200 hours later, we finished the water tank! Parts 1 (Building an Integral Water Tank) and 2 combined for a rewarding job; now we have double the water capacity (65 gallons), more storage, and an easy to clean cabin sole.
Installing 3 inspection ports
Using an angle grinder to recess the inspection port to stand less proud
Brew coat on the bottom of the sole/tank top
Brew coat (second coat)
Third and last coat
After finishing the brew coat (a food grade epoxy coating), we prepared to epoxy the forward sole section and the main cabin sole/tank top into position. We applied epoxy to the tops of the flange from the old cabin sole, and to the new floors and baffles in the water tank.
Forward sole, to be glued down first
Forward sole section (future storage) with epoxy
Sole/tank top glued in! Filler pieces showing
Fairing/sealing tank top in
Aft plumbing for vent and supply
Bilge side plumbing: vent and supply
FInished border paint (interlux epoxy primekote), also cream color interlux perfection with non skid
We finished the project by filling and painting the border of our new sole. Our water system works great! Check out our galley post to see our bucket sink, foot pump, and water filter.
Traditional sliding companionway designs seem to be the standard, few other options are available. However, we were not satisfied with Dawn Treader’s original design. While researching watertight designs and oceangoing rowboats, we found interesting hatch options that looked to be compatible. We chose the Lewmar Ocean 70 hatch for its large entryway, strength, and watertightness.
Dry fit of hatches
Original design with nesting dinghy on top.
Bridge deck and portion of cockpit footwell had to be cutout
Installing bulkhead to support the hatch, Changing the cockpit footwell dimensions
Hatch installations complete!
Applying fairing compound
New solid top, all joints were fiberglassed
Dinghy in place over little hatch, experimenting with lashing
Continuing with construction, making hatch framework
A few things changed simultaneously with the new companionway; look for new posts coming soon! Our cockpit footwell volume was reduced. Cabin ventilation was enhanced with the addition of a Lewmar Ocean 30 below the nesting dinghy. Inside the cabin, we now have more space! Our galley area has more elbow room, the new navigation station is in progress, and the cabin design is more open. The cabin sole also has 2 more usable feet of space (we are installing new sole as a result of the water tank project), and now there is ample room for a yoga mat!
Original interior, icebox on the right
Mahogany frame with pine filler piece
Filled, trimmed, and rounded
Sharp corners rounded
Instrument holes filled, trim epoxied in place
Icebox removed, Sink moved from center to starboard side
Closed hatch, good visibility!
Aft cabin view
We are happy with the companionway redesign! Exit and entry are easier than before, and we are excited to test our watertight hatch at sea! With this big project done, we are one large step closer to sailing.
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.
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.
Cutting holes in the boat!
Vent placement near dinghy to protect from entangling lines
Core filled with epoxy
Installing and cutting vent tube
Air-only vent insides
Air-only ventilators finished
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.
Position for hatch frame
Cutting another big hole in the cabin top
View from below
Deb rounding the corners
Frame epoxied in place
Provides ventilation to main cabin salon, and galley
Dinghy in place over little hatch, experimenting with lashing
Protected by the dinghy, with large slot for air flow
Lewmar Ocean 30 has perfect dimensions for opening under the dinghy
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!
We painted interlux epoxy primekote on the interior cabin. We like the matte finish and high build easy application. Its also a hard durable finish that works inside (less vulnerable to sunlight), so we avoid the high-gloss, expensive, difficult to apply top coat perfection that we use outside.
We’ll be updating with more paint in the future, and this is a great base for almost anything we choose.