On Tuesday morning the real work began. Don from Riverside Boatworks is the shipwright we'll be working with most closely, and we began demolition to get at the fuel tanks. Both have proved to be worthy adversaries, not totally unexpected. In order to remove the port tank, we needed to remove the watermaker and the cabinetry that it sat on. This (the cabinetry) was pretty much trashed in the process, and will need to be reconstructed.
We've found the place where the port tank developed its diesel leak in Ecuador, a corroded point under the tank at the low point. The tanks were apparently installed in the hull before the deck was put on. Nice idea for the rascals building the boat.....not so nice when you need to remove the tanks 30 years later! No way would they fit out of the openings of the boat, so we needed to cut them up and remove in pieces. Very smelly, messy work, using a grinder to hack up the 2mm stainless steel monsters. But by Friday afternoon, it was done, the last of the two tanks, in pieces, lay on the ground. We'll save the bits to make patterns for the replacements. In order to fit them into the boat, the new tanks will each need to be built in three tanks, plumbed together to work as one after getting them below. No fun!
|Watermaker being disassembled. Tank is behind the bulkhead on the left (with access panel opening)|
|Same bulkhead, watermaker and cabinetry now gone|
|Bulkhead cut away to expose forward face of the tank. It's an "L" shape, with this the vertical leg, and it extends aft under a seat in the shower. Not an easy beast to remove!|
|Tank has been pulled forward.|
|Sparks and grit fly everywhere as the tank is cut apart with a grinder. Large hose is for exhaust blower|
|And out comes the first part, into the cockpit|
|Finally the tank is out!|
In order to remove the starboard tank, we needed to remove the AC generator which lives above it. This was a planned project, as we need to do a full service on it in the shop. Needed to remove the cockpit dodger and framework so that the boom truck could lift the generator (nearly 400 lbs) out through the companionway.
|Cutting away the fiberglass and teak plywood panel hiding the starboard fuel tank. This tank wasn't leaking, but we thought it best to replace the two at the same time. The generator can be seen above the tank|
|Cutting up the tank.|
|Pieces of port tank on the ground.|
We also plan to tear out the existing freezer box and build a new one with new, improved insulation to save lots of electricity, hopefully. So we had a refrigeration tech come out to vacuum out the old refrigerant gas (protecting what little ozone is left down here!!!), and tear out the copper refrigerant lines. We'll reinstall the gear after the new box is built, along with new galley counters.
|That's gotta hurt|
|So does this!!!|
|Headin' for the hot tub....|
One event unique to New Zealand rodeos was the sheep chase....just for kids. The herd of sheep was released into the ring. All had ribbons around their necks. Then a herd of kids was released from the other end of the ring, and the object was for them to get a ribbon off a sheep. Good fun for all, well probably not the sheep, but that's the way rodeos go.
All in all a successful week. Bravo is now totally torn apart, but hopefully next week will start the fabrication of the new tanks, as we move on to other projects. Happily we have friends on another boat who are back home in Norway for a visit. They wanted their boat looked after in their absence, and invited us to live aboard until our work is done or they return. Looks pretty obvious which will come first!!! ;-(