Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Dirty Deep Down

  The nasty dirty deep. This morning I planned to give the inside of the bilge a thorough but aggressive scratching just shy of a full on grinding to prep ready for a couple of layers of woven roving glass to finish up my bottom repair that I finished on the outside. Well, that didn't go as planned.

 What your seeing here is the bottom of my bilge facing aft. I had previously removed an 8" thick pour of concrete that the previous owner put in on top of what your seeing here. You can see the outlines to the left and right (vertical in the picture) where there is a faint white line where the caulking sat at the top of the concrete. See here...  

There were some visual cracks that I wanted to fill before covering, so spent a minute jamming a screw driver in to see what I had. Oh Shit!

A loose piece broke free exposing an oily, original bottom to the boat. Very bad first repair whoever did that.  Then, I believe, my previous owner  just covered it up with a hardened resin (the yellowish stuff) before pouring in his concrete mix which made him feel a lot safer with all that concrete between him and the bottom, although a very false security indeed,  if he ever had run hard aground on any hard surface, the whole mass would then separate and leak from everywhere. I know this to be true because when the boat was improperly blocked at the boat yard it all broke free. So I started chipping and prying with a few different tools....

     ...and then progressed to more serious hand tools and methods to lift that ugly layer of epoxy and crud from the very bottom to expose the oily original bottom.
   Notice that those tools are not 4 feet long so that I would have the ability to wield them from where the camera took this picture. No my friends, they are inches long and my body had to take up the same space at the bottom of the bilge while holding and swinging those tools. Some I was able to be upside down, but most of the work was me literally wedged down into that space, two legs and two arms all jammed together in a cluster of chisel bang, bang, rip and at any moment I would panic with cramp and have to somehow straighten myself or make a mad flailing dash, dropping tools to stand upright for a breather.

 And the space got tighter and tighter the further aft I went. At least 4 full hours maybe 5 in that hole today  divided by my 60 years old equals tired and sore.

I managed to get the whole bottom chiseled up, but will no doubt have to do a little more in the morning before an acetone wash, then some grinding, scraping etc. before starting the new lay-up. It was a nasty hard day in that hole so I treated us to a nice dinner, a juicy steak of course!


  1. Waiting for you (actually prefer to see Vicki) here in the Keys. Quit blogging and get your work done! -Tony (s/v Endurance, Portsmouth, NH - laying on mooring #125, Dinner Key Mooring Facility, Coconut Geove, Miami.

    1. We rented an apartment...j/k.

      The good news this week was the heat exchanger wouldn't have gotten us to St Augustine. I should really learn how to quote work better...Figure out how long it will take, then double that and add another 30%.

      Who's Vicky? Oh! She left weeks ago...j/k...for now.

    2. Boggles my mind Ken.

    3. I know Sue, like from another planet huh?


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