Monday, October 4, 2021

Replacing the Cockpit Locker Floor, Part 2.

The new fuel tank arrived earlier than expected but typically the timber was rather later, but it is now built and ready to go.

New cockpit locker floor built to support the new fuel tank and cover the new water tank. The plastic rulers under the tank are there to ensure that the tank will not sit on any water that pools under the tank and allows any water that might get in to drain away into the bilge (the drain holes are not visible).

Three bolts press against timber spacers
to help locate the tank firmly in place at
the base.
The floor has to support a heavy stainless steel tank with 70 Litres (almost 70 Kg) of fuel in it and another c30 litres in cans. And do that in a heavy sea. It also has to hold the tank, cans and at least part of the weight of a full water bladder tank (which is up to c 40Kg) if the boat turns up side down. That would not have the same shock loading as a very rough sea but fixing the floor down is a challenge especially as it is very hard to reach the edges through the narrow hatch quite away above. More on that to follow.

The platform is made from a seriously expensive hardwood ply with Lloyds certification for structural use in high risk environments. It is much stiffer than "normal" marine ply, will take higher compression loads and has a 25 year guarantee.

It is made in 2 main sections rather than the three of the previous one and my initial design, with the hatch section removed I should be able to get the larger section in (fingers crossed). 

It is 9mm thick with the beams under 11mm. Other timber is reclaimed mahogany and teak with spacers made from Sapele left over from when I replaced the headlining. Fastenings, retaining pieces, etc. are in marine stainless.

The whole is covered in epoxy rather than varnished for better durability and the beams are screwed and glued together with glass tape bonded over for additional strength. Very much over engineered, I hope.

The hatch is to give access to the new bladder water tank under.

Each strap is strong enough to hold the tank in place - assuming the timber holds which with reinforcement under it should. The forward strap will be secured to the  bulkhead. 

The hole in the platform back right is for the water filler, that front right is for the fuel pipes to and from the engine and the one front left is a breather to hopefully keep the lower section reasonably dry and to help the water  tank expand as its filled.

Installation of this and the new water tank is going to be a long job and if the weather is good will hopefully start later in the week. 

Click here for the next stage.

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