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Old 07-16-2021, 02:00 PM   #1
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Considering buying a Kha Shing 40; engine access worries.

I'm an experienced motor boat owner looking at a 1983 40 foot Kha Shing and I'm seriously considering buying it, but I'm troubled by the lack of access to the outboard sides of the two Volvo Penta's TAMD60Bs (~2700 hrs each). The sea water pumps face aft and on the starboard engine I can't see how to access it to change the impeller when the time comes, except blind or with a mirror. The deck is very close to the top of the engine and there's no access panels under the built in seats and cabinets, and the engines are close to the tanks so you can't crawl between engine and tank from fore or aft. It looks like I can remove the whole pump via 3 nuts on studs after removing the inlet/outlet cover working blind or by mirror, then change the impeller on the bench, but I'm hoping someone with experience can confirm that that's the way to do it. Likewise worried about accessing the port engine filters, fuel shut-off solenoid, and injector pump should that be necessary for the same reasons. This is the first boat I've considered where I won't be able to access maintenance items readily, so I'm naturally worried about being able to do maintenance and repairs. Looking for any experiences that might ease my mind about buying this vessel.
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Old 07-16-2021, 03:51 PM   #2
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I don't have experience with this personally. But my mechanic and I have discussed this quite a bit. He stated that for some boats, it is a nightmare to gain access, and much of the work is performed by stretching and "feel" alone. It can add greatly to the bill, due to the extra time and difficulties involved. Pump removal may be the "best" method available to change that impeller.
Personally, I did not want twin engines in a boat that size, my NT was 41 feet LOA without dinghy, for that very reason, plus the added cost and/or work to repair and maintain 2 engines. In the case of what you describe, more than double the issue, due to the very poor access.
Buy the boat and "put up with it", or look elsewhere. That is your choice it would seem.
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Old 07-16-2021, 03:58 PM   #3
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I'm not familiar with that engine, but any chance you could relocate the pump to a more accessible location and drive it with a belt?
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Old 07-16-2021, 05:05 PM   #4
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On our last boat the starboard impeller was a bugger. The POs mechanic said he pulled the pump to replace the impeller. I couldnít even see much of the pump. I used a Jabsco impeller puller. Couldnít use the T handle that came with the puller so I bought some metric allthread and put 2 nuts on the end and used a wrench to pull the old impeller. Then I found impellertool.com. They sell an aluminum sleve that has a funnel on one end. Lube the impeller and screw it into the tool. The tool then slides easily into the pump. Hold the new impeller in place and pull the sleeve out. I could do the impeller in about 20 minutes.
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Old 07-16-2021, 06:11 PM   #5
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It’s all about having the right angles on the mirrors (plural) and a bit of boat yoga too!
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Old 07-16-2021, 08:51 PM   #6
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OP, I checked out a couple. Nice boats if you donít go for the rear galley down layout. Also it works best with a single, although theyíre tough to find.
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Old 07-16-2021, 10:29 PM   #7
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If access is difficult I would be dubious that routine maintenance was done. As for access from the bench seats, aboard Seaweed I cut out a piece at the bottom of the locker.

Aboard a nearby trawler I cut out a piece about 4" x 6" so that resetting the ac is now a matter of pushing a button. Rather than unloading the tool room to remove the panels at the bottom. For that boat I took a small cutting board, drilled a hole at the corner then used a single screw to secure the board in place. When access is required all the owner has to do is rotate the cutting board and push the button. The cutting board prevents junk from falling into the ac unit.

Anyway, if you need access, do all you can to create it. The cost will be recovered quickly as mechanics or you won't have to spend so much time feeling their way to project completion. I was taught to do everything by feel, keeping my eyes closed when working. Decades of experience working blind makes a lot of repairs easier for me. On the other hand I cannot tie a bowline with my eyes open -- only with them shut!
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Old 07-16-2021, 11:57 PM   #8
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You are wise to make this a consideration, whether you intend to maintain it yourself, or pay someone what may be added labor hours to deal with poor access issues. On my last boat, I had twin Yanmars, and accessing the outside of the engines were a nightmare. Stuff I would have normally fixed I ended up paying a mechanic to repair so he could curse over it. Stuff like removing the port motorís raw water pump merely to replace the impeller. I only cursed when I paid his probably reasonable invoice! He said I needed to find a mechanic built like a skinny orangutan! There were so many other issues of poor or no access for maintenance and repair items, it was one reason I sold the boat.

Service access was definitely a top checklist consideration when I bought my current boat (sail)Ö and will always be in the future.
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Old 07-17-2021, 10:29 AM   #9
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Thanks for the replies and advice! Went down to her again this morning and did some more crawling around and testing systems. The built-in seats and cabinets are really nice but may need to be made removable, or at least have removable bottoms that I can reach through. Funny thing; read in one of the PO's work record books that they rotated the the generator athwartship instead of fore and aft to get better access to the outboard side of the starboard engine; must have really been bad to go to all that effort, being a big Westerbeke. Getting a survey this week before closing the deal for insurance purposes and to catch anything I've missed.
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