Shortcut to engine maintenance

When it comes to maintaining the engine on my 1979 S2 11-meter sailboat, it was a nightmare getting to the engine to take the valve covers off to check the timing. The reason was simple enough: the engine was remarkably close to the underside of the cockpit floor. 

When it came time to overhaul my Volvo MD17C diesel, the only option I thought I had was to remove the engine from the boat. This was not an attractive option. Then one of my cruising friends asked a simple question: “Why don’t you install an access hatch?” 

That’s what I did. I cut an opening in the cockpit sole and put in a hatch. The result was much easier access to the engine. Engine maintenance is still a chore, but at least now I can get at it to do the work.  

About the author:

Dave Keaggy sails aboard his S2 sailboat, Luma Marie.

Below, before and after of a hatch being installed for easier access to the engine.

1.   2.
3.  4.
By Ocean Navigator