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Project Log:  Friday, February 4, 2011

Before continuing with the aft fuel tank platform installation, I decided to prepare for the installation of the new bronze garboard drain, which I now had on hand.  I thought it'd be easier to clean out sawdust or debris from drilling the hole before the tank platform limited access to the space.

At my previously-marked pilot hole, I drilled a 1-1/2" hole for the drain fitting, which required just a bit of enlarging with a drum sander (the proper hole saw would be 1-9/16"--this for my future reference).  The fitting featured a key that required drilling a small slot adjacent to the main hole.

When I could slip the fitting in, I drilled pilot holes and tapped for 10-24 machine screws, along with small countersinks at the surface for sealant reservoirs.  I tested the fit dry before removing the fitting for storage till I installed other through hulls in the fairly near future, when I'd install this as well.  (I didn't have the sealant I like to use for through hulls on hand, which is why I didn't install the fitting right now.)


I washed the newly epoxied underside of the aft fuel tank platform, then lightly sanded the outboard edges, where it'd be bonded to the hull.  Thusly prepared, I put it in position and held it lightly with a few tacks of hot glue; I'd originally planned to run beads of my habitual 3-hour epoxy adhesive beneath the edges to initially secure the platform, but the shape of the hull was such that the platform only rested on the hull at the forward and after corners, so I used the hot glue just to hold the platform in place while I mixed and applied thickened epoxy beneath the edges of the platform and to create wide fillets between the platform and the hull.

To level the platform, I added some temporary shims to the forward port corner, since when this bore directly on the hull the platform was out of level and slightly twisted.  I held the shims well inboard from where the epoxy work would be going on so I could remove them later.


Later, when the fillets had partially cured, I installed two full-length layers of biaxial tabbing between the platform sides and the hull to secure it in place.  Once the tabbing cured, I'd probably go back and install a fillet and layer of tabbing at the back edge of the platform, against the small bulkhead near the transom, just to provide a clean, dry seam there.


Now equipped with a selection of 2" pipe nipples and bronze shutoff valves, I continued with the engine room wing tanks.  Earlier, I'd run a 1/2" NPT tap through the tapped drain holes in the tanks to clean up the threads, and after applying thread sealant compound to the various parts, I assembled the valves with a pipe nipple on one end and, for added security should one of the valves be accidentally opened, a bronze plug in the other end. 

Then, I threaded a completed assembly into each of the four tank drains through the bulkhead holes I'd drilled earlier.  I wanted these valve assemblies in place now so that when I foamed the tanks into position, there'd be no chance of foam creeping into the drain holes or blocking access.

I planned to arrange some sort of covers for these valves so that they wouldn't be susceptible to damage from being stepped on when working in and around the engine room, now and in the future.


Total Time Today:  3.25 hours

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