Kaholee Refit | February 22, 2007

I began this morning by washing the epoxied plywood blocks with water to remove the blush, and then gave them a light sanding.  Afterwards, I spent some time preparing and then filling the through hull holes left from yesterday's work.

With a relatively short day available, thanks to some other commitments in the afternoon, my goals for the day were to complete the next installation steps for the fuel tank, and to sand the saloon primer and apply the first coat of finish paint.

I decided to attack portions of the fuel tank installation first.  Before I could put the tank in its final position and epoxy the blocks in place around it, I had a couple preliminary steps to take care of.  First, I installed some strap material to the plywood support beneath the cockpit, at the aft end of the fuel tank. 

For the straps, I chose 3/4" Kevlar webbing, which features a significant breaking strength.  My initial strapping thoughts had revolved around stainless steel, but I was unable to easily locate straps that looked like what I wanted.  I thought the Kevlar strapping would be a good solution:  very strong, tear-resistant, flexible, and non-corrosive.

Since I wouldn't be able to access the area behind the tank once the tank was in position, I secured this end of the Kevlar webbing first.  I folded a triple fold in the material, and secured it to the plywood with #10x1" truss head screws (316 stainless) and a 1-1/4" fender washer.  I installed two straps:  one on each side.

Next, I installed some 1/8" Buna-N rubber beneath the two front corners of the tank (where they bore upon the hull) and also on the glassed-in (original) plywood supports beneath the cockpit, where the aft end of the tank would bear--these simply to provide a bit of cushion for the tank, and to prevent the possibility of the tank rubbing or making noise against the hull.  I installed more of the rubber on the sides and front where the tank would rest against the new plywood blocks.  The rubber featured a self-adhesive backing that seemed very strong.

Finally, I pushed the tank back into position, ensured that it was snugly in the proper place, and then braced it temporarily against a bulkhead to keep it from slipping forward, as it seemed to be wont to do.  This would hold the tank while I epoxied the plywood blocks in place.



Before installing the blocks, though, I had to do some more prep in the cabin; since the epoxied blocks might want to slide or move around some if the boat were rocked too much, I decided to wait and do that towards the end of my workday.  So with everything ready for the final installation, I changed tasks and sanded the primer on the overhead and cabin sides with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots and otherwise prepare it for the first of several finish coats of paint.  When that was done, I vac'd it off, wiped with paint thinner, and then tacked it off.


Now it was time to epoxy the fuel tank blocks into position.  Using a thick mixture of epoxy made with cabosil, I installed the blocks in a thick bed of the adhesive, ensuring that there was plenty to ooze out on the sides.  I had thought of attempting to make smooth fillets around the sides of the block now, to make it easier to install fiberglass reinforcement later, but decided that it would be best to let the initial adhesive cure before trying to do too much.  I cleaned up the excess and left things alone till tomorrow.


My final task of the day was to apply a first coat of Interlux Premium Yacht Enamel (semi-gloss) to the interior of the cabin.  I figured it would take 2-4 coats to achieve the finish I wanted.  I applied the paint with a roller and then brushed it out smoothly.



Total Time on This Job Today:  4.25 hours

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