I have scraped, washed, ground, washed, and spent way too much time in my stinky bilge.  But it is now ready for the next step.

 I have now had 30 different ideas on how to rebuild the keel fuel tank.  I have been changing my mind daily on the best approach.  

First thing that must be done is fix the curve at the bottom.  I like what "The Incredible Hull" has done.  But he has a cheaper source of epoxy than I do and I priced out epoxy to do my job and it came to over $1,000.  Which seemed a waste as it will never do anything other than support the fuel tanks.  Yes, an important job, but I was looking for a simpler (cheaper) way.  I have contemplated foam, but I am worried about it being able to support the tanks, then foam with fiber glass on top, but that job would be back breaking.  It seems important to me to make sure I don't have water sitting in my bilge.  Correction, not  a LOT of water in my bilge.  I realize there will always be some.  However a 7 foot long bilge with a little water will add up to a lot of stinky water sloshing around. So I plan to take up most of the space, get rid of the curve so there is a flat surface for the tanks, and something that will not rot and never need any maintenance.  And not stink.

So here is my current plan, that I am implementing on Saturday.  So if you see a flaw, please let me know ASAP.

Step 1.  Tape out and wax and area for the bilge pump to sit.

Step 2.  West system 105 plus extra slow hardener, then twice that amount in sand.  Dump some into the bilge.
Just enough to take the curve out of the bottom.

Step 3.  Add Plastic composite decking material on top.  It will act as a filler.  I have no idea if the epoxy will stick to it, but it will not matter as it will be completely encased.  It is just cheaper than epoxy!

Step 4.  Add the rest of the Epoxy on top and fill in.  If I measured correctly...which usually means I am off ...I should have 2.5 inches of height added to the bottom of the bilge.

Step 5.  Take 2 long 1" diameter pipes and wrap with wax paper and work into the epoxy to create a small channel along the middle of the top to help water get to the bilge area.

The two pictures give an approximate idea of my plan.


Part 2.
Once the bottom is done, I will put in tabs to keep the tank 1/2" off the new bottom.  I will probably use more plastic decking held in with 5200.  Long strips.

I have had the idea of using expanda-foam around the top 6" of the new tank.  I know the foam was the problem with the tank in the beginning, but my thinking is if water gets down against the tank, it will not pool and sit there like the tank prior.  But will be able to drain down into the bilge and away from the tank.  I would then epoxy and fiberglass the top as was done before.

And that is the latest idea.  Subject to change.