Sunday, 1 February 2015

Its good to scrape your bilge..........

The last two weekends have been spent cleaning and scraping  the bilges and cockpit underfloor area in preparation for painting.

I decided to do this now as its best to start from the bottom up so to speak and as the next job will involve running cables it made sense to do it now.

The first job was to get under the cockpit floor and remove the 2 dead batteries and mark the cables.

Once that was done I was able to start painting as most of the cleaning and scraping was completed the week before, all that was left to do was go over with a vacuum cleaner to pick up any of the dust created. 
One of the most useful tools I have found to keep on the boat is an old Hoover, it makes cleaning up so easy.

I started off a fresh tin of International Danboline bilge paint in the stern locker which is currently used to house a kedge anchor which was removed for this exercise.

I always find much satisfaction in painting bilges and cockpit lockers, mainly as they very rarely get cleaned or painted by previous owners and the results are very pleasing.

This is going to house just the engine battery which is separate from the main battery locker inside where the domestic batteries will sit, although not ideal it does allow me to have 2 large batteries for domestics and one smaller for starting.

I removed the exhaust box in order to get better access and paint underneath,

Below is the in-line diesel filter and access hole to the starboard side cockpit locker which houses the fuel tank.
This has not been painted yet as I plan to fit a false floor to the locker first, its very common on older boats to have this very deep locker (nearly 5ft) but in practice they can be a pain......just try reaching something at the bottom!

Once the outside lockers were done I turned my attention to the internal bilges, these were cleaned last week using an industrial degreaser, and after lots of pumping I eventually managed to get clean water out from them using the new bilge pump.
All that was left to do was a quick hoover, remove a redundant bilge pump and float switch and wipe over with acetone.

This was a little more awkward to paint as naturally there was still some water left in the bilge plus all of the pipes and cables tend to get in the way but I managed to paint around them.

Whilst carrying out this part of the project I got the oppurtunity to see parts of the boat up close and examine some of the seacocks that will need to be replaced along with a good view of the running gear and gearbox.

Not being an expert in this field I will leave the anylasis to someone who knows what they are looking at when it comes to engines and drive shafts.

I also noticed some loose brittle fibreglass matting which I chipped away with a chisel to reveal what looks like an earthing strap which has rusted through and I am guessing the expansion due to the rust broke through the fibreglass.

My plan will be to grind the metal out and find a suitable replacement before completing the fibreglass repair.

Its always good to see an engine that is connected to an anode which is there to prevent electrolysis in the engine

Finally, it was such a nice day last weekend I took some pictures of the village and a short time lapse video of the river.

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