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Author Topic:   Engine Splashwell Access Panel
btb posted 10-04-2006 11:29 AM ET (US)   Profile for btb   Send Email to btb  
I [just got a] 1992 16 SL. Forward of the transom in front of the motor is a screwed-down hatch which has been well siliconed into place which presumably allows access for bolting on the motor to the transom. How far towards the bottom fiberglass surface of the boat does the space under this hatch go? Does it reach all the way down to the bottom skin of the boat? Or down to a layer of Whaler foam adhering to the botttom of the boat? Or is there some other bottom to this space? As a precautionary step it seems to make sense at some point to open the hatch and check for water in this part of the hull, which would presumably settle at the very bottom of the boat. Can I get to the very bottom of the boat via this hatch?

I appreciate your answers, as always.

Bill, San Diego

stagalv posted 10-05-2006 04:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for stagalv  Send Email to stagalv     

Looking at photos, I see the hatch to which you refer. I too wonder what lurks below. I am guessing that it only allows access to motor bolts and is sealed off. I think it would be foam filled back there.

Check it out and let use know.


bobgilsp posted 10-06-2006 01:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for bobgilsp  Send Email to bobgilsp     
That hatch gives access to the two lower bolts that go through your outboard's mounting bracket, attaching the engine to the transom. It is just deep enough to allow you to place a wrench on the nuts. Look at the bottom two bolts from the aft side of your transom. The splashwell recess is just a couple of inches deeper than than those two bolts. It does not go to the bottom of the hull & isn't filled with foam.

I found it virtually impossible to seal off the hatch lid to be watertight. Water would find its way into the hole, just sitting there & getting stagnant. There is no drain, unless you remove the two engine-mounting bolts. I finally filled the void with "Great Stuff" & reattached the lid with a liberal amount of silicone sealant. If I need to remove the engine from the transom, I'll have to scrape out all that foam. But I'll bet there isn't much water in there.


stagalv posted 10-06-2006 04:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for stagalv  Send Email to stagalv     
Is the access area below the hatch a finished gelcoat surface? If water gets in there it won't make it to the foam below, correct?

I just bought a 1995 17 Dauntless (dual console type) that has one of these access hatches but I have not gotten around to digging in there yet. Now I am curious and will do it soon.


btb posted 10-07-2006 09:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for btb  Send Email to btb     
I contacted BW - they said this area is just deep enough to reach the bottom motor holes, and that it is a finished gel-coated part of the inner hull. It has no foam and it does not go down to the bottom of the hull.
stagalv posted 10-09-2006 03:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for stagalv  Send Email to stagalv     
Thanks for the follow up.

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