Catching up (part 2)
The last instalment took place in August 2020. It has been a while since I’ve had the inclination to update things so there are a few posts coming in succession to catch up. The following events to install a new fuel bladder also took place in August 2020.
After leaving the boat in Gladstone it took two weekend trips back up from home, Bundaberg, to build a floor over the old fuel tank and install the bladder, fill it and then start the old Yanmar. I also took the time to fit a small microwave oven in the galley. At least Gladstone is a mere two hour drive from home.
The new bladder was finally delivered and having plenty of space and tools at home, made things a little easier by prefabbing all the pieces to make up the compartment to hold the new bladder. The old stainless steel fuel tank is tucked away below the cockpit locker.
The lid for the locker is way too small to get the old tank out and the other options were to shift the engine, steering pedestal and take it out sideways remove the cockpit floor and then lift it up through the cockpit or the other alternative was to cut away a huge piece of the cockpit sides and then of course rebuild the cockpit. The other impediment to lifting the old tank out was all the other hoses and electrics that were in the way. There is the electrics for the autopilot, the plumbing for the freshwater pump, engine room exhaust fan and all the bilge pump and overboard discharge hoses.
To take the weight of the 200L of fuel I installed a rail and braced the sides, laid the floor in three sections and then put up an end wall to keep the bladder from sloshing about.
I also added, depending on your perspective, a top over the bladder or a floor for a new cockpit locker. Then added another end wall to finish a nice new cockpit locker for most of our safety gear.
Not being very mechanically minded, I asked the local mechanic to come back and check out my handiwork. His thoughts were that all would work fine and working together we replaced the 160 litres of fuel that was removed from the tank and got the old Yanmar purring again ready for the return journey. So for now there’s a semi-permanent fuel bladder until a more suitable option can get installed.
With a little extra time I installed a small microwave oven where an old analogue television used to be. All that is needed to finish that off is to add a small shelf above the microwave and tidy up the bulkhead at the back. So now, when on shore power or with the inverter, we have speedy cooking ready to go.
Another drive home, which has another story attached to it but not for here, and then schedule another weekend to finish the journey back home.
But more of that another time.