Worst Positions In Boat Renovation

A reader sent in a photo yesterday morning and it got me thinking. What’s the worse position you’ve found yourself wedged into while trying to work on your boat?

I once found myself almost upside down, squirming underneath the flooring whilst trying to wedge myself behind a fuel tank. I was trying retrieve the end of a speaker cable that I passing through the bulkhead. I had a short moment of fear and panic when I realized, if I got stuck it would be at-least a day or two before anybody noticed I wasn’t answering my calls! I retrieved my cable and lived to tell the tale! Anyway, enough about me lets here your stories.


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Marcin working on his Steel Yawl boat named Sy Ina

Marcin from Poland.

A photograph of Marcin hard at work on his Steel Yawl boat named “INA” The boat was bought 10 months ago. She is a 45″ boat, five prototypes were made in 1966-67, so one could say that it’s a classic. She served for 30 years in the Polish Yachting Association as a training boat. Now she belongs solely to Marcin, but still needs a lot of care to get her shipshape and Bristol fashion! The plan is to take his wife and four cats sailing around the world!

The photograph on the left shows Marcin looking for the perfect place for the air heater!

More Photo’s of Marcin’s boat – photo 1 , photo 2.

Tony from São Paulo, Brazil.

Tony hard at work underneath is plywood stitch and glue boat!

Adam from the UK.

Nothing beats welding by your face whilst being wedged in-between some floor joists. Let’s hope nothing sets on fire.

Johannes From Scotland, UK

Well, at least Johannes remembered to bring a head torch with him while he climbed into the depths of boaters hell. Johannes had to squeeze into his cockpit locker to reinstall a diesel heater after It was serviced.

Got a photo of yourself hard at work and in an awkward position? Send it in with a bit about your project and we’ll add it to our list!

13 thoughts on “Worst Positions In Boat Renovation”

  1. Man, this is why the first thing I look at in any boat is the engine setup. You’re going to need to be fooling in there frequently, if you can’t get to it don’t buy the damn thing.

  2. I remember having to soap up an engineer who went into the boiler to inspect and clean and then couldn’t get out. Worst one I had was clearing out the condenser on a 300000 tonner after we sucked up a couple of tonnes of shrimps.

  3. I worked for Volvo penta for a few years it’s basically torture. Changing turbos in sun seekers for 1990’s is rubbish. I have pulled a few guys out of places that they would certainly still be in if I didn’t. New boats take the biscuit, azimut are the worst

  4. No picc, cuz 1. I’m by myself. If there was someone else there, THEY would be the ones scrunched up in there, and 2. I’m usually too busy to take pics.
    I think i’ve been in like 20 positions that would tie for “worst” – one being the “hobbit hole” I had to fold myself into (sometimes risking compression asphyxia) to work on the back of the engine in my Crown 28.

  5. Crikey, as an engineer I’ve had to get upside down with stuff dripping on my face while I hold the stupidly long extension bar and not drop the heavy starter motor into the oily bilge full of water……. not managed to take a photo of myself while at it but perhaps I can with a fourth arm..

  6. I had an apprentice we went out to fix a blocked toilet pipe I opened up the inspection valve and said to him test it so I sat there for about 5 mins waiting then he flushed it and covered me in shit when I said test it he thought I meant take a shit.i wondered why he took so long.

  7. I actually managed to get stuck while making one if my first boats, a Glen-L Squirt, some years ago. I forget exactly why, but one day I was on my back in the bottom of the boat and had shuffled myself backwards so my head was up against the transom, and the deck beam that forms the seat back was across my stomach just below my ribs.
    The problem was, when I tried to shuffle back my ribcage would expand and catch on the beam, trapping me in that position!
    Try as I might I just couldn’t move. Eventually, after a bit of shouting, a neighbour came along to see what all the noise was about, I explained and he was able to drag me out by the ankles!

  8. When I was younger and smaller my name in the boatyard was Bilge Worm. The worst situation I recall involved locating a blind latch on an irregular hatch. I didn’t quite fit on my side in a fetal position. So we had a 300 pound man sit on the hatch to compress me a little more.

  9. End of Oct, blowing 25+ out of the NW, 2100 hrs, 25 mi offshore from SW Hbr ME, out new eng oil drain plug fell out. The bottom of the bilge was 3’ below the bottom of the engine pan. Upside down for 3 min to retrieve. My only time being seasick and friggin cold.

  10. Upside down, between Perkins 426 and the bulkhead, that backs the shower, working on bilge pump wiring, with belt loop stuck. No one with me either. It was a bloody mess when it was all said and done and I got back out. I am talking liquid red all over the place. Lessons learned.

  11. To work on rebuilding the outboard well on a Columbia Saber (32.5 L x 6.5 Beam) one has to shimmy through the leg space over the port bunk, drop down into the void past it and crawl up to the work area. Not too bad, getting out in reverse is the real treat, there are always those tense moments as you are trying to squeeze back through the bunk space when it seems you aren’t making progress. I have dropped 24 pounds since October 31, I’m trying to drop another 25 or so by mid April. I’m still expecting it to eater uncomfortable. After reading the first comment, I’m thinking bib overalls might be a good fashion choice.

  12. Sorry no photo but, I was working in the port lazarett. I was completely inside laying on the floor working on a thru hull when I heard the lid close? I first thought no big deal I’ll just open it but, then I realized the hasp had closed when the lid went down. I was locked in! I banged in the area of the hasp hoping I could pop it up and off the latch, no luck. I had my cell so I called a dock mate and asked him to go to my boat and open the port lazarett. He immediately asked, did you lock yourself in? I must have had more anxiety in my voice that I realized.
    With my friends a yes reply would have generated a response of: “ What’s that you say, no problem no hurry? (The sound of a candy wrapper being crumpled up next to the mic.) You are breaking up, I’ll call back tomorrow. And they would be at the hatch as soon as possible.

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