Fuel Tank/Battery Platform
With the cockpit sole going
in, it was time to begin to address some of the below-sole installations.
The large bilge area beneath the cockpit would be dedicated mostly to the
new diesel engine and related systems, including a fuel tank and
I elected to mount the fuel tank down low in the boat, and near the
longitudinal centerline (as well as on the athwartships centerline).
There was plenty of room in the open area beneath the cockpit. To
install the tank, however, I needed to build a sturdy platform. I
also planned for the platform to house the two ship's batteries.
I pored over my catalogs, and identified a
tank that was the right capacity and general shape. After double
checking to ensure that there was adequate room beneath the cockpit beams
for the tank, I moved forward with the platform construction. Using
the tank dimensions, as well as the dimensions of some standard Group 27
battery boxes, I determined the size platform I needed; it turned out to
be 2' deep by 3' wide.
a piece of 18mm Meranti plywood, I cut the platform to size and prepared
to mock up its installation. I wanted the platform to be level, both
side-to-side and fore-and-aft. While the aft corners of the platform
would rest on the hull, attaining level fore-and-aft required lifting the
front edge significantly, so I milled a cleat to secure to the bulkhead
that would support the platform in the right place.
Next, I trimmed the front corners of the platform at an angle. I did
this because I wanted to ensure that there would be channels for any water
to drain off the platform or adjacent hull and into the bilge. I
also needed to trim the corners to allow the platform to clear the fillets
on the bulkhead tabbing.
installing the platform, I painted out the bilge area directly beneath, as
the 2' depth of the platform would make reaching these areas more
challenging once installed. I also painted the underside of the
plywood platform. Then, I laid it in position and checked for level,
and created epoxy fillets on each side of the platform against the hull.
Because of the angle of the hull and the amount the front of the platform
was raised for level, this required a substantial amount of mixed
epoxy--as usual, more than I had anticipated.
the fillets were done, I cut some 6" 22 oz. biaxial tape to the right
lengths and tabbed the bulkhead to the hull on each side, and to the
bulkhead at the forward end. I added some 12" cloth tape on the
sides to reinforce those areas a bit more, and spread the remaining epoxy
over the top of the platform to seal it. I left this to cure
overnight before continuing. Later, I painted the top of the
platform, along with the surrounding bilge areas, with more of the gray
Please click here to