Lots has been going on recently and work has been busier than ever so I haven’t had any time for the blog 😦 We’ve been making great progress however and its nice to be working outside all day in nice weather!
Today I installed two more deck fills on the port side. One is for our small water tank in the bilge and the other is for the holding tank, also in the bilge. After removing the old leaky fills I plugged the bolt holes with epoxy and let it cure. Then I sanded everything down and opened up the hole. Each deck cut out was about half the size it needed to be but it was quick work with the dremel to widen them out inwards.
After everything was the proper size and faired I drilled new holes using the deck fill as a template. We decided to go with Forespar Marelon fittings for everything except for the diesel fill. Marelon is extremely strong, 100% corrosion resistant, and requires no bonding. I also really like how the water fills are blue which make them harder to confuse.
After drilling the hole I countersunk the fiberglass to ensure a good “pool” of sealant around the through bolt.
I then tapped each hole with a #10-24 tap:
Gave them both a good bed of butyl tape:
And then screwed in the stainless steel fasteners with little donuts of butyl around each head. I tightened them down until the butyl oozed out of the sides but did not tighten them down all the way. I think its best to wait a few days or a week and then come back and tighten them a little bit more once everything has settled.
The tricky part was most definitely threading the washer and nylon lock nut onto the fastener without a helper to hold the screw head from the top! Luckily I am used to fixing things on my own and have developed some helpful tricks over the years. For this I used a pair of vice grips, a rag to dampen their jaws, and a socket. The vice grips hold the fastener in place as I thread the nut up. Once I got to the grips, I took them off and re-attached them on the bottom of the fastener and used a wrench to tighten up the nut the rest of the way.
After they were all snug I pushed the sanitation hose all the way up onto the deck fill and used an all stainless hose clamp to secure it.
And here is the finished product from the outside: