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Old 05-21-2017, 06:31 PM   #1
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Making better access to and through the engine room

I have a Sea Ranger39 and am seriously considering making some mods to the heavy and awkward hatches to the engine room.
What have others done in making their hatches easier to handle.
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:49 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. Like the duck!
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:57 PM   #3
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I'm considering the same thing-thinking about adding hinges and gas shocks-but I would need to modify my hatches.
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:03 PM   #4
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Fixed


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Old 05-21-2017, 07:14 PM   #5
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Yep, I'm thinking about a slight mod for me also.....I'd like the DC overhead lights to come on when I open the hatch. Thinking a micro switch like the Commisary hatch has would be the cats ass. Ya, that's the ticket!
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:56 PM   #6
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I've just added bigger flush lifting handles to all four of the heavy hatches. Much better than the little finger lifts that two of the hatches had since 1984. My new ones were made in Red China and were mailed from there in about three weeks, 316 Stainless; they look like the old Perko lift that the Lazarette hatch has. eBay, about $26. for four: Boat Hatch Locker Lift / Pull Ring Handle -316 Marine Stainless steel | eBay
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Old 05-21-2017, 09:11 PM   #7
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I've just added bigger flush lifting handles to all four of the heavy hatches. Much better than the little finger lifts that two of the hatches had since 1984. My new ones were made in Red China and were mailed from there in about three weeks, 316 Stainless; they look like the old Perko lift that the Lazarette hatch has. eBay, about $26. for four: Boat Hatch Locker Lift / Pull Ring Handle -316 Marine Stainless steel | eBay
I just put the exact same one on my two hatches in the berth floor, very good stuff for the price and solid.

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Old 05-22-2017, 12:58 AM   #8
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I'm old so a hatch or two with lift actuators might be the ticket.
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:23 AM   #9
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How about cutting a hatch in your hatch, just big enough to comfortably drop through for engine checks etc. Pull the big hatches only when required. I did basically did this on my 4788 and my engine checks became a lot more frequent!
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Old 05-22-2017, 08:15 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by shelli View Post
I have a Sea Ranger39 and am seriously considering making some mods to the heavy and awkward hatches to the engine room.
What have others done in making their hatches easier to handle.
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Depending on your budget, you could consider gas struts and hinges. That way you can keep the current hatches.
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:24 AM   #11
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How about cutting a hatch in your hatch, just big enough to comfortably drop through for engine checks etc. Pull the big hatches only when required. I did basically did this on my 4788 and my engine checks became a lot more frequent!


I'm not Twiggy. ha Plus there's about a four foot drop down to the ER. I've got to find some sort of ladder, as well.
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:25 AM   #12
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. Like the duck!


Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:35 AM   #13
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This is one thing I haven't grasped about coastal boats at all, not having some form of automatic lifts on hatches. They are the norm today on 26' runabouts and I was shocked to see 50' boats that you had to manually open the hatches.
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Old 05-22-2017, 11:38 AM   #14
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This is one thing I haven't grasped about coastal boats at all, not having some form of automatic lifts on hatches. They are the norm today on 26' runabouts and I was shocked to see 50' boats that you had to manually open the hatches.
That and the weight of the hatches.

In many cases they are stupidly heavy and awkward.

I kind of get why they don't have gas shocks that often. In many cases it's easier to lift the hatch up and move it out of the way to get full clear access.

While it might add to their costs, I think builders should consider making their access hatches as light as possible. Especially "trawler" builders since I'm guessing they are marketing to an older owner demographic.
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Old 05-22-2017, 11:54 AM   #15
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That and the weight of the hatches.



In many cases they are stupidly heavy and awkward.



I kind of get why they don't have gas shocks that often. In many cases it's easier to lift the hatch up and move it out of the way to get full clear access.



While it might add to their costs, I think builders should consider making their access hatches as light as possible. Especially "trawler" builders since I'm guessing they are marketing to an older owner demographic.


I think I was on a newer Ranger Tug and the access hatch to the engine room had a remote-switch lift system.
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Old 05-22-2017, 12:27 PM   #16
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I think I was on a newer Ranger Tug and the access hatch to the engine room had a remote-switch lift system.
To me, that's the only way to go. I want to push a button and watch it open.
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Old 05-23-2017, 09:56 PM   #17
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My boat has the traditional heavy hatches. With the exception of the center hatch they are without any hinges. The advantage to the hingeless hatches is that with the hatch and the attached insulation, my boat is quiet. The hatches can also be lifted away to allow complete access to the top of the engine. They are a pain to move. I have done that weekly for the past 3 months and am tired of it. However, without a lot of modifying, it isn't easy to add hinges.

However, the aft most hatch is over the fuel filters, fuel manifold, and the valves for the fuel transfer line and site tubes. I added to SS hinges to the top of the hatch here and added a hook and eye to hold it in the open position. It has made a huge difference in the easy of access. I have considered gas shocks but they would simply get in the way.
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:18 PM   #18
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Shelli,
I step down about half way on part of my engine. A bracket for oil and fuel filters. At the fwd end I step on my valve cover and/or the exhaust manifold.

Also as you can see in the picture looking aft there is a 2nd hatch. That hatch was not part of the original boat (see avatar). The PO cut away a 2X4 floor beam and used the cutaway (cut at an angle) put back in as the hatch/deck support. Had the boat for over 10 years and only discovered that it was not original about 4 hers ago. Been numerous times in 7' or so seas and no structural downside has shown it's ugly head.
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:42 PM   #19
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What about replacing some of the wooden structure on the bottom of the hatch with aluminum channel?
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Old 05-24-2017, 06:24 AM   #20
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Hinges and struts and shocks all will get in the way of full and easy access to the engines.

One idea, you could recut the hatches smaller which will make them lighter having half the weight and less bulky so then easier to lift and put out of the way. So instead of 2 have 4 hatches per side.
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