens if while you're down three professional football players lower the seat and sit on it. Just looked to me like the access could have been moved and been much easier. It's like someone said they didn't want the hatch visible.

Often the trade-off on engine room space and fuel capacity is staterooms. How many do I need? If it's just two of us cruising, I'd rather have an easier time in the engine room than a third stateroom stuffed in.

My other thing with many builders is to make the hatch's larger and hydraulic or electric. And think of the time an owner might have to replace the engine. When we lived on the lake and had a 30' bowrider getting to the engines was easy. Press the button and the hatch opened and went up. There they both were. Crammed into a small space but easy to access and filters and such were easy to see and get to as well. But I see some of the tiniest hatches and just don't know why. Honestly if I bought a boat with one I'd strongly consider getting it replaced with a larger one.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:10 PM   #27
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My previous lobster type boat had the motor under living space. What a mess when the motor had to be pulled and replaced. So when I speced my present one off boat I had motors put in large motor boxes in cockpit with lifting covers and a access hatch in cockpit floor to get between motors. The motors can be pulled by removing covers easy peasy. Most boat builders would have used that space for living room. See picture with my grandson standing between boxes which double as day or night beds with cushions not shown in picture.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:25 PM   #28
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A walk-in engine room would be great but my boat doesn't have anywhere near the volume to accommodate one. Access to my engine compartment is from hatches in the pilothouse floor providing sitting room on both sides of the engine and access from the top.

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Old 04-18-2014, 02:36 PM   #29
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When we were originally trawler shopping, a walk-in engine room door was on my must-have list too. But then we found our boat and it had a different master stateroom layout giving more living/usable space while giving up the ER door. It also allowed for extra ER wall space by giving up the door which is very valuable real estate.

Now 12 years later, I prefer the galley floor access. It's quicker to get to and doesn't require running below and traversing the entire stateroom back.

Someone else said it - the important thing is having engine room access where you don't mind the access. We do hourly engine room checks and it's not a burden at all. I'm glad that I was willing to compromise that original requirement and get the extra usable space below.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:39 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicbus View Post
I guess the nice thing about a watertight door, aside from being watertight, is the ability for me to put on ear protection and go in and close the door so my wife doesn't have to listen to the engine.

Dave
Or fruitless screems for help.
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Old 04-18-2014, 03:50 PM   #31
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Or fruitless screems for help.
That was my first thought as well.

I would think being in the engine room while underway would be a bit less than safe on most smaller boats.
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Old 04-18-2014, 04:00 PM   #32
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Are you all implying my wife going to aim for waves when I go into the ER? Hmmm... better check the insurance policy.

She's knows when to expect me... I hope. There are no exposed moving parts in my ER - everything under a cover and I have a handrail surrounding the engine to hold onto. No worries there. Then there is the issue of how she could possibly hear me screaming over the Cummins running at 1800 RPM.

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