With the refrigerator almost finished, we decided to tackle the holding tank. We’ve really been dreading removing all the old plumbing (yuck!) In the picture above you can see the two black hoses that we cut off and holding tank just under them. Our holding tank is glassed into the hull just under the engine. While technically it’s a good use of space, the sumbitch is impossible to
We briefly entertained the idea of abandoning the existing holding tank and putting a new one in the bilge closer to the toilet. Problem: there’s not enough room forward of the water tank and aft of the compression post for a decent size holding tank. Maybe a six gallon tank would fit, but that’s too small. As we were trying to figure out a way to make a new holding tank fit we removed the manual bilge pump and the electric upper bilge pump which sits up against the water tank. Oh boy…lots of rust and gunk on the side of the water tank. Not, uh… good.
We noticed some rust on the water tank before we bought the boat, but not a lot and the tank doesn’t leak so it’s useable. However, now that we’ve looked really closely we’ve decided it would be prudent to either 1) rehab the existing water tank or 2) buy a new poly water tank. Rehabbing the existing tank would mean lifting the tank or removing it altogether, removing all the rust (probably with a wire wheel), cleaning the inside, etching the outside, and coating it with something (not sure what, but there’s gotta be a product out there for this application, right?)
Personally, I like the idea of getting a new poly water tank. Of course with the odd shape of the bilge we would have to get two smaller poly tanks and we would probably reduce our capacity to about 72 gallons. But smaller tanks mean more room in the bilge for the watermaker. Unfortunately, with the move-in date quickly approaching I’m pretty sure we won’t have time to tackle the water tank. We’ll be lucky if we can keep food cold without the use of an ice chest, cook food without the use of a camp stove, and use the toilet without having to run up to the marina office.
Another project we’ve been working on is the mattress. Rich and I made a paper pattern of the V-berth a few weeks ago and then finally found a place in San Francisco to make a custom foam mattress. We decided on 4 inch Ever-flex medium-firm foam (density – 2.6 lb/ft3 and indentation load deflection (ILD) – 34) with a 2 inch memory foam (5.3 lb/ft3 ) top. Both layers are wrapped with Dacron batting and covered with medium weight fabric. There’s three pieces (right, left and the cutout) so we can still access the fuel tank and lower lockers if needed.
We’re going to try a thick mattress pad to mask the cracks between the pieces. The biggest issue is the height of the mattress. We have about 5 ½ inches from the platform to the bottom of the tilt-out lockers on each side of the V-berth. Hopefully the lockers will still open even though the mattress is a little taller.
Since we arrived in Isleton in December last year we’ve been climbing onto the boat from the dock. It’s one giant step and with an armload of junk it’s tough, but dock steps are stupidly expensive! My mom suggested getting a mounting block (for mounting horses) from the feed store. It’s basically the same as dock steps, but a little less than half the price. So now we can finally board the boat in style.