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Old 04-03-2013, 00:50   #301
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Re: Nauticat 52 Refit

Now I have a very strong solid fiberglass tank built in place using the original tank as a mold. This could be done with any kind of tank. I got the idea from doing commercial fish boat tanks that were truly massive, as in we set up a chopper gun and a crew of six inside the tanks. Here I am standing on the lid.
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Old 04-03-2013, 00:56   #302
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Re: Nauticat 52 Refit

Now for the tricky part. Since this tank lid is far from flat, I can't just make flat stock to use for the inspection port plates, it wouldn't fit. The tank lid has a good 1/2" low in the middle, because that was the shape of the original tank. So I must build custom inspection port plates in place. The new setup will have a large port either side, one with all the fittings, the other strictly for inspection and a bi annual hose out. So I lay out the marks for cutting the ports, and the marks for the new plates with 1 1/2" of overlap, on the tank lid. Then I cover the layout with cheap packing tape as a release agent. The layout can be seen through the clear tape.
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Old 04-03-2013, 00:59   #303
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Re: Nauticat 52 Refit

I lay regular masking tape on the cut lines for the new plates.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:02   #304
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Re: Nauticat 52 Refit

Then I lay up a 3/8" thick plate of flat stock for the inspection plates directly on the tank lids. This will give me curved plates that fit perfectly in place. This layup is done all at one go with Triax.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:04   #305
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Re: Nauticat 52 Refit

When I release the plate and peel off the packing tape, the masking tape is left behind and perfectly marks the cuts I need to make for the inspection plates.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:06   #306
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Re: Nauticat 52 Refit

Inspection plates are cut using a jig saw with t shank carbide abrasive blades. Note the heavy curvature.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:08   #307
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Re: Nauticat 52 Refit

Cut outs in the tank lid are made.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:09   #308
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Re: Nauticat 52 Refit

Flange thickness.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:11   #309
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Re: Nauticat 52 Refit

Inspection plates fit like a glove.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:12   #310
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Re: Nauticat 52 Refit

I think you probably begin to get the idea by now...
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:14   #311
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Re: Nauticat 52 Refit

Bolt holes drilled in the tank and lids.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:16   #312
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Re: Nauticat 52 Refit

Once again packing tape is used as a release agent, this time on the plate overlap and the top edge of the tank flange.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:18   #313
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Re: Nauticat 52 Refit

The pan head bolts are glued in with G5 five minute epoxy. The release is to ensure the inspection plates are not bonded down at this stage. Obviously only one side can be done at a time.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:21   #314
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Re: Nauticat 52 Refit

Inspection plates are removed, and excess G5 is ground off as well as grinding the bolt heads for prep. Then they are filled with thixotropic resin and glassed over, making them studs. Don't ever want to have to put a wrench in there!
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:22   #315
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Re: Nauticat 52 Refit

Studs are just glassed with a bunch of matt.
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