I have big plans. I have pulled the foam out of the compartment to port side of the engine compartment and forward, to about where the cabin starts. I cut a 1" X 7" scupper at the transom, and molded some 'glass for a hatch, with 3" tall curbs. These same curbs will go around the engine room. I want a dry cockpit set up, with a 6" curb at the cabin entrance. I cut bait tank flush to the deck, the foam all around it was filled to deck level with water, and leaking on the fuel tank, I pulled out the remainder of the tank and foam. I left the rear wall of the bait tank in place, to serve as a fiberglass bulkhead. That was today's project.
After looking at it, I think whoever installed the bait tank actually moved the fuel tank forward, to accommodate the desired bait tank position. If this is the case, it might help explain the sketchy "surfing" effect going down swell at speed. The fuel tank would have been brought forward about 2 feet.
I've been looking at some interesting trolling motors that mount on trim tabs, and come out of the water at plane. What a novel idea. To go one further, why not install a 4 HP DC motor inside the hull, with just the drive connected to the trim tabs? This would give me 3 screws for docking. You can literally move a boat sideways with three screws. I could also have stealth operation when wanted, and handy back-up propulsion, if the main ever craps out again. I started by seeing what motors I could find. A 4 HP continuous duty 12VDC reversible motor draws less than 100 amps. Looking further, I've found 8 HP golf cart motors that run on 48 VDC, with considerably less amperage draw.
I found a site that offers marine DC motors running on 144 VDC, with 148 lb-ft torque. While these might not be necessary for the side motors... Why not also use is as main propulsion, with an extra large prop (since rpm won't matter for torque, I do not have to worry about stalling the engine) Max rpm is 1000, but I can use a prop as large as 25"!
When I previously considered diesel, there is no real benefit for that size boat. Aside from the expense, mileage in either case will go out the window turning high rpm. But now I'm on a new quest. My gas powered arc welder can provide up to 200 amps at 12 volts, and the voltage is adjustable. That's one brief thought. I may just go diesel electric all around. I do not plan to load money on top of money for this venture, so I'm looking into how find a re power outside of the marine industry.
The fuel tank is most likely coming out. I drained the tank, and burned up the gas in my service truck. I plan to fill the tank with welding gas (happens to be tri mix; argon, helium, and Co2), and pressure test it. Somewhere I read only 4 lbs. pressure is necessary to test it, does anyone know if that is really the case?
With the fuel tank out, I could use bladders in the outer compartments, from just forward of the engine room to the cabin, on either side, with the vacated center compartment offering more cabin space up forward, and a true to life slammer from the engine compartment forward to the cabin. I do not believe stability would degrade, as the center would still have the weight from the slammer. Where the slammer meets the cabin I plan to install a full width bulkhead, I could make the forward side of it with 1" impact rated glass, and have one novel view from inside the cabin.
Well, I know this was quite an entry. I appreciate any one who might read or comment. The picture I attached to my profile (if it let me attach it) shows my photoshop version of how I want to improve on things. I look forward to updating anyone interested with later progress.