Today was really the last day of “work” I had planned before the engine goes in the boat.  Sure there are some odds and ends that could be done but really everything is pretty close to being done.  The only thing that remained was to secure the fuel tanks into their new homes and install the sight gauge fittings.

Dad came from Lafayette this morning to help us with this part.  It was his first time to see the boat and so that was pretty cool and exciting.

We got started by putting a block behind the starboard tank.  This block was more like a wedge to prevent the tank from moving backwards.  Its probably the most important block of the tank install because if this tank moves backwards it will slip the deck fill hose which is already partially angled.

Dad measured the angle and cut a piece of wood for me to secure.  Here I am dry fitting it.

We eventually screwed it into place through the bulkhead.  I’ll have to come back and put some L brackets to shore it up but I doubt it is moving backwards any time soon.

Dad had asked what sort of wood we were going to use to make these “blocks and cleats”.  I told him the truth, that I have no idea.  But I trust it!  You see we cut up those blocks of wood we found in the bottom of the lazarette.  Any wood that can rot would have rotted by now.  So I just trust whatever this stuff is.  Its serious.

Next it was time to figure out how to secure the straps on the starboard tank. Here we try to figure out the best way to go about this.

Also while in there we might as well pay mind to the block on the back of the port tank.

Dad had some great ideas.  I knew I hired him for a good reason.  He thought up two things that we hadn’t considered.  1)  We could make a cleat that wraps around the port tank to form the back block.  2) We could use the all thread to go through the shelves instead of adding more straps.  Awesome.

So we set to making the cleat for the port tank.

And of course we had to seal it before it went in.  Since we were on a time budget I doubled up the amount of hardener to get epoxy to set up faster.   No photos of the actual coating of the cleat, but here you can see it just before.  Notice the “hook” on the tail end of it that was used to block the back of the tank.

We went to lunch at a local joint and then came back now that the cleats were sealed.  Here we go back to work on the starboard tank first.  We put a side cleat on in addition to the back block.

Danielle took photos of the hull outside, which is finally starting to be worked on by the yard.

Next job was to widen the holes of the existing straps which our all thread couldn’t quite fit through.  Dad is drilling them out here.

While I played with some squished out butyl tape that I made into heart shapes and kept sticking to Dani’s feet.

Next we slipped the all thread through the tank strap to test where and how it would go through the shelves.  I wanted it to bolt through the bottom shelf which is stronger.  So you can see it will have to pass through the top shelf at an interesting angle.

Same drill on the second all thread.

At some point in all this mess I put Dani back in the lazarette to test the vent which I had forgotten to do, but she couldn’t get the hose off.

So I tried, but also failed, oh well.  Another time.

With the starboard tank fully secured thanks to Dad’s ingenuity we began the port side which had no pre existing straps.  The first order of business was to but the new cleat in place.  Notice how it wraps around the back of the tank.

With that done I started to work on the cleat to stop the tank from moving forward.  I had very little shelf to work with here.

I through bolted it and tightened it down.  It actually tightened just right so that it sandwiched the tank between itself and the rear cleat.

Next we had to somehow secure the very top of the tank so it couldn’t “rise” up.  We measured and cut a board that was exactly the space between the top of the tank and the bottom of the deck.  You can see it here.  That much space.

I wedged it between the deck and the tank and screwed it into a cleat that the previous owners had put on the underside of the deck.  Now the tank is fully secure.  I tried yanking it all around and it isn’t going anywhere.

The final job was to put the sight gauges in.  You can see this is what they look like.

I went ahead and put the sealant on them and screwed the bottom one in, wary that it may not have enough room to turn between the shelf and the fitting, but it went in fine.

Unfortunately, the top fitting on the starboard tank would NOT thread in properly.  I tried and tried.  Dad tried.  Dani tried.  Dani took bad photos of me trying.

Just no dice.

So now I’ll probably end up having to buy a tap to work out that hole to get the final fitting in.  Ah well.  So close yet so far.  Nothing on boats is ever easy.

Can’t thank Dad enough.  Great help, great fun, and great ideas.