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Old 04-11-2016, 01:03 PM   #10
dhays's Avatar
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 8,433
Originally Posted by Art View Post
Isn't there room for you both to reconstruct the sole over engine compartment so there are huge hinged (or lift-out removable) hatch doors to open so you can stand upright much of the time while working around engine? It may cost a boat dollar or more if done by others, and probably bit o' pia to accomplish yourself... but in my opinion... well worth it in the long run. That's one of the "no-go" items for me in every boat I ever purchase. Either I can stand up at engine - or - next boat please!
Good suggestions Art. If you look at the picture that Hawgwash posted (thanks HW). There are lift out panels in the sole that run down the entire center of the saloon. They are the same width as the distance between aft settee to starboard and the aft dinette seating right in front of the door out to the cockpit. The one in the center is hinged, but the two panels aft of that and the one panel forward are lift out. The panels are only slightly wider than the engine and genset. There are removable aluminum supports between each of the panels so it is possible to open up the entire center of the saloon floor for working on the engine and genset. Because of the width of those panels, you still have to duck down and crawl to get to the sides of the engine however. Forward of the engine compartment the steps from the galley down to the companionway hinge up giving access to the front of the engine.

I was thinking last night that there should be a way to put hinges in a couple of of the lift out panels to make it easier to access. The biggest problem is that the very aft panel (right in front of the saloon door). Mounted on the aft bulkhead of the ER right below the door are the Racor filters. Below the filters is the manifold for the two fuel supply and fuel return lines to each fuel tank. To port and starboard are the fuel tanks with their sight tubes and the valves for the fuel transfer lines. To get to the sight tube valves and the fuel transfer valves, you have to lift the panel out of the way, then get down into the ER to be able to reach those valves. There really isn't enough room between the Racors aft and the Genset immediately forward two squeeze your hips (even my 25 year old 6'4" son, who is not lifting right now so is only about 190 pounds).

This is partly what prompted the question on the valves for the fuel transfer line. They are a pain to get to. If it would not create a problem leaving them open, I would tend to do that. If that is a bad idea, I have no problem leaving them closed.

The other way to easily transfer fuel from tank to tank, is use the fuel return lines. If the port tank is the full one, I can open the port tank supply line and close the fuel return line to the port tank. Leave the starboard fuel supply line closed and open the starboard fuel return line. The way it is setup, this would draw fuel from the port tank and return it to the starboard tank. It works great, but has an even higher chance of being forgotten if you aren't paying attention to the fuel gauges.

BTW, the fuel and water gauges seem to be reasonably accurate. Kinship also has a tank tender for all four tanks and it also seems to be pretty accurate.

Anyway, I would love some good hinges to use on that aft panel. On my sailboat, the engine cover had some stainless hinges that were designed like a lateral pintal. It would hinge but then if you slide it sideways you could remove it. That would be perfect for this and would be easy to install. If anyone knows of such a thing, please point me to it.

Edit: Just found this SeaDog hinge. This is what I was thinking of. I will check on the measurements.

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