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Old 08-25-2004
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boats with easy engine, seacock, sea strainer, etc access

I''m wanting to get into sailing, looking at a first sailboat, does anyone have suggestions of boats that have easy access to engines and the bilge area? Maybe this is the power-boater coming out, but is there some consensus of sailboats that give ease of serviceability? I kind of like to change oil, fuel filters, check out my cooling system (exhaust water jackets, assuming sailboat engines also have them), sea strainers, sea cocks, bilge pumps, etc, but noone seems to discuss sailboats’ ease of bilge accesability.

Thanks in advance
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Old 08-25-2004
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boats with easy engine, seacock, sea strainer, etc access

These days most of the better boat builders give good engine and mechanical access. Good access seems to be so universal that it is just not an issue that would normally come into play in the decision making process.

Jeff
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Old 08-26-2004
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boats with easy engine, seacock, sea strainer, etc access

Hmmm... I guess that depends on your definition of ''good access''.

Of course it depends on the size of the boat but frankly from what I saw while recently shopping for a boat in the 30-34'' range I certainly wouldn''t consider it ''universally good''.
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Old 08-26-2004
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boats with easy engine, seacock, sea strainer, etc access

Hello,

My 1986 Newport 28 provides excellent access to the engine. The steps from the companionway to the cabin come out and that gives you access to the front of the engine. There is also a hatch that opens giving you access to the top of the engine. There are access panels in the 1/4 berth to get at the port side, and if you are really motivated, you can climb down into the starboard lazarette and gain access to everything.

For changing the oil, oil filter, alternator, belts, cooling sys, water pump and fuel pump, removing the steps (1 hand screw and a sliding bolt) is enough.

Now, seacocks on that boat are another story. The one for the galley sink is a nightmare to reach. I bought the boat in June, and I opened it once since then. I leave bowls in the sink to catch the water, then I throw it overboard. I guess monthly I should excersize the seacock. The engine water intake is at the bottom of the starboard lazarette. I pretty much have to stand on my head to reach it. With practice it''s not too bad, but I wish it were easier.

The bilge access is good, raise a piece of flooring, and there it is. Not much to see, the keel bolts are encapsulated.

Good luck,
Barry
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