Inspection hatch to improve engine access - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 Old 08-17-2012 Thread Starter
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: San Francisco Bay area
Posts: 3,073
Thanks: 9
Thanked 83 Times in 82 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Inspection hatch to improve engine access

The access to the engine on my Bristol is horrible, especially to the top and rear where the heat exchanger and transmission are located.

I'm thinking of adding an inspection hatch to the cockpit floor, to improve access. Has anyone gone down this route? How did it work out?

Surely a 1ft square opening won't weaken the floor excessively?

Bristol 31.1, San Francisco Bay
MarkSF is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 Old 08-17-2012
Barquito's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 2,814
Thanks: 1
Thanked 63 Times in 63 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Re: Inspection hatch to improve engine access

I don't know how much it would weaken the floor. Maybe an overlapping lid, that is bolted down (with a gasket)? Cover the whole thing with a wood grate. Could reinforce the lip a bit.

Valiant 32
Barquito is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 5 Old 08-17-2012
Junior Member
jmpeltier's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 4
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Re: Inspection hatch to improve engine access

I just did the same thing to access my rudder stuffing box (you'd need 6' long arms otherwise). I used an 11"x15" T-H Sure Seal hatch. After making the cutout I sealed the core with epoxy then used 4000 to seal around the hatch. The hatch functions fine; it's double-gasketed, I haven't noticed any leaks down below, and it's fairly low-profile so there's no toe-stubbing. My only complaint with it is that it flexes when I step on it. It seems tough (flexible-tough). I'll let you know when I fall through it. Good luck.

S/V Saoirse

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air..."
jmpeltier is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 5 Old 08-17-2012
Senior Member
emoney's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 545
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 7
Re: Inspection hatch to improve engine access

I would just buy one of the many "hatch kits" on the market and no, one foot square shouldn't weaken the floor. Most of those kits have a relatively wide overlap on the surround so it will be fine.

Not a good place to go the "lowest bidder" route, but with a quality product, you'll be glad you did.
emoney is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 5 Old 08-17-2012
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 858
Thanks: 3
Thanked 26 Times in 25 Posts
Rep Power: 17
Lightbulb Re: Inspection hatch to improve engine access

Since Capital Yachts put frp hatches in the cockpit sole of hundreds of Newports, I would say to go ahead and design one out.
You'd likely need to reinforce the flange a lot.
For the new sole dover, use balsa or honeycomb or coring to keep the weight down, because you'll need adequate layup ( top n bottom) for the abuse (and potential water fill-up) that a cockpit must withstand.

Gasket material and design is very inportant. A friend of mine has a Willard 9 Ton, and the whole surface of the cockpit sole can be unbolted - one large pan head ss bolt on each corner - and removed.

I believe that Butyl Tape would be good. You'll want to be able to remove it once in a while, so the stronger adhesive sealants would be a bad choice.

This still does not address the issue of an easy-to-remove smaller access hatch.
There are plastic versions, but I am unsure as to whether they are strong enough. The cast aluminum ones are wonderful, but you'd need to see if there's room, as they stand proud a little bit.

It's a very worthy goal, but some planning and designing will have to come first.
olson34 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
PYHI inspection hatch access jennsea Gear & Maintenance 0 08-07-2012 08:13 PM
Access hatch and tank fill in same fitting? SantaAna12 Gear & Maintenance 0 03-26-2012 07:27 AM
Inspection Hatch installation tausap Gear & Maintenance 8 03-25-2009 10:23 PM
Source for engine access hatch? bmwdad43 Gear & Maintenance 1 12-03-2008 05:52 PM
Engine Access Hatch, Fuel Pump Replacement Advice ahalfon Gear & Maintenance 2 07-08-2007 03:25 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome