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johnbanfield 09-07-2009 08:41 PM

Access to behind the engine of a PSC37

I have not gathered up the courage to squeeze in behind the engine of my 37. I am 6'1 and 200lb, and hate enclosed spaces. Is this a good idea?

For an alternative, I am thinking it would be great to (get someone small to) change the fasteners on the removable cockpit sole to be undo-able from the top - maybe with allen key screws going into captive nuts.

Anyone have any ideas or comments?

Liberty, PSC 37

BirdBrain333 09-08-2009 09:02 AM

Dear John, I'll be VERY interested to see the replies to your question.

I'm 6'-0" and 180lbs with no particular feelings about enclosed spaces. I am, however, a lot less flexible than I used to be. I had to spend quite a bit of quality time down there this spring and hated every moment of it.

Plus, if you want to check the temperature, for example, of the transmission or the stuffing box, you have to first empty the entire (cavernous) locker, get the access door off, and get down in there. I think better access would be wonderful but with the wheel am not sure how to go about it. What do others do?

PSC 37 # 171, Kenlanu

billbalme 09-08-2009 09:26 AM

Well guys, I spent 6+ hours down there on Friday/Saturday morning, removing and replacing the gearbox. I'm 6'0", 215# - fat bugger - I hate enclosed spaces and I'm none too flexible. It's really not that bad though. If you open up the front of the engine, it's quite airy - provided the engine is cold. When it's hot it's an absolute bear.

I've looked at access through the cockpit floor - but it seems far too complex in view of the wheel etc...

I have 2 lights in the engine bay - I don't know if they are standard or added by the previous owner. They are VERY helpful - might even add another. I hardly need a flashlight. Getting in is not too bad with practice.

Mind your head on any of the long bolts used to fix my cockpit floor in place - I have plenty of scars from them!

Good luck!

s/v Toodle-oo!
PSC 37 #148

Kailani33 09-08-2009 02:45 PM

Access door in quarterberth
I have an removeable door in the quarterberth that allows me access to the stuffing box, rear of the engine and transmission. I'd say it is 12 inches by 12 inches. I can use an infrared thermometer on the stuffing box to test temperatures as well as use wrenches to make adjustments, and have also removed the heat exchanger for cleaning through that door. It is very handy for changing the heat exchanger zinc as well as rusted stainless steel hose clamps. I have been running with the door open in order to supply fresh air to the Universal, rather than leaving everything buttoned up tight.

BirdBrain333 09-08-2009 08:47 PM

Dear Kailani, This is very helpful. When you get a chance can you measure how far aft the opening is, its exact size, & etc. Also would a larger or smaller opening be better in terms of getting two wrenches on the suffing box, canging zincs in the heat exchanger, and all the other fun jobs back there?

MANY thanks, Jay

PSC 37 # 171, Kenlanu (which translates as "a nest for us," not "a small stuffy tomb for us!")

JDGreenlee 09-09-2009 05:44 AM

Lesson learned: Any tool or loose part can/will fall into the engine room bilge where it will be very difficult to retrieve, but those are not as much problem as an AC utility light getting wet - be careful. Verify your wiring insulation is in good condition (while it is un-energized). Suggest you have all of your necessary tools/parts secured but accessible below - it's a royal hassle to crawl out for them later. Am 6'3.5" 235#, recently folded up to fit inside my 37's engine compartment, but even with long arms could barely maintain zinc much less perform more complicated work on engine; though quadrant, water heater, and other "aft" components were more accessible. Quarterberth hatch idea unclear - fresh water tank located there; or is the hatch more forward beside the drawers next to battery compartment?

billbalme 09-09-2009 08:21 AM

It's those extra 3.5"!

Interesting idea on the side hatch (our hot water tank is on the starboard side - so not an issue) I wonder if the boat is noisier as a result - or was insulation used on the hatch? (My problem would be getting to the hatch - I store everything in the quarterberth!)

As to loosing things in the bilge - tricky indeed. It was great when I changed out the gearbox this past weekend - I recovered all sorts of bits and bobs that must have been there for years!

There is a good spot for the tools when under the cockpit - I put them on the shelf in my main cockpit locker - I can't quite see them from the engine, but they are convenient to access and feel out by hand. I basically bring the entire toolkit and lay it there - because getting in and out of the engine room is such a pain.

(My lights in the engine room are DC...)


BirdBrain333 09-09-2009 11:30 AM

lights and a wet bilge

Originally Posted by JDGreenlee (Post 520870)
Lesson learned: Any tool or loose part can/will fall into the engine room bilge where it will be very difficult to retrieve, but those are not as much problem as an AC utility light getting wet - be careful.

The mechanic at my boatyard raved about his DeWalt 4.4 Volt / 12 Volt Fluorescent Area Light. It obviously gets rid of the "wet light" problem but he especially liked the lack of shadows which always seem to fall just where you don't want them....

Unfortunately they cost about $35.00 PLUS $60.00 for the battery! I think I'll stick with the drop lights and try hard not to drop too many into the bilge!


Kailani33 09-09-2009 07:21 PM

Opening in quarterberth size
I went out to Podjo this afternoon after work and got some measurements. The opening is 15.5 inches wide and 9.5 inches tall. It starts 16 inches from the entrance bulkhead and ends 33 inches from the back of the quarterberth. The top of the opening is 16.75 inches down from the headliner and 1.5 inches up from the plywood bunk. If you can make the opening a few inches wider, that would help.
Although the access hole is convenient for quick looks and fixes, I sill prefer to jump into the cockpit locker for better access and control with tools. I have spend days in there pulling the coupling off of the drive shaft and cutting the shaft by a half an inch to making enough clearance for a max-prop. I think a couple of yoga classes prior to working on the drive train would make it seem

I can take some pictures if you need them. Let me know.

SV Podjo

BirdBrain333 09-09-2009 07:46 PM


Originally Posted by Kailani33 (Post 521096)
I think a couple of yoga classes prior to working on the drive train would make it seem

Yes, I've been thinking seriously about those Yoga classes I used to do way back when. Jay

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