Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tank In

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.
Managed to get them all glued on in the late evening so the tank could go in the next day.
The weather held off till the last ones were in place.
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......


  1. You two make a great goddamned team! All the hard work you guys put in is worth it when you hit those open waters!

  2. How much range do you have under power? That is a bigass tank.

    1. 80 gallons or maybe 4 days motoring. Another 20 on deck gives me five days approximate.

  3. welding lead is anything but cheap so that gives me an idea of what your new super duper marine cables are going to cost. I agree with Scott, you guys got it going on. Impressive job my friend. So was it the brass staples that caused electrolysis that corroded that al u min e um?

    1. $6 to $7 a foot so we measure carefully. Other Pearson 424 owners that replaced tanks said they thought that was the issue (bronze staples) but I believe the tank always had water in it on the bottom and helped contribute to it's demise.

  4. Nice job, Ken. Now just don't look into any more dark corners - unless you want more projects.

    Nice seeing you Saturday. We jumped outside yesterday at Ft Pierce and had a nice run down to Lake Worth Linlet. Good sailing about half the day 'til the wind lightened and went dead aft. Motor sailing the rest of the day.

    SV Daystar

    1. I'll try to avoid any other dark corners, but I think I've been to them all now!
      Glad I got to see your boat and meet the whole family, thanks for having us. I can't wait till "we" jump outside and actually sail, be it south or even north. :)


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