Plumbing access

trickdhat

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
While I’m updating my plumbing, I’ve been thinking about ways to improve access to key locations. The first was the inaccessible bilge compartment just in front of the engine. The bilge pump hoses and fresh water lines to the head transition from the starboard side of the bilge to the port side in this compartment, so access is necessary to replace any of these hoses. I improved access this area by cutting in a removable panel (I haven't replaced the sole yet, so I'm not too concerned about the screw heads showing):

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The next area is under the sink. The thru hulls, foot pumps, and raw water manifold are all accessible, but the back faucets are almost impossible to get to. I was trying to come up with a way to use threaded rods to hold down the sink using the tabs that are welded on, but now I’m thinking of just adding a screw in each corner from above. It isn’t the pretties solution, but it would make removing the sink a lot easer. If I use a foam or rubber gasket below the flange, I won’t have to fight sealant when removing the sink either.


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The last area of concern is the area under the trash compartment. All of the fresh water lines outside the head run through this area. I already removed the bottom of the compartment, but quickly realized it’s too deep to reach from the top. I was able to wedge my body in the engine compartment and reach around the bulkhead, but that required an empty engine compartment. I’m thinking of cutting out the bulkhead and adding a removable shelf. This should give better access and I’m not seeing any structural reason for it to be there. It would also make taking the trash out much easier and I could add an access panel to be able to reach the back of the sink.

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So, has anyone done any of these modifications? Any concerns I should be thinking of before I start cutting?
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I think that box, formed by the connection of the bulkheads, has a structural purpose. I'd just be wary of cutting too much of it away, or at least the reason would have to be persuasive.

I say this because in a seaway, I get a certain squeaking near it. That structure on my boat isn't connected to the cockpit mold, but there is movement between in rough conditions. My impression is that that box structure, like the enclosure of the fuel tank on the other side of the boat (the lid of which is tabbed closed with fiberglass tape), gives rigidity to the hull at its wide point. Maybe twisting more than oil-canning.

It's just something I've wondered about, since as you say the box is kind of inconvenient there--limits access for me from both cabin and cockpit sides.
 

Pete the Cat

Member III
I don't see the point of screwing the sink in place. This is not usually done in homes and the little threaded rods on the corners of some of the marine sinks don't really do much--Ericson apparently broke off a couple and did not bother with nuts on the others at the factory (there were quite a few factory "shortcuts" I have discovered on this boat as I refit) . On a new sink, I used butyl caulk (and some weights on a warm day) which has remarkably good adhesion but will allow you to remove it without much trouble if you should need to do that in the future.
 

trickdhat

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
Pete, what butyl caulk to you recommend? I like the idea of not having screws, but I would like it to be secure while still being easily removable.

Christian - thanks for the insight. I don't see how it can be structural, but if you've experienced movement there with creaking, it's hard to argue with experience.
 

bsangs

Old Newbie
Wait, that's a trashcan? I've filled that area with bottles of oil, coolant, acetone, cleaners and some spare lines and tackle. Learn something new every day.
 

peaman

Member III
I've filled that area with bottles of oil, coolant, acetone, cleaners and some spare lines and tackle.
Did you ever wonder what the little door at the galley sink was for? To check on your coolant inventory?:D

On the other hand, in the 32-3, if a trash bag is more than half full, you won't be able to remove it, so rear-accessed storage would be a better use of the lower part.

Looking forward to what trickdhat comes up with.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
About the stock ss sink....
When I removed ours to have it buffed out, I initially had some difficulty with breaking the seal under the rim. Later I found out that a heat gun applied to the metal would easily loosen it.
Once the sealant kicks those little corner bolts have no purpose, in any case.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Few boats have trash bins as brilliant as Ericson's--or any trash bin at all. True, half full is full--or you can't get the bag out. But brilliance often shines too bright in one way or another.

One tragic flaw in the trash bin is its door, which has to be opened. If left open, it occludes the faucets. Each item of trash requires three movements: 1, open door. 2, dispose. 3, close door. This is too much for anyone of taste, although some people are able to ignore it, or even consider such ergonomic analysis mental illness.

I have solved this problem at the cost of only about 30 hours of design and labor, and my solution is here:

 

Pete the Cat

Member III
Pete, what butyl caulk to you recommend? I like the idea of not having screws, but I would like it to be secure while still being easily removable.

Christian - thanks for the insight. I don't see how it can be structural, but if you've experienced movement there with creaking, it's hard to argue with experience.
I get my butyl caulk from Amazon. Some of it is bright white, but you should not see it in a sink application. I know Maine sail used to say there was a quality difference in the some brands, but I found this Amazon stuff is great. I have done all the stanchions, windows, and hatches in my refit and very pleased with the result--no leaks after torrential rains here in California. if you have not worked with it, you need scissors to cut it and it takes a bit of practice--I had some instruction from a windshield installer, but it is not complicated. It will ooz at first after installation, but it trims nicely--much easier than silicone and it never dries--so removal is quite a bit easier.
 

Pete the Cat

Member III
Do you have a link to the specific one you use?
The brand of Butyl tape I have used is Kohree in white about $13 a roll from Amazon. I have used a lot of it on several boats. I think Maine Sail (Compass Marine site) has some tips on using butyl tape that are useful if you have not worked with it before. Don't accidentally step on it, very hard to remove from surfaces once compressed. As you might know Maine Sail does not sell stuff on his site any more.
 

Alan Gomes

Contributing Partner
The brand of Butyl tape I have used is Kohree in white about $13 a roll from Amazon. I have used a lot of it on several boats. I think Maine Sail (Compass Marine site) has some tips on using butyl tape that are useful if you have not worked with it before. Don't accidentally step on it, very hard to remove from surfaces once compressed. As you might know Maine Sail does not sell stuff on his site any more.
Thanks.

I've used butyl tape in the past. I like it for bedding some things but not everything.

Yes, I know they discontinued MaineSail's BedIt tape. On the SBO site they were taking pre-orders because some outfit was supposed to be picking it up and manufacturing it. I got on that list and months later SBO cancelled those orders, saying they didn't know if/when the product would actually materialize.
 
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