aft bilge access...? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 11-16-2010
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aft bilge access...?

Ok, I've got a newbie question. This is my first sailboat so there probably will be a few stupid questions from this end. Thanks in advance for yalls patience. (I do use the search function a lot)

A bit of background... I bought a 77 islander 28 and I need to replace the two transom thru-hull fittings (ventalation and exhaust), as well as the impeller on the water pump. the only entry path I can see is the port cockpit locker. Is that correct? Is there another way into the aft bilge? I'm a pretty big guy (6'0-250) and its a helluva tight squeeze.

Also, any recomendations/sources on an upgraded fitting to replace the (non) existing ones?

Thanks,
Kenny
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Old 11-16-2010
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Yep, the port locker is it. If you mean the fittings on the upper end for the blower, try the Vetus catalog. In the ventilation section. Page 132 I think.
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Old 11-16-2010
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Thanks, 28islander. I'll check Vetus out.

Yeah, I need to replace the blower fitting, but the exhaust fitting is the immediate threat. I was looking at it last weekend when I started the A4 for the first time. I noticed exhaust leaking form the fitting inside. I wiggled it and it turned completely loose.

-Kenny
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Old 04-07-2011
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No clue here - I have a 30ft Islander.
If I ever have to work on stuff under there ( engine, thru hulls, gas tank )... no clue how I would get down in there.
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Old 04-10-2011
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GulfCoastPirate,

I've got a '76 Islander 28, I'm 6'4", 240 and have figured out a way to contort myself to fit down in the port cockpit locker. By now (thread started 6 months ago) you've probably figured it out too. Having replaced the cockpit drain hoses, backstay chainplates, ignition wiring for control panel, etc...I know it's tight down there for us big guys. For the record, this is how I get aft bilge access:

1) start by taking batteries & any other stowage out of the cockpit locker.

2) place an old sleeping bag/blanket down in the bottom for some cushioning & to keep from getting wedged in the angular pit formed between the bottom of the vertical plywood engine compartment panel and the hull.

3) step in to the cockpit locker, then transition to down on your knees (facing towards the bow)

4) now is the contortionist move - getting under the fuel fill hose. Fortunately mine is JUST long enough to stretch a bit above my head as I unfold backwards. You're just going to have to feel around best here as you can, but it's doable. Pushing your feet out and transitioning to your butt is all in this move. Just watch that you don't push on the wiring panel.

5) once you get this move done, it's just a matter of pulling/pushing to get access to things in the aft bilge.

Getting out is actually easier, in my opinion. Of course, that depends on how much time you spend down there. Good luck. ~Joel
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Old 05-10-2011
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Pirate,

That is the maneuver I use, too. I am only 5'9", 180 and I struggle to get back in there. Do you tell someone where you are going as sort of a "float plan" so they know where to look if you don't show up for a day or two? I had a hamstring cramp while in there once! Yikes!

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