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331 Engine Cover/Steps

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arf145

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Nov 4, 2010
430
Beneteau 331 Deale, MD
The lower companionway steps/engine cover on our 331 must be pulled away and set aside to get to the engine. Yet while boat hunting this winter and looking at a few videos of other 331's, I saw that the lower step was hinged to the upper step.

Any other 331 owners lack the hinges, and would this change be as simple as adding hinges and a gas strut to hold up the steps? Does the hinged cover allow adequate room to get to the engine?
 
Jun 18, 2013
39
Beneteau 41.1 Glen Cove, NY
My 2003 331 Flor D'Luna has the original single piece fiberglass engine cover/companionway steps, so I cannot answer your first question, but as far as your second, yes, the hinged cover gives more than adequate space when lifted for working on the engine's front, top and sides. Mechanics who have serviced my diesel have commented favorably on the ease of access. The gas strut lifts and holds the cover easily during access, but is not difficult to compress when closing the hatch.
 

arf145

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Nov 4, 2010
430
Beneteau 331 Deale, MD
Thanks, FlorDLuna. I know you may not have looked at it in this much detail, but I'll ask anyway: Does the lip of the lower stairs fit up under the upper/fixed stair a bit when it closes? I'm trying to determine if there is any difference other than the hinges and the strut.

Edit: But you said single piece--so all three steps are on one piece in your setup?
 

arf145

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Nov 4, 2010
430
Beneteau 331 Deale, MD
So that means that three different step configurations were used in the 331s--amazing. Yours sounds like what I've seen on a 343. But the pictures I've seen of some 331s suggests separate bottom 2 steps but hinged to a top step section. Hopefully, one of them will weigh in on this.

Thanks.
 

Cwoody

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Aug 10, 2010
87
Beneteau 37 Galesville, MD
Arf,

My 2001 has the one piece design as well.

Beneteau parts website only shows the 2 piece steps :doh:

cw
 
Jun 18, 2013
39
Beneteau 41.1 Glen Cove, NY
Arf, I must correct myself. I was on the boat this weekend and saw that only the bottom two steps are actually on the hinged engine cover. The top step is on a separate, fixed piece that never moves and serves as the attachment point for the hinge. I hope my misstatement didn't cause too much confusion.
 

arf145

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Nov 4, 2010
430
Beneteau 331 Deale, MD
Thanks for the update FlorDLuna. I played around with mine this weekend and it looks like it could be hinged with just the addition of the hinges and support. If you get a chance and it isn't too much trouble, could you take a couple of pictures of it in the up position?
 
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