December 12, 2018
Dharma Rose 14
I got started by lightly sanding the new fiberglass in the repurposed waste tank/bilge area.
To raise the after end of the compartment and allow drainage through the dictated-by-circumstances drain location, I chose to install a flat platform at the proper height and extending forward till it died out against the angle of the ballast pig, which was higher at the forward end and angled aft naturally. Because the prefab fiberglass panel I planned to use to construct the platform was 24″ in length, I chose this as my arbitrary distance forward, which worked out well in any event. Starting with a piece of cardboard, then graduating to some 1/4″ pattern plywood, I made a reasonable pattern of the space, which featured lots of bumps and burbles along the sides to keep things interesting. After various modifications, I achieved a satisfactory fit that was level side to side, and properly angled downwards towards the drain at the aft end.
I transferred the pattern to my 1/4″ laminate panel and massaged the fit as required. At the aft end, I created a little dip in the panel right in front of the drain to allow the panel to slip just beneath the protruding drain pipe and promote drainage. I tapered the base of the forward end to bring the panel face closer to the adjacent bilge and ease the transition there.
After final preparations to the bilge and the new panel, I installed the panel in thickened epoxy, using a mass of the epoxy at the aft end to seal and secure the panel there and around the drain tube, and forming lavish fillets along the panel edges where it met the hull at all sides. At the forward end, I used a trowel to create a broad fillet that properly faired the main bilge surface in with the plane of the new floor.
I had to leave the shop for a while on an appointment, but when I returned I prepared and installed two layers of fiberglass over the new floor and extending up the sides of the bilge accordingly. Not only would the new floor take care of the drainage issue, but in fact made the whole space better and more useful going forward, as it improved the character of the space and eliminated the worst of the undulations left over from the original construction of the ill-fated tank.
In the engine room, I lightly sanded up the tops of the new support cleats, then patterned and cut a 1/4″ fiberglass platform to form the base of the new drip pan. At the ends, I made patterns for 2″ tall vertical pieces (no pictures) that would close off the pan once complete. I’d cut and install the new ends next time.
Total time billed on this job today: 6.25 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 18°, clouds, spitting snow. Forecast for the day: Clearing, becoming windy and growing colder, 20s