Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Replacing the Water Tank and Cockpit Locker floor - Part 1.

As mentioned in a previous post I am building a new food storage bin and moving  the water tank from the forepeak to under the port cockpit locker, reducing weight forward and the length of pipe work required as part of a project to replace the fuel tank. The locker floor is structurally pretty good but is badly contaminated by 45 years of oil spills, water leaks etc so to be sure it will support the weight of a c 70 litre steel fuel tank and some cans and to reduce possible contamination of the water tank that is going under I am rebuilding the floor.

The floor of the main cockpit locker, time to replace I think.

Cut pattern for an expensive piece of ply wood. Joints are
positioned so that the reinforcing strips under the joint will
give best support to the tank. Sections positioned to make
best use of straight edges and square corners.

The new water bladder.

The floor will be made from a very high grade hardwood marine plywood, "Super Elite Plus" by Robbins Timber, it is made from multi-laminate Sapele veneers to BS1088, KOMO Class ‘A’, ‘C’ and Lloyds certified for constructional use in high risk environments and guaranteed for 25 years. It is about twice as stiff as the next grade down (Elite) and 30% denser.

Sod's law said that a quarter sheet would be slightly too small so I had to get an expensive half sheet, the balance will be used to build the new food locker, in conjunction with a quarter sheet of the lower grade "Elite"  ply made from Gaboon (Okoume) veneers which will be more than adequate in the much more benign environment with limited stress. 

All will be 9mm, the floor coated in West System epoxy, the bin part in epoxy, part in varnish.

The newly painted storage unit goes in the
under sink locker and supports part of the floor,
that is awaiting a coat of varnish. The circular
cut out holds a bucket for wet items. The other
cut out is for access to the sea cock on the waist
pipe from the sinks. The unit was originally
intended for storing pots and pans but like at
least one other owner I use it for storing cleaning
materials, oil, grease, fuel additives etc.
Getting the water tank out was straight forward, like the fuel tank there was a lot of the contents not available, although no water was coming out there was at least 15 litres still in the bladder, not far short of half the effective capacity, the 50 litre bladder was square and the compartment narrower. 

There was also a small leak which became serious when I trial fitted it in the aft compartment so I had to get a new one, fortunately not that expensive although "the lorry driver shortage" meant I had to shop around for it as 3 suppliers did not have any 50 litre bladders.

The new compartment should be more accommodating although some height restriction on the outboard side will probably restrict it to about 40 litres. On the positive side the outlet will be lower than most of the bladder so almost all of the water should be available for a net gain..

The water pump was under the starboard berth and will now go on the floor of the locker under the sink unit with very short pipe runs to the water filter and on to the tap.  This locker backs onto the non structural bulkhead at the front of the cockpit locker so the water feed pipe will come through the bulkhead straight onto the pump.

The water filter will stay in the locker but moved to a more convenient location for changing the cartridge.

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