As we went further into project rabbit hole with the water tank, we found our compression post to be corroded. Dawn Treader’s mast is well supported by a two inch bulkhead, the compression post is fiberglassed to this bulkhead. This made us question the importance of the post, but we decided to repair it regardless. At this point, why not?
Our original project plans did not address changing our water tank. But, upon removing the engine, we gained better access and visibility to the water tank area, this revealed the need for further investigation…
Our work continued, and we ended up removing everything from the bilge: water tank, resin blocks, foam (so much foam). We discovered lots of usable storage after removing oily residue, cleaning, and drying out the bilge.
Removing the water tank revealed the need for reinforcing the compression post, read more in our related post (Repairing Compression Post Base).
Next, we need to construct a new tank! Our new tank will have an expanded footprint that extends well forward of the previous tank. Also, a new integral tank is a good choice for maximizing our water storage capacity. We hope to double the capacity of the previous tank (from 30 gallons).
This unexpected project has lots of benefits! We will be able to carry lots more water for long voyages, our hull has been reinforced with 6 new floors and a heavy fiberglass layup, and we now know Dawn Treader is clean from top to bottom! No more hidden treasures!
In part two we complete the tank with paint, install the tank top/sole, add plumbing and inspection ports.
We decided to remove out Yanmar 3GM30F and its related systems in favor of a 6 horsepower Tohatsu Sailpro Outboard Engine. We haven’t had the need for all the power of the 27 horsepower diesel. We now have more valuable space and hopefully less maintenance! By removing the inboard engine we are now able to divide the aft third of the boat into watertight compartments. We’ll update more about that project later!
Our cockpit underwent construction. A new sol was put in (look for that post soon). We built a bracket for our new outboard mount out of aluminum, and we can’t wait to test it out!
In pursuit of our watertight cabin goal, we decided to replace the original forward hatch with a Lewmar Ocean 60 Watertight Hatch. We built a mahogany combing to mount the hatch on a flush surface, and to avoid splash when the hatch is in its vented position. At first this hatch was difficult to close. So difficult we thought it faulty. However, with strength and weight focused on the handles at their attachment points, we can now close it with increasing ease (thank you James).
The original V-Berth left something to be desired: storage, comfort, style, etc. Some of the original cabinetry had been cut away to accommodate an obsolete holding tank, and the volume of available space was largely inaccessible with the previous compartment design. V-berth reconstruction was also a great opportunity to add structure and strengthen the forward third of the Dawn Treader. Its watertight integrity has been enhanced with new watertight compartments. The V-berth platform was also raised 8 inches above the waterline.
We are super excited to set up our sewing work area in the coming weeks! We’ve got foam, fabric, and a Sailrite Ultrafeed LSZ-1! Let the sewing lessons begin! We’ll see how things turn out…
Ventilation became a high priority after sailing in rougher weather to the Azores. The cabin was stale and claustrophobic! We now have three air-only ventilators (watertight even in a capsize). Two vent cowls were added for the main cabin, and one low profile vent with electric fan was installed for the head.
We also added a new hatch under our nesting dinghy. Because of its protected position, this Lewmar Ocean 30 stays open in most conditions (when the dinghy is stowed). In combination, the new air-only ventilators, small protected hatch, forward hatch, and companionway complement 4 original port holes and give Dawn Treader many ventilation options.
The all new wiring in 2014 was installed in a couple of weeks. Brian created an electrical box consisting of circuit breakers, postive and negative busses, terminal strips, inverter, and solar charge controller.
We have now moved the electrical panel to the new navigation station, where the old ice box was!