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  #1  
Old 10-09-2013
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Rudder Post Access Hatch

Time to finally start cutting fiberglass. Putting and access hatch at the foot of the quarterberth for rudder post access.

Any advice from anyone who has done this?

Especially, anyone wish they had made it bigger? smaller?

Anyone get it just right? If so, what are the dimensions of the hole?

I thought sure there was an old thread on this, but I cannot find it.

Thanks,

Brian
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Old 10-11-2013
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Re: Rudder Post Access Hatch

I have a rectangular cutout at the foot of the quarterberth that gives me access to a shelf at the back of the engine compartment. (My boat is tiller steered. The shelf is where the quadrant would be if the boat were wheel steered.) On top of the shelf are two batteries. The cut out allows me to check the water in the starboard side battery which is the third of the three group 29s in the house bank. The battery on the port side of the shelf is an Optima battery. It is the engine starting battery. It is much harder to access. That, and the fact that it has the same charging voltage requirements as the flooded batteries, is why it is an Optima.

The hole is big enough to pass the group 29 battery resting in the bottom of a plastic battery box. There are four threaded inserts set into the wall just outside of the corners. A plywood plate with sound insulation on its inside covers the hole. Four 1/4" bolts with small plastic handwheels hold the cover in place. The monkey fur serves as a gasket.

Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC 34
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Old 02-19-2014
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Re: Rudder Post Access Hatch

This is the access hole cover at the foot of the quarterberth. We use the space for storage, so there is blue carpet on the bottom. The HF antenna tuner is at the foot of the vee berth. The large white hose runs from the starboard cockpit locker to the foot well of the cockpit. It was the drain for a 12v watermaker which was mounted in the locker but is no longer on the boat. The cutout is 8"x12" and the cover is 3/4" larger all round. The hold down bolts with hand wheels screw into brass inserts set into the plywood divider between the quarterberth and the engine compartment.



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Old 07-11-2014
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Re: Rudder Post Access Hatch

I am contemplating a cut out also. I was wondering if you could have gone to a 12 by 12 hatch or if that would compromise hull integrity. I too have a problem getting to the rudder post and quadrant. At 250 lbs I am not really designed to be digging around in the engine compartment of the PSC. I am experimenting with a sling and the main halyard as a means to lower myself down into the compartment to do routine maintenance. Wish the canoe end had flared out a couple more inches in the stern. Anyway, Thanks in advance for your reply.
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Old 07-12-2014
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Re: Rudder Post Access Hatch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hush34 View Post
I am contemplating a cut out also. I was wondering if you could have gone to a 12 by 12 hatch or if that would compromise hull integrity.
I asked Thumper if structurally cutting this hatch was OK, and he said it was fine as long as "you don't make it too large". He did not say what constituted "too large", but I got the impression any reasonable size was fine. 12 x 12 seems pretty reasonable.
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Old 08-17-2014
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Re: Rudder Post Access Hatch

Now I am really going to have to approach the rudder access hatch project seriously. I on a recent 150 mile trip that rudder packing is leaking into the bilge. If I cut this access, will I be able to put my hands on the packing and the hose clamps? I would hate to cut a hatch only to get another view of the problem area and not be able to touch it. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old 08-18-2014
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Re: Rudder Post Access Hatch

Attached is an image from our PSC 34 showing two round access hatches under the helmsman's seat. I am able to fit my hands through, but you can't see very well. I'm not sure if this was standard or something the a previous owner did.
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Rudder Post Access Hatch-rudder_access.jpg  
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Old 08-23-2014
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Re: Rudder Post Access Hatch

I have those holes too....are you able to adjust the packing from that location? I just can see too good.
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Old 09-28-2014
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Re: Rudder Post Access Hatch

Did those of you who cut access holes through the quarter berth have much interference with the scupper hose? It looks like it is right where I can put the hatch.
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Old 09-30-2014
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Re: Rudder Post Access Hatch

John,

My cutout does not interfere with the drain hose from the stb cockpit scupper.

Were I to be making a new hole, I'd mark the four corners then drill the safest one. Then from the engine compartment side, I'd figure out where the other three holes would be located. If it all looked good, I'd drill the other three corners before cutting the opening (just to be sure); if it looked bad, I'd shift to a better spot and try again.

A bolt in a hole repairs a badly placed hole. A bad cutout... not so easy.
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