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Project Log:  Thursday, February 3, 2011

With half a day at my disposal, I pressed onwards with the preliminary aspects of the tank installations.

Yesterday's tabbing had cured overnight, so I did the usual quick sanding to relieve rough edges and prepare the surfaces for future work; this wrapped up the key structural work required for the engine room tankage spaces.  While there'd be additional construction to enclose the tanks, I planned on this rigged "base" to be the main means of restraint for the tanks.


I reinstalled the forward (fuel) tank on each side, holding them in place with some foam scraps.  Then, I fitted the after (water) tank in the space remaining on each side, following the same general layout process I'd used earlier on the fuel tanks to locate and drill holes for the water tank drains.

For various reasons, even though the two tanks on each side were designed as continuations of one another (essentially designed as one large tank that was cut in half) and therefore should have lined up perfectly, the water tanks, when placed in position, ended up about 1/2" - 1" higher than the fuel tanks just ahead.

Though this bothered me on some level--I'd have preferred it if the tanks were level with one another as designed--it didn't bother me enough to consider adjusting the forward tanks' positions to raise them even with the aft tanks:  this seemed entirely unnecessary to satisfy vanity in a space that wouldn't even be seen later, and would have meant a lot of additional work, since it would mean the forward tank no longer rested on the hull, but would require some sort of support system.  And there was no practical reason whatsoever why this slight misalignment made any difference to the tanks' function or security.

Otherwise, the tanks fit the space as designed, and tightly against the bulkheads on three sides.  I'd fill the voids between the hull and the angled tanks sides with expanding foam a bit later, once I'd finalized all the other installation details.



I was awaiting the pipe nipples and shutoff valves for the tanks, which were due anytime, and until those were installed in the drain fittings, I'd not proceed further with the tank installation-though for all intents and purposes the main installation work was complete, at least in terms of the significant structure required to retain the tanks securely.

Next on the agenda was the aft fuel tank.  I brought the new plywood platform up to the boat and test-fit it in its designated space beneath the cockpit.  Once I'd aligned it properly, I made some reference marks on the hull showing the edges of the platform and also a rough indication of where I needed to apply paint before its installation.

With the platform removed to the bench, I coated the bottom side and edges with epoxy resin, as this portion of the platform would be inaccessible once it was installed.

Inside the boat, I applied a coat of gray Bilgekote paint to the area that would soon be hidden by the new tank platform, including the depths of the bilge beneath.

Total Time Today:  4.25 hours

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