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Thread: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

  1. #1
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    Default Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    I am getting ready to put lids on 4 ballast tanks and am frozen by indecision: These tanks are wood, they are the inside of the hull, actually, bounded by bulkheads, glassed inside, and the inside of the lids are glassed. I have done a lot of work with glass tape over fillets, but in this case, I can't imagine how it will be possible to get a decent fillet and glass joint by reaching through the small access hatch I have constructed in the lids. I think I could smack the lid down on a bead of thickened epoxy, and reach through to trowel a fillet, but any attempt to glass over the fillet is likely to be a disaster. Like building a ship in an upside-down opaque bottle doubling my 68-year old joints. The hull is pretty much a monocoque, and I don't plan to ever have to open the tanks with anything but a sawzall, so what do you suggest? Is this a job for #5200? Stay with thickened Gouge? G-Flex? My dark side pipes up, "dude you are 68, how long does this have to last?" ..but my kids... The perils of being a water-sign :-)

    Ken

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    Default Re: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    All fillets don’t need ‘glass...

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    Default Re: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    Question: are you using food-safe resin? Something to consider....
    If I had a dollar for every girl who found me unattractive, eventually they would find me attractive.

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    Default Re: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    Question: are you using food-safe resin? Something to consider....
    wtf?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    Perhaps a much larger access hatch. You may eventually want to be able to clean the inside.

    Add a cleat around the inside or outside of the tank thereby increasing the glued surface area and skip the fillet.

    Apply a false cap only 2 inches wide with packing tape around the perimeter and build up a fillet inside of that then remove it and apply the finished cap in thickened epoxy.

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    Default Re: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by kbowen View Post
    wtf?
    Got it. Ballast tanks, not potable water.
    Last edited by rbgarr; 11-05-2018 at 09:31 AM.
    If I had a dollar for every girl who found me unattractive, eventually they would find me attractive.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    All else being equal... I'd opt for the larger access hatch. As a matter of principle, and thinking of future cleaning/maintenance.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

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    Default Re: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    Thanks all! I am replying to three different posts and don't know how to quote all: The 4 tanks have 10" x 16" hatches and about 50 gallon capacity each, so are not small, and like I said, I am confident to get a fillet inside but probably not neatly glass-covered. I have a 3/4" cleat that will be the primary structural / sealing surface, and will have mechanical fasteners in addition to the gick-du-jour. These are ballast tanks, not drinking water, though I have made some provisions to possibly use them as storage, or live wells if I am lucky enough to catch dinner. The overall concept here is that this is a strip-composite recreation of the Great-Lakes Mackinaw boat in which, historically, they would have had a variable load of net boxes, fish, and bags of gravel ballast amidships. I am trying to replicate that variable ballast as closely as I can to see how the historic boats behaved.
    I think that so far nobody is recommending 5200, but rather to do my best with Gouge? Is that a consensus?

    Ken

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    Default Re: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    Tell us more. Most modern water ballast systems (from what i hear, no personal experience) are for trailerable boats, and are filled when launched and emptied before / during recovery. They all have some way to access them, as all sorts of stuff and tiny waterlife can get in through the intake ports, even with screens. And many have interior baffling to avoid the destabilizing "bathtub slosh" that can happen in rough water.

    Why not use the modern screw-in or clamp-down access hatches? http://www.duckworksbbs.com/product-p/arm-dp-parent.htm


    And if your goal is to replicate how the trad boat handles with a trad cargo, why not replicate that cargo as best as you can? I've used canvas bags of wet sand for ballast, and the fish and net box weight could be duplicated with more sand or gravel bags, or boxes with sand if you really want the weight up a bit higher.

    Is the boat otherwise built from traditional materials (i.e. solid wood planks) and stored in the water? If not, won't the fact that the hull and boat's overall weight is 2/3 less be a factor in your attempt to replicate the handling?

    Not trying to be negative here, as I have several boats including a Chamberlain Dory Skiff built by the SF Maritime Museum of solid DF over White Oak -- and it handles very differently than the identical design built from Meranti or Occume ply.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    There's no advantage to using 5200, and it's horrible stuff to spread and it takes at least a week to cure. Of course if you're going to just mush the cap down onto a thick bead then screw it down tight and forget about it it's easier than reaching in to do a fillet.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    I second what Gib says.

    I also wonder about the rectangular hatches you plan to use. Any I've tried leak at least a little bit. Are they plastic?
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    Thanks all again, I will go take some photos and post them evening-ish to get this all in perspective...

    Ken

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    Default Re: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    Three photos, showing empty ballast tank with Osage Orange cleats for fastening restraining boards when using solid ballast, and plumbing fittings for pumping ballast water, then with tank top and then with wooden lid. Not yet worried about small leaks in hatch covers of ballast tanks: If water leaks in that is good, if water leaks out it will go down the scuppers.

    Ken

    IMG_4175.jpgIMG_4173.jpgIMG_4174.jpg

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    Default Re: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    Interesting! Won't the tank lid have to hold quite a bit of pressure / weight when the boat heels sharply? I'm envisioning a sudden gust / near-knockdown causing the tank lid to fly off with a big jet of water coming out...

    You might want to have at least one of the restraining boards in place to reduce side-to-side sloshing, but you can do that anytime. Consider putting in a cleat for a board / baffle to reduce fore-and-aft sloshing.

    I don't see a drain pipe -- do you plan on just opening the plug in that hole we can see in the nearest-to-camera tank?
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

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    Default Re: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    Interesting! Won't the tank lid have to hold quite a bit of pressure / weight when the boat heels sharply? I'm envisioning a sudden gust / near-knockdown causing the tank lid to fly off with a big jet of water coming out...

    You might want to have at least one of the restraining boards in place to reduce side-to-side sloshing, but you can do that anytime. Consider putting in a cleat for a board / baffle to reduce fore-and-aft sloshing.

    I don't see a drain pipe -- do you plan on just opening the plug in that hole we can see in the nearest-to-camera tank?
    Re heeling, yes, 'assa-why I want to bond the lid (not the hatches) with gick, fillet, and mechanical fasteners, and why I was wondering about glassing the fillets. 50 gallons of water per tank is serious weight.
    Re: sloshing: If I have done this well, (that is a big "IF") the tanks will either be totally full or empty of water in use, (no "free-surface") and the ballast boards might be restraining some quantity of heavier stuff instead / in addition, like bags of gravel, concrete, and the occasional beer, etc.
    Re: drain pipe: Oy, I can't tell you how much time I have spent trying to engineer a simple ballast water fill / empty system, and i don't have a good answer. Not clear in the photos, there is a composite-lined thru-hull bore 1.5" diameter in each tank which can be plugged with an expanding rubber plug, like the transom drain on a tin boat. The concept is that I pull the plug when on the trailer, then when launching I back it into the water, let the tanks fill to the exterior waterline, put the plug back in, and fill the ballast tanks the rest of the way (about 2") with buckets. Reverse when coming out of the water. Off in the ozone somewhere is an unknown nifty solution with reversible fill / empty pumps and way-too-many valves and yards of hose. At this point, I hope to get the boat on the water any kind of way and then have dock-side geniuses tell me how I should have done it...

    btw, the question of ballast water / invasive species contamination argues for the minimum of plumbing and complexity, and the desire to be able to confidently hose the whole thing out with bleach....

    Ken

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    Wake boarders add ballast bladders aft in order to make the boat plow and produce an enormous wake. They have the whole system figured out. Typically they'll use bladders and 12V reversible pumps. You may even be able to fit bladders into your tanks.

    https://www.wakemakers.com/wakeboard...SAAEgJX9fD_BwE

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    My Caledonia Yawl came with a Gusher pump mounted under the aft thwart, and it can move quite a bit of water. You might consider something like that with a quick-connect end on the output hose to match a fitting on the lid of each tank - it would save you all that work with the bucket! ;-)

    With a movable intake and output hose, you could also use it to partially empty the tanks if you run aground or beach the boat.

    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    You basicly need to work in reverse order. First make the fiberglass L brackets, then fillet then the lid. You need a fillet mold (triangular batten) and lid mold (wide rectangular batten). Cover with mold release or plastic tape, position, fiberglass the tape, wait until cured, remove. Repeat for all sides. Sand lightly, apply a generous amount of thickened epoxy, put down the lid and clamp or screw.

    The other method is to do it conventionally. For that prewet the tape, roll it onto a paintroller, apply by feel one armed trough the inspection hatches.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    Wake boarders add ballast bladders aft in order to make the boat plow and produce an enormous wake. They have the whole system figured out. Typically they'll use bladders and 12V reversible pumps. You may even be able to fit bladders into your tanks.

    https://www.wakemakers.com/wakeboard...SAAEgJX9fD_BwE
    When I first went down this path the two-way pumps were in the $300 range, so Thank You! for proposing some cheaper options. The bi-directional rubber vane pumps seem to promise that they nearly stopper the flow when inactive, and therefore negate a lot of valves so that is a plus. But I have somewhat of a problem with supporting an industry whose goal is to trash the near-shore water for the rest of us. Chicago has 60 miles of open water on one side, and hard, reflective breakwaters on the other. My experience is that one doesn't get natural wave patterns which seem to obey wind action until you are at least 5 miles offshore, 10 is better.. Wakeboarders, like jetskis, should all fly beautifully, with slo-mo GoPro footage, into a lake of bleach.

    Thanks again for your input...

    Ken

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    The beauty of a fillet on the inside of the tank is that you can't see it. It looks like you have plenty of surface area to bond. You don't need any glass cloth, just a nice ring of gick around the mating surface. Where is wizz-bang when you need someone to argue against glassing a fillet? Thicken the epoxy with your favorite powder and screw the lid down gently because you don't want to squeeze too much gick out.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Gick for lid of ballast tank?

    Bruce cured me of taping fillets inside. Havenít done it in a dozen boats.

    Peace,
    Robert

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