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Old 05-02-2009, 16:20   #1
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How to fill areas of bilge with epoxy ?

Here is the issue. The endeavour 40 has a long deep keel that has a 75 aluminum fuel tank as well a a aluminum water tank, with a flat open area between for bilge pump access. This area is constantly in 3 inches of water. Both tanks are being replaced, and I am going to replace the rule pump with a jabsco diaphragm pump with a antisyphon valve.

But with the current configuration, the tanks will continue to sit in some water. I was going to glue some strips of a inert plastic to the base of the tanks but thought of a better idea, and looking for feedback.

Figured I could build a sump that was 3 inches deep by 12 inces long by the width of the bilge. I would build up the rest with epoxy and the new tanks would sit on that, above the water sump. The new pump would keep the water level below the sump. Don't understand what the builder was thinking with the original concept. The only thing is I will lose a bit of tankage. Not a issue though.

My question is, What would be the best way to accomplish this?
Epoxy and sawdust added to epoxy and pored in is my guess. I would want to add a slight slope towards the sump which would be 24 inches up from one end. The entire keel area is aprox 60 inches long and 16 inches wide or so. I have to pull the fuel tank to get the exact measurements.

This would give me a sump holding one gallon or so at most versus 5 or 10 now bathing the entire bottom of the tanks.

What would be the best products to use here. keeping in mind the weight it would support.
Thanks
Bob
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Old 05-02-2009, 16:59   #2
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Yes, even a stainless tank will deteriorate fast in that condition. If I understand correctly the sump is in the keel between two tanks. you want to build platforms to hold the tanks higher. A one gallon sump isnt much. If the sump is surrounded as described maybe put a drain tube through each platform you make...? or is that sump the low spot? Thats a lot of epoxy, maybe build the platform from lumber or foam then glass over it? How about just welding a couple of 3" channel shapes to the bottom of the new tanks raising it 3" or whatever you want to and keeping the larger sump?
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Old 05-02-2009, 17:10   #3
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I am not getting a clear picture of what you are trying to build to offer a opinion. In regards to a filler I would use milled fiber or chopped strand see attached link. Fillers you will of course have be careful to do your build up in layers so that you will not cook your filler.
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Old 05-02-2009, 17:14   #4
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You could consider building your tanks inside the bilge inplace out of epoxy. I just finished doing just that, expanded my fuel from 60 gallons to 120. I would post a picture but my camera is on the fritz.
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Old 05-02-2009, 17:20   #5
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Ah sorry if I wan't clear. What I wanted to do was just pour in epoxy to raise the bottom of the area of the bilge where the tanks are, leaving a sump between to hold water that accumulates, rather than using the entire bilge area as it is now.
Since the pump and switch I will use needs 2 inches to activate, I anticipate less water in my bilge.
Cheechako, this would be a place for standing water to accumulate. The entire bilge would be a lot more, but this would be a sump area for the rain that comes down the mast, condensation and the like.
I figured I could just mix up a epoxy with a filler like MAS wood flour and fiberglass fibers and just pour it in, with the sump area seperated with fiberglass mat or something like that.
Stevens what do you mean about cooking the filler ?
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Old 05-02-2009, 17:23   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevens 47 View Post
You could consider building your tanks inside the bilge inplace out of epoxy. I just finished doing just that, expanded my fuel from 60 gallons to 120. I would post a picture but my camera is on the fritz.

I considered doing that but rejected it as the bilge sits below the engine, and access is dificult.
I figured just having new aluminum tanks built by florida marine tanks, who built the original tanks for the endeavour. They lasted 25 years sitting in sea water, I figure I could get a lot more, it they were raised above the water most of the time.
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Old 05-02-2009, 17:30   #7
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I am referring to the reaction that you could get if the epoxy volume was to great, if you put about 2 inches in a bucket on a hot day it will basically get so hot that it will melt the bucket, makes a real mess.

If you are going to set your tanks onto a solid bed of any sort that may be a worse source of corrosion as moisture will always be present.
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Old 05-02-2009, 17:34   #8
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If you use metal for your tanks then anywhere they are supported or braced should be covered with a UHDP product glued firmly to the tank so that moisture can not get between the UHDP and the tank. At the bottom you would want to leave drainage channels so that any water that got under the tank could drain into your bilge sump. If you want to build up your bilge surface under the tanks then probably a good closed cell foam covered with epoxy/glass is the best idea. You could then build the drainage channel into the built up area. Steve D'Antonio wrote a good article on tanks and mounting them in Passagemaker about a year ago.
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Old 05-02-2009, 17:39   #9
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Bob,

Where is all that water coming from? I would start by trying to get a dry bilge. Next I would build a sump box in the area between tanks that has flapper values that will only let water into the sump. The normal movement of the boat should cause the bilge to self bail into the sump where the water can be pumped out.

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Old 05-02-2009, 19:02   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
If you use metal for your tanks then anywhere they are supported or braced should be covered with a UHDP product glued firmly to the tank so that moisture can not get between the UHDP and the tank. At the bottom you would want to leave drainage channels so that any water that got under the tank could drain into your bilge sump. If you want to build up your bilge surface under the tanks then probably a good closed cell foam covered with epoxy/glass is the best idea. You could then build the drainage channel into the built up area. Steve D'Antonio wrote a good article on tanks and mounting them in Passagemaker about a year ago.

By UHDP I guess your talking about Ultra High Density Polyethylene?
Where can I get this and what product would you use?
The other product I am looking for it haysite fiber reinforced plastics, but have not found a supplier yet.

So use something like core cell foam,
Foam Core
epoxy over it with chopped strand and wood flour. let set up till cure, then install tanks with the polyethylene epoxied to the bottom of the tank so that water can run down to the sump? The tanks are not built yet, so I can have a small slope built in so that water will run off and down to the sump area.
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Old 05-02-2009, 19:08   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viking Sailor View Post
Bob,

Where is all that water coming from? I would start by trying to get a dry bilge. Next I would build a sump box in the area between tanks that has flapper values that will only let water into the sump. The normal movement of the boat should cause the bilge to self bail into the sump where the water can be pumped out.

Not sure where it comes from to be honest.
I dried it out with rolls of paper towels and cleaned out a ton of old diesel sludge, getting ready to pull the tank, which is going to be one hell of a bi#%$ to get out, came back the following week and there it was again, several inches of water. Som e comes down the mast during rain, a few ports leak a bit, but not enough to account for it all.

Next year I plan to pull her out and epoxy the bottom with a barrier coat, but till then...
None of the thru hulls leak that I can see, the stuffing box is dry, all the water tanks are currently out of the boat. Once the fuel tank if pulled, I will be able to see if there is a leak someone where near it, but doubt it, as it was dry for a few days.

I just want to be able to manage less water sloshing around and on the bottom of my tanks.
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Old 05-02-2009, 19:30   #12
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Just foam core and then glass over it with epoxy and cloth. Don't use chopped strand and you wont need to use any kind of filler with the epoxy. Check out the West System web site for details on using epoxy.

Actually you could use King Star Board to keep the tank up off the bottom, bedded in with 3m-4200. Again, leave an opening so water can drain. Do not use wood to crib the tank in place. Only something that will not absorb water and that is well attached to the tank (so water cannot get between it and the tank) should be used (again, King Star Board, etc.).

Ensure that when you have the tank built to specify inspection/cleaning ports for every baffled section.
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Old 05-02-2009, 20:47   #13
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Instead of glass or wood, I would use micro balloon as a filler. Its very light and strong and of course wont absorb water or delaminate causing water to get in between. Its also very sandable.
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:52   #14
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Quote:
Don't use chopped strand and you wont need to use any kind of filler with the epoxy.
A little clarification. You will need to use a filler to fill in around the edges of the foam and to fillet the edges. I'm not comfortable with the idea of just pouring in epoxy filler. If you do that be very careful not to add to much at any time so it doesn't overheat.

As was mentioned earlier, fiberglass tanks are great so long as they are built using epoxy or vinyl ester resin and are built to the proper scantlings. If you build it in using the sides of the hull for the tank you will need to use a high solids epoxy rated for fuel tanks to coat the hull (should probably be done anyway). The West Systems website has information and warnings about building fiberglass/epoxy fuel tanks.
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Old 07-02-2009, 16:47   #15
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Quote:
You could consider building your tanks inside the bilge inplace out of epoxy. I just finished doing just that, expanded my fuel from 60 gallons to 120. I would post a picture but my camera is on the fritz.
Got my camera working hear some pics with the tank with out the lid on.
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