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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

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?

Cheers,
John
Liberty, PSC 37
 

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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?

Jay
PSC 37 # 171, Kenlanu
 

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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!


Bill
s/v Toodle-oo!
PSC 37 #148
 

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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.
 

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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!")
 

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J3MG
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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?
 

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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...)

Bill
 

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lights and a wet bilge

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!

Jay
 

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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 easier....lol.

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

Regards,
Neal
SV Podjo
#166
 

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Those of us with tiller-steered C37's dont have any problem with engine or stuffing box problems as our cockpit sole is completely removable.The bolts did initially give me some problems as I am older and probably heavier than most of you young kids.I cut two 6" holes in the sole and installed removable inspection plates thru which I can insert my arm with a rachet wrench to remove the nuts and washers holding the sole.One of the inspection plates has a clear plastic insert allowing light into the engine compartment with the sole in place,an extra nice feature.
Good luck, Dianne and Chuck Burke S/V NiftyNickers C37 #139
 

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s/v Pelagic
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With a tiller steered boat being able to remove the whole cockpit floor makes working on the engine almost pleasant, certainly less painful. About the 8 bolts: I bought the 3/8-16 knurled bronze thumb nuts from PSC and mounted 8 bronze bolts upside down with a nut each side of the mounting flange. I relieved the underside of the cockpit floor so the nuts wouldn't keep the floor from sitting flush. I put a large rubber washer and bronze washer under each thumb nut when securing the floor. There is also a rubber gasket between the floor and the flange to keep water out of the engine compartment.

For those with wheels I have seen modified cockpit floors on older C37's that have just the forward half removeable. You would use just 4 of the thumb nuts in this case. I thought the factory started doing this as standard a while ago. I think this plus the quarter berth access door would give good access on wheel steered boats.

We converted from wheel to tiller for a variety of reasons about 10 years ago. Ease of access to the engine, transmission, shaft and steering stuffing boxes was certainly a big factor.

John Newcomer
s/v Pelagic C37 #22
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I do have a tiller - these both seem to be really good approaches!

Lemme get Jnewcomer's approach right - you fastened the bolts to the flange sandwiched between 2 nuts, and they go through holes in the cover.

The knurled bronze thumb nuts - are these recessed into the hatch? Seems they would hurt feet if they protruded above the sole. Or do I have this wrong?

Thanks,
John
 

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bill norrie
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Hi gang, i'm also over 55 yrears and pushing 2oo lbs BUT Lively lady has a tiller and no problem behind engine via the cockpit opening. simple, airy and loads of room despite the water heater to starboard.
Cheers, Bill S/V LL , PSC 37 # 231
 

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Engine Access

Hi All,
Just my two cents -Years ago I decided that I am too fat-tall-old to do the locker hatch access thing.I installed a Beckson access port in the cockpit sole that allows me to reach the nuts on the bolts holding the sole down.Granted my boat is tiller steered allowing the entire sole to be removed and with it out I have fantastic access to the engine,trans,shaft,exhaust etc.Actually I installed two ports one for the 4 front bolts and one for the rear 4 bolts.With clear plastic inserts they provide a lot of light to the engine space.

Dianne and Chuck Burke S/V NiftyNickers C37 #139
 
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