Leak Tests, Brackets, Fuel Tank (Day 51 & 52)

The keel and chines were leak tested, I had a few issues with the keel channel, being welded on one side only made it a lot more difficult to stop microscopic pin hole leaks but my compressor seems to only go down to about 2 bar of pressure which is pretty high anyhow. As a result, I ended up grinding back some welds, re-welding the keel channel and probably putting down more weld than what I would have liked but at least it is completely water-tight now. The inner chine was leak free and I had 2 small pin hole leaks on the outer chine, starboard side-rear which I cut-out and re-welded and now the boat is tested and watertight.Testing was simple for the seams, warm water and very soapy dish-washing solution in a spray bottle being applied onto the joint by a reliable helper on one side whilst the other side is blasted with high-pressure air from a nozzle in a coordinated and organised fashion. Focus on weld starts and stops mostly as this is the likely spot for pin-holes.

Just some finishing work to the bottom of the hull to go, sanding of welded high spots, 80 grit finish to the bottom and some minor patching of small blemishes to go before the final boat flip.

I had some time so did more work on the fuel tank, MIG welded the inside and TIG welded the outside and also fitted the filler, breather and intake fuel pipes. The fuel tank top still needs to be welded in and the fuel sender installed. Since the boat is upside down, it was a great opportunity to inspect those welds that were difficult to do upside-down and also install some brackets for possible, future cabling under the gunwales.

Fuel filler and breather tubes fitted into the fuel tank, filler will be trimmed.

Intake fuel pipe fitted

Pipes are welded onto the tank baffles - I am planning to trim the inlet pipe at 30 deg

The half-round fenders were fully welded in as well.

This is how I finished my inner chine and outer chine & also transom corners. All were back-gouged, the outer corners were sanded flat on one side then lightly sanded on the bottom. Inner chines were left as they are with high spots sanded down a little.

Another view of finished welds

Keel down and bung tacked in, couldn't weld the bung in because it was too windy.

4mm aluminium tags for supporting the fuel breather pipe.

Cable hanger brackets under the gunwale for possible future use.

Welded some cable brackets into the battery box as well.

Starting to TIG weld the fuel tank.


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