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Thread: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

  1. #36
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    Thanks all for the encouragement.
    That did make me laugh Don.

    Well I managed to get the Starboard tank out this afternoon, i just need to get it over the side now and float it to a nearby boat ramp and on to a trailer.

    Pretty nasty behind there but not surprising really.

    After seeing the space in there i think I'm now convinced to use the space for berths and have two smaller tanks further aft.

    Onwards and upwards!

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  2. #37
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    Well at least it had been painted back there. Is that copper fastenings I see? Excellent news if so.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #38
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    Most likely..most Australian built carvel boats are fastened with copper rivets.

  4. #39
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    Yes , copper fastened. They've actually used 1 and 2 cent coins for the roves. Alot of the other fastenings are steel, galvanized nails for the deck, steel bolts for the beam shelf, bronze for the stringer bolts.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    Quote Originally Posted by master of nun View Post
    Yes , copper fastened. They've actually used 1 and 2 cent coins for the roves. Alot of the other fastenings are steel, galvanized nails for the deck, steel bolts for the beam shelf, bronze for the stringer bolts.
    I’ve got loads of 1 and 2 cent pieces, I wonder if I could sell them on eBay as copper roves for 20c each......
    Larks

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  6. #41
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    Quote Originally Posted by master of nun View Post
    Yes , copper fastened. They've actually used 1 and 2 cent coins for the roves. Alot of the other fastenings are steel, galvanized nails for the deck, steel bolts for the beam shelf, bronze for the stringer bolts.
    Should be easy enough to replace the beam shelf bolts, even if you have to thread up lengths of bronze rod. The deck nails will let go after about 50 years, but there will be plenty of wood in the beams to aim new fastenings at, so they are less of a worry.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  7. #42
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    I’ve got loads of 1 and 2 cent pieces, I wonder if I could sell them on eBay as copper roves for 20c each......
    You would have to punch the correct size holes in them first.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  8. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Should be easy enough to replace the beam shelf bolts, even if you have to thread up lengths of bronze rod. The deck nails will let go after about 50 years, but there will be plenty of wood in the beams to aim new fastenings at, so they are less of a worry.
    That's the plan, many of the beam shelf bolts will come out when replacing the lodging knees so I may as well do them all.
    The foredeck nails have wasted away and all of the main deck needs to come up anyway when replacing the beams.

    Also some of the beam shelves need replacing due to water damage.

    Im bracing for a shock when i price the bronze rod though.

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  9. #44
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    Liam, I know a little about bronze. For higher strength, phosphor bronze PB1, 1/2" rod is probably smallest you can get, for general use hard drawn copper is easier to get and use. For high strength, aluminium bronze AB1, but probably not needed unless a highly loaded shaft, etc.. There should be suppliers in Melbourne, George White? Buying full lengths/sheets can save a lot. Bronze & Brass and Classic Boat Supplies, QLD & NSW??, have silicon bronze, lovely to work but would be expensive in large quantities.

    I would use hard drawn copper for most things, you need to watch the size, you might need to go up one size from an equivalent mild steel bolt, Sil bronze nuts and washers from Classic Boat supplies. Check the Wooden Boat shop in Sorrento, Vic. I think they have square nuts. The HD copper can be annealed on the end and peened over, preferably in a simple die. With the PB1, you need to thread both ends.

    Being a work boat, there's probably been mind steel/stainless/brass used for "modifications", you will need to get rid of this stuff in traditional construction. Apologies if I have told you stuff you already know
    the invisible man........

  10. #45
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    Forgot to say, Atlas tanks, QLD make good polypropelene tanks, had 2 custom tanks made for Ghost, just like previous suggestion, diesel one side, water the other
    the invisible man........

  11. #46
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    Thats very helpful, thanks Maxwaterline.

    I suspect the bolts in the stringers are HD copper.

    I'll most likely make my own stainless tanks. I had considered a plastic tank and have had experience with them when working at Whittley Cruisers, not sure id like them in my engine room though incase of fire.

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  12. #47
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    Liam, I agonised a lot over tank material, particularly the diesel tank. Stainless, aluminium, mild steel, fibre glass, poly. Even bought the vinylester resin and glass, just sort of got sick ofmakingthings. The fire aspect did/does concern me. The poly I think is 10mm so fairly tough. You may have different experience but I hear that stainless can have pinhole corrosion with water/sludge that diesel accumulates, I've heard that mild steel is actually better, also plenty of aluminium tanks in glass boats. Of course you can sell some body parts and make your tanks out of monelmetal! I did mount my tanks on brackets with hinges so they can be easily rolled up to look underneath (they are against the hull). I wonder if PB1 sheet would work, 1.5mm thick with baffle support? Maybe re-consider location so that tank would not be exposed to engine fire? Cement sheet is somewhat fireproof, I silver solder directly on this on a wooden bench, cheers Adrian
    the invisible man........

  13. #48
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    Seems to me that the old live well would make a great place for tanks and a generator. Whatever else you have that's heavy to put in the boat.

  14. #49
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    Thanks Adrian,
    Were the poly tanks expensive?
    Steel is definitely still on the list of possibilities. Reading The Boat Mechanicals Handbook suggests 316 or 317 stainless is ok for diesel provided they are kept out of bilge water and are tig welded.

    And.....Im a sucker for shinney things!

    Monel and pb are most likely too expensive for me.

    Id like to know if anyone has had any experience with powdercoated mild steel tanks. Coated on the outside only for appearance. The current tanks were painted id say with 2 pack and around all the welds have rusted badly.

    Galvanizing internally is apparently a no no as it reacts with the diesel.

    Im really keen to take the inspection plate off the end and see how they look inside.


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    Quote Originally Posted by navydog View Post
    Seems to me that the old live well would make a great place for tanks and a generator. Whatever else you have that's heavy to put in the boat.
    Yeah too right, a big bank of house batteries down low and the rest as a massive storage space for dive tanks gear and the rest of the toys.

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  16. #51
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    Quote Originally Posted by master of nun View Post

    Id like to know if anyone has had any experience with powdercoated mild steel tanks. Coated on the outside only for appearance. The current tanks were painted id say with 2 pack and around all the welds have rusted badly.

    Galvanizing internally is apparently a no no as it reacts with the diesel.



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    There are excellent zinc rich cold galvanising paints now available, I'd over coat with a good commercial epoxy paint for structural steel.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  17. #52
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    What sort of condition are the old tanks in? Would they be suitable to cut down, clean up and reuse?
    Larks

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  18. #53
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    My diesel and water tanks are stainless, made in 1974. OK so far.

  19. #54
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    There are excellent zinc rich cold galvanising paints now available, I'd over coat with a good commercial epoxy paint for structural steel.
    Definitely worth considering, the old tanks have fared well doing something like this i'd imagine and like you say coatings would have improved a lot since they were done.

  20. #55
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    What sort of condition are the old tanks in? Would they be suitable to cut down, clean up and reuse?
    quite possible, there were a couple of leaks and if they are cut down it would be the leaky end that I'd remove.....the tapered end. I've chipped off some of the flaky rust and it does only seem to be superficial.

  21. #56
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    My diesel and water tanks are stainless, made in 1974. OK so far.
    Good to know, SS is probably the best long term solution with today's metal prices and the fact they won't need painting.

  22. #57
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    I attend the weekly boat clinic and this gives me access to many decades of shipwright experience. This forms the basis for some of my opinions, tempered with my own experience. A metal tank needs to be mounted carefully so that there is no contact with timber that may have elevated moisture levels, stainless/aluminium need contact with air to maintain corrosion protection or be well protected where it can't. Work out a shape or shapes and get quotes, the stainless won't be that expensive but the TIG welding might surprise you. The pair of 70L Atlas tanks I had made were designed to suit my boat with all the inlet/outlet points/access where I wanted and included gauges, being custom they were more expensive, about $450 each. They have a stock range and do to survey as well.
    the invisible man........

  23. #58
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    You have an ex commercial boat that has used fabricated mild steel fuel tanks safely for many years.
    I would have no problem installing new or refurbished steel tanks back in that hull.
    Lots of boats still use steel diesel fuel tanks.
    Make sure they have been rust proofed and well painted before installation.
    Finally ensure that you can drain the tanks from the lowest point, so that you can drain any water from them on a regular basis.
    Draining that water out of the tank, reduces the risk of corrosion and the dreaded diesel bug.

  24. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxwaterline View Post
    I attend the weekly boat clinic and this gives me access to many decades of shipwright experience. This forms the basis for some of my opinions, tempered with my own experience. A metal tank needs to be mounted carefully so that there is no contact with timber that may have elevated moisture levels, stainless/aluminium need contact with air to maintain corrosion protection or be well protected where it can't. Work out a shape or shapes and get quotes, the stainless won't be that expensive but the TIG welding might surprise you. The pair of 70L Atlas tanks I had made were designed to suit my boat with all the inlet/outlet points/access where I wanted and included gauges, being custom they were more expensive, about $450 each. They have a stock range and do to survey as well.
    Thanks Adrian you raise some good points there.
    I'll do the welding whatever form its in so it comes down to material choice for me.
    If i were to make my own, im thinking of cylindrical tanks as they are the easiest to secure. You have me worried about the point that they sit in the cradles, i first thought id use a bedding compound to keep moisture out but then you have the oxygen issue. Maybe it would be best to have them mounted in stainless cradles welded as part of the tank.

    $450 is pretty reasonable for a custom tank, but only a relatively small tank.
    My local chandlery lists a 75L off tje shelf for $340
    Similar size in ss is $650
    Both without gauges.
    Alas, i want something much bigger.

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  25. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don MacLeod View Post
    You have an ex commercial boat that has used fabricated mild steel fuel tanks safely for many years.
    I would have no problem installing new or refurbished steel tanks back in that hull.
    Lots of boats still use steel diesel fuel tanks.
    Make sure they have been rust proofed and well painted before installation.
    Finally ensure that you can drain the tanks from the lowest point, so that you can drain any water from them on a regular basis.
    Draining that water out of the tank, reduces the risk of corrosion and the dreaded diesel bug.
    I know Don, my head says modify the steel tanks i have, they are up to the task.

    My heart says build some nice big shinney stainless tanks just to show up the guys at work and add them to the list of "nah I made them"

    Reality is Ill be chopping off the ends of the current tanks and recoating after media blasting.

    Arrh the trials of having an ego bigger than my budget will allow!

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  26. #61
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    Liam, maybe when you cut the ends off the tanks the decision will be made to repair or replace. I reckon Don is on the money, also local shipwright said fibre glass or mild steel when I was discussing tanks for Ghost. Tank that came out of Ghost was steel and original, 40 years old, ugly, rusty, but not leaking. With steel, well placed tabs should be enough to hold tank, no straps needed. Just needs good ventilation around tank. cheers
    the invisible man........

  27. #62
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    Don't forget, ego can expensive, I speak from experience
    the invisible man........

  28. #63
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    Liam, just a thought, I said something like this to Rick recently (I'm assuming the boat is nor at your house, if it is ignore this post), take a small thing home from the boat and refurbish it or make a bracket or box or something to be making progress without actually being on the boat. Helps a lot with frustration
    the invisible man........

  29. #64
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    Default Re: Restoration/conversion of Helen K a Tasmanian Cray boat

    Here is a former seine netter converted to a pleasure boat.
    Should give you some ideas for what Helen K will turn out.
    The engine room photos show a mild steel fuel tank well painted and installed.
    https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/02/22/another-kaiwaka/
    Gee I would like to have that engine in my next boat....

  30. #65
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    The boat is in a marina 5 minutes from work so I often get time on her during the day even if only an hour, that certainly helps with planing and morale if nothing else.
    At home Ive started cleaning up the spars and have them hoisted with the mainsheet blocks I need to restore, at 7m i need to them out of the way easily.
    Plenty of small things to do.


    That is one big lump of a boat Don, that engine room is huge! Even with the 8cyl. Gardner in it. Nice and clean....something to aspire to.

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  31. #66
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    So I ve mangaged to find so time a couple of evenings a week to dig further into this mess and fortunately put some new timber back in.
    It feels fantastic to be putting something together, rather than carting away trailer loads of rubbish, rotten wood and materials that should never hace been used in the first place.

    Sections of the lower sheer clamp will need replacing also along with some rib heads as there has been some water damage. The aim is to work my way back replacing deck beams as I go to keep some integrity in the hull, the hardest part is knowing which of the nackered deck structure is strong enough to be temporarily relied upon.

    Tomms have been placed between keel and wheelhouse deck beams and is only a matter of time before I take the plunge and tear the wheelhouse off. However I want to get the midships deck down before I do this, Its keeping rain out of nothing else.

    Port fuel tank to come out very soon.

    Does anyone know of a good shrink?

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