After getting the tank to the welders it was time to
start cleaning up the hole that was left behind. The frame itself was fine other than the one piece on the very bottom that got crushed over time and let the tank settle against it, which helped escalate the corrosion. All the strips of neoprene, acting as spacers to keep the aluminium from being in contact with the wood, had all it's bronze staples removed and replaced with aluminum tacks.
Made a new platform for the larger muffler that was installed with the re-power of 2002 and installed new heavy gauge copper sheet for the single side-band grounding strap. The old copper foil was heavily corroded in more than a few places. This new copper was cut from a large 14" wide wire roll that Vicky acquired from her last job. After cutting it by hand it turned out to be the exact right length.
After lifting the tank off the dingy we set it up on the cockpit to give it our own pressure test with the foot pump and a spray of Windex. No leaks we could find. I started gluing new neoprene spacers to run 90 degrees to the original wide strips keeping the tank one step higher off of any potential wet spots.
The next day we got it stuffed down the companionway and back in with the front panel bolted in place, all fittings installed on the top and 20 gallons of diesel poured in.
Vicky painted all the bilge area and the tank frame. No leaks!
After close inspection (and some "real guy" advise) of the battery starting and grounding wires we have decided to upgrade most all the cheap welding wire with proper tinned marine cable, add a proper sized bus bar to it and the bonding system of the whole boat. I might insert a picture here of some of the old wire. The real guy, Mike Giannotti from the renowned Hartge Yacht Yard Inc. in Maryland took pictures and exclaimed, "this is why you don't use welding wire for a boat."
|One end of this cable is fine...add a little salt water under the jacket on the other end....whoa baby, watch me corrode!!!|
While waiting for the new cables etc, I'll be getting the muffler, throttle cables etc all back and secured while thinking about changing out the fuel filtering system too. Hopefully Vicky will do a little scrubbing and OSFO job on the engine so we can touch up paint the whole thing. Hey! While the engine is out......