1508 Feb 11, 2002

In order to facilitate routine maintenance on Windfall, I am toying with the idea of installing a Bowmar 8X15 gasketed access hatch on the bridge deck in front of the companionway. I am concerned about the effect on structural integrity if so much of the glassed-in ĺ" marine plywood is removed from the bridge deck area. If anyone has done anything similar or can provide any alternatives that will allow better access to the oil and coolant fill areas of the Westerbeke 30, Iíd welcome any and all feedback. There has to be a better way!

Thanks in advance,

Fair Winds

Don Edgar, S/Y WINDFALL 064K

1521 Feb 11, 2002

If you put a hatch in the bridgdeck you will find you have accessed the area behind the electrical panel.

I have seen a boat with a small (6 in?) round hatch in the cockpit floor over the dipstick. Perhaps you could put one over the coolant reservoir too.

If the coolant gets too low, your temp gauge will tell you. I check the coolant level the same time I change oil, then donít check either coolant or oil level until the next oil change. I have lost oil due to leak in the oil cooler, I donít think that I would have found it with the dipstick, the engine alarm told me.

Dick Weaver SWII75K

1528 Feb 11, 2002

Ketch owners would do well to measure carefully before cutting a watertight hatch into the cockpit sole, just ahead of the mizzen, before installing an access hatch. That pesky mizzen support bridge might be in the way.

I installed one over the manhole in my new fuel tank and find it to be quite watertight.

I did however, place a six-inch Beckson port in the cockpit sole just over the starter (W-30) and the shift cable. Tight access but has saved my aching butt a few times, still canít really reach the dipstick from there.

My new arrangement with the galley countertop has moved the electrical panel outboard of the nav table and freed up the counter for an access panel just over the engine. The header tank & the dipstick are now quite easily reached without any gymnastics.

Paul, Sea Quill # 29K