Equinox Project | Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I got a late start after wrapping up some other commitments that had kept me away from the shop since Monday, but worked the whole afternoon to move the bilge project forward.  I began by water-washing the new fiberglass, as always, and then lightly sanded the area to remove any rough edges and otherwise prepare the surface for additional work and eventual painting.

Next, I began work on closing off the after section of the "new" bilge.  There was an area at the aft end, located beneath the battery storage shelf, that was inaccessible for all intents and purposes, and also generally of little use, so I decided to simply close this small area off permanently.  We decided that the new bilge area required a means of natural drainage, so to that end I installed a drain pipe that would run through the soon-to-be-inaccessible area and into the main bilge sump aft.

After contemplating the space involved and the other considerations for the new drain's location, I drilled a hole at the aft end of the compartment, down as low as I could, through which I inserted a length of 1-1/2" fiberglass tubing that I cut to length as appropriate.  The forward end of the tube extended into the new bilge area; to promote water flow, I milled down one side of the cylinder so that it would lie flush with the surface of the bilge and act as a scoop for water flow.

I continued by templating, and then cutting, a section of prefabricated fiberglass for the new after mini-bulkhead that would seal off the end of the bilge; I incorporated a cutout for the drain pipe, and when the fit was close enough I hot-glued the new piece in place temporarily.  Later steps would include filleting and tabbing the piece permanently in place.



Similarly, I constructed a small bulkhead for the forward end of the new bile area, to seal off the small inaccessible forward section.  No drainage was necessary here, so I cut the piece to fit fairly closely and glued it in place to await permanent installation with fillets and fiberglass tape later.

Finally, I installed a divider roughly in the center of the new space, after first determining a reasonable location based on the existing cabin sole opening.  I placed the new divider several inches forward of the existing opening; later, before reinstalling the cabin sole piece that I cut out early in the process, I planned to cut a second opening in the forward section, to allow access to all areas of the bilge.  I cut limbers in the bottom corners of the center divider to allow water to pass between the spaces if necessary, and then hot-glued it in place to await final fiberglassing--which I planned to do tomorrow, now that all three pieces of the new structure were cut to fit and otherwise ready.


Total Time on This Job Today:  4 hours

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