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My 1981 C-27 with the 5411 diesel has limited access to the engine compartment. Recently I observed another C-27 which had an eight inch inspection/ deckplate installed in the cockpit floor directly above the engine/ transmission. This would allow easier access to transmission for servicing. Good/ bad idea? The owner was not available for comments. Thanks all.
 

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Don't call me a "senior"!
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My 1981 C-27 with the 5411 diesel has limited access to the engine compartment. Recently I observed another C-27 which had an eight inch inspection/ deckplate installed in the cockpit floor directly above the engine/ transmission. This would allow easier access to transmission for servicing. Good/ bad idea? The owner was not available for comments. Thanks all.
This sort of arrangement is not terribly uncommon. The biggest drawback is that many such plates are lightweight enough to flex, allowing water to leak onto the engine. Just about anywhere else on the boat a deck plate would get walked on every once in a while, but in the cockpit it will get walked on all the time. Even if the plate is fairly robust, the cockpit floor often isn't stiff enough to keep the mounting ring sealed to the sole. If I were going to install such a plate I would make sure to beef up the cockpit sole, perhaps by building a frame/lip on top of the sole and place the frame of the hatch on top of that. That would both stiffen the sole and make it that much harder for the water to leak onto the engine.
 
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Bill SV Rangatira
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My 1981 C-27 with the 5411 diesel has limited access to the engine compartment. Recently I observed another C-27 which had an eight inch inspection/ deckplate installed in the cockpit floor directly above the engine/ transmission. This would allow easier access to transmission for servicing. Good/ bad idea? The owner was not available for comments. Thanks all.
I would be inclined to avoid hatches on the cockpit sole in case of leaking or structural failure
 

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I'm rebuilding my cockpit floor because it's disbonding due to moisture in the balsa core on my Irwin 28. I have the same issue as you do with access. I'm fabricating a 20*24 access hatch into the cockpit floor out of solid fiberglass and aluminum while the remainder of the deck will receive a foam core :) I'll have pics on here eventually of the project once I get to the floor fabrication
 

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BlueWind:
I have a C27 with an M-18. Agree that access is a pain but I would advise against a deck plate on the cockpit floor. I don't think the access gain is sufficient for the negative tradeoffs. I drilled a smallish hole under my pedestal guard feet to run autopilot wires from cockpit to below. My scuppers were clogged and I was shocked at the amount of water ingress. Obviously the pedestal guard feet needed to be resealed but the lesson was that holes in the cockpit floor should be carefully considered. The potential structural issues are also a concern. It sometimes takes some gymnastics and creative use of tools but the three access hatches work especially if you remove the hatch. Is there something specific you are having difficulty accessing?

Given the number of C27 owners out in the world I generally keep an eye out to other peoples solutions to C27-related issues since almost certainly someone else has experienced them before me. With that said, I've never seen a C27 with cockpit floor deck plate. That alone would make me think twice. As always unique problems/situations and novel solutions are always possible.

I have seen people add a second access hatch in the starboard quarterberth. If you do end up installing a deck plate you will find three layers of material to reach the engine compartment: deck fiberglass (0.5"), plywood support (3/4"), fiberglass engine room ceiling (1/8"). There are air gaps inbetween layers.

Lastly you might send a note to the IC27A mailing list and see what others have done.

Josh
 
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