Although our haul-out is now scheduled for Thursday at the earliest, it was time to start working on projects we can do while still in the water. We considered putting the sails on, but we think it would be best to wait for that project because it would just start the process of sun degradation sooner, and we won’t be able to use them until we get in the water again. Instead we worked on some smaller projects.
First up was to replace the parts necessary for our fuel guages to work again. We have a system called “Tank Tender” which uses little air tubes into the tanks, with a guage at our instrument panel that pumps a little air into the tube to measure the pressure. This is an accurate way to read, but we discovered that the little metal fitting at the tank tops to guide the tube inside have a tendency to corrode and then the airway gets blocked.
As usually happens with a boat project, the project took longer than expected and had complications. It turns out we can’t take the fuel tank lids off easily because the manufacturer fiberglassed the tops into the bottom of the storage area where they are located. I would have to break around the edges which would allow water to accumulate in that area. As a result, the fitting on one of the tops – which had corroded off, had to be tapped out. This left the little plastic tube inside the tank. We just have to hope it won’t block anything in there. Also, the fitting has a metal tube attached to the nut top where the plastic tub inserts. I could not screw in the new nut all the way because the tank lid block it from turning. This left a 1/4 inch gap. So, I just caulked around the bottom of the bolt. This has the advantage of reducing the corrosion risk, and it’s not visible once I put the fiberglass cover over the tank tops. So, beauty is not an issue.
The second tank went more smoothly as I was able to remove the tube since the fitting did not break. I had to clean up the corrosion from the fittings, and any other signs of rust on the stainless steel tank tops. Then put everything back. The gauges now work (and we had less fuel than expected), and after an hour of putting tools away the job was done.
I also installed some fittings for us to attach the sun shades at the aft end of our cockpit, which Karen made over a year ago, so they can be held in place when it gets windy. I need to get more parts though before this is finished for all three shades. We are planning to have some awnings made to provide more sun shade over our boat tops. Most of the boats here have full boat awnings made to keep the boat cooler, and protect from the sun. The sun is VERY intense here.
We are slowly going through the boat and removing anything unused, especially weighty items. Tahina has been getting heavier as we have accumulated this junk and we need to lighten the load to keep our performance up. We have probably reduced the load about 100 pounds so far.