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Old 05-03-2013, 05:09 PM   #1
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Thank you, Steve Cyr!

I just completed a great project on my Mainship 400, which was totally inspired by Steve Cyr's "Stella Blue" website. With a huge "thank you" to Mr. Cyr, I would like to describe the project. The idea may be useful to you if you own a Mainship or perhaps even another brand of boat with a similar engine access configuration. The boat came with an aluminum channel providing strength to the closed access doors, but also limiting easy access to the engine compartment area. Steve's great idea was to make the aluminum channel removable by taking off the mounting screws and replacing them with brackets to hold the channel. The pictures tell the story.
The brackets were fabricated by the folks at Sailcraft in Oriental, NC., and I installed them, filing the channel to fit the brackets.

1. The brackets as made to my specifications.


2. The problem. Permanently mounted support beam.



3. Removing support beam.



4. Bracket installation.



5. Problem solved. Support beam now slides out allowing easy access to engine space for any reason.



In the final photo you can see the tools used for the project. I hope this provides inspiration for you, and again; thank you Steve.
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:07 PM   #2
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That looks so convenient, easy and inexpensive you have wonder why the builder did not think of it.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:20 PM   #3
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That's a good improvement. GBs have a similar arrangement. However instead of aluminum supports they use heavy wood beams. The ends of these beams are dovetailed to fit the ain cabin floor beams. This allows them to be easily lifted out when the hinged floor panels are removed, thus creating a massive unrestricted hole over the engine space the size of the entire main cabin.

Making your beam removeable will prove to be a major asset when you or a mechanic has to work in that space.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
Making your beam removeable will prove to be a major asset when you or a mechanic has to work in that space.
In my case a longitudinal stringer was not removable and considerably longer than the problem area. Not to mention, there was no hatch in the salon floor above the coolant fill. I didn't want to cut it in two places as it would affect the integrity of the salon floor. (Radiator cap was directly below the stringer and adding coolant in the ER was a real bitch.) Solution? Pulled expansion tank, took it to a radiator shop and they moved the coolant fill pipe 4 inches to the left. Plugged the old hole, re-installed the tank, made a hatch out of the deck material we removed and life was great!

I can now check the coolant level (add if necessary) & the engine oil level without leaving the salon. I do have to go down in the ER to check the transmission oil but it is directly below the day hatch.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:57 PM   #5
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We had the same problem with the generator in our boat which had been repositioned when the new fuel tank system was installed by the previous owner. Checking and adding coolant required removing the entire soundshield and checking the level or adding coolant almost by feel.

Not long after acquiring the boat we had a shipwright cut a little lift-out "hatch" in the cabin sole (a section that was not removeable) to access the fill cap on the generator. He used the teak parquet section he cut out to make the hatch. Major benefit.
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Old 05-04-2013, 01:49 AM   #6
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I have seen similar things on so many boats over the years. It still amazes me. I realize that every contingency can't be anticipated in the design, but you would think once Hull #1 is built, someone would stop and say "How the hell do I refill the coolant" or "How do I check the oil or transmission fluid?" And then make changes in subsequent builds. As these cases show, most times the solution is relatively simple and if done during the construction, adds little to no additional cost.
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