Water without a boat is still water. A boat without water is like a body without breath, a lifeless corpse. Just as water provides the medium through which a boat floats and sails, so does it provide life for those aboard. And while the saying “Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink” holds true on the sea, we humans work hard to bring potable water with us.
Deep in the lazarette of my boat was a plastic 9 gallon water tank that SailStar tabbed into place 51 years ago before gluing the cockpit down. There are two ways to remove it.. crawl up under the cockpit or through the quarterberths, contort yourself into a pretzel, and cut it up, or make a big hole in the after deck. As I wanted to put a hatch into the Lazarette, I chose to make a big hole.
I know it looks a bit big.. it is 24 inches wide by 16 long, enough to get the tank out and get the outboard in for storage. As I currently have a hole in the keel (drilled there last year) for drainage, I do not mind any rain getting down into this opening for now.
Soon I will be cutting up a sheet of plywood two inches wider than the hole and cutting a matching opening in it before I wrangle it into place with some clamps and resin and ‘glass it into place beneath the deck for support. It is only then that I can even consider building a mahogany hatch (which will match the companionway and fore hatch) to cover it all up. I keep saying I am getting to the end of my destructive phase of this refit, but I keep finding things to cut holes in.