Monday, March 15, 2010

I Love it When That Happens

Restoring a sailboat is a financial mirage. Things that you thought would be a very cheap and easy fix often end up being very expensive. This is usually due to ripping a system out to find something like rotted wood behind it or another broken system that also needs replacing adjacent to the one you just ripped out. Or it’s due to a crappy former boat owner who did something stupid like splice wires together with masking tape, so then we have to replace the broken thing, or the rotted thing, or the masking taped thing as well.

Todd and I are in the midst of replacing or 7 year old temporary fuel tank. We have a space for the tank that’s 45” by 39” and 13” deep. The companion way (door) that is about 29” inches, thus making it impossible to get a 39” tank through the door.

Imagine buying a gigantic couch that will fit beautifully in the room, but it’s so gigantic you can’t get it though the door. So, instead you buy a sectional so you can get the pieces of your gigantic couch through the door. That’s how we’re handing the fuel tank/door issue. We decided that we’d have two tanks constructed that we’ll link together, so that we can fill as much of that space with fuel as possible and still get the tanks through the door.

We constructed plywood templates of the tanks that we’ll dry fit into the space first, and then we’ll have aluminum tanks made. We need to find a vendor to make these tanks, and we're fairly certain it won't be cheap.  Just today Todd and I had this conversation about it over email:

Todd: I just got a quote back on the larger of the two tanks. (Insert a number that is easily 1/3 of what we expected to spend.)

Beej: Was that quote from a welder or an origamist?

Todd: A welder.

Beej: But will the tanks be made out of, you know, actual metal?

You never really know until you get the finished product, I guess.

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