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post #6 of Old 11-20-2008
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Victoria, BC
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Hughes 38 engine access

The Hughes 38 side chain plates are almost centered in the side decks, which do slow you down a bit when walking forward. The MkIII has the mainsheet traveller mounted on the coach roof, which doesn't leave much room for a dinghy aft of the mast, but cleans up the cockpit.

These boats were built with a dry exhaust with a water jacket running from the engine to the companionway. Then it's a dry hose to the transom where the water is injected at the muffler. The six feet of water jacket cooled the exhaust enough to not melt the hose. It's impossible to hydraulic the engine as water can't back up into the combustion chamber. However, when not properly winterized the outer water jacket can rupture, so many Hughes 38's have been upgraded to a water-lift muffler.

The keel mounted engine has excellent access all around. The bilge is five feet deep behind the engine, so bilge water levels never come close but you'd better not drop a tool. The quiet Atomic-4 doesn't vibrate so it's bolted directly to the hull without vibration mounts. With the engine compt closed you can enjoy a conversation in the saloon. It's also much quieter in the cockpit.

I have a couple pics of the engine compartment on our boat's blog at Insert the three w's to complete the address.
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