With our failure to accomplish anything last Sunday fresh in our minds, we were determined to make progress today…and we did! Our goal: pull out the 36 year old, ~100 gallon, stainless steel water tank. We’ve been using the tank for washing dishes, cleaning, and washing dirty hands, but we’ve never opened the tank to take a peek. I drained most of the water out then opened it up to see what was left. I’m glad we haven’t been using the tank for drinking water. The inside was all rusty-brown water.
Although I doubt the rusty-brown gunk could make our water taste or smell any worse (our well water is not great). Then we had to un-wedge the tank. It was stuck pretty good so Rich rigged some pulleys up and a little pull here, a little push there and it was free. The two of us muscled it up out of the bilge and put the floor stringers back in place to brace it. Then came the hard part; getting it out the companionway to the cockpit. We rigged some block and tackle from the boom gallows to the top of the tank, removed the companionway steps, and braced some 2x4s under the tank. I worked the line from the cockpit and Rich maneuvered the tank from down below. It was a tight squeeze to clear the companionway, but the next thing we knew it was done. I even had the opportunity to cleat off the line and take some photos as it was coming out. Next we moved the pulley to the boom, used the topping lift to raise the boom, and swung the tank over the lifelines to the dock. Badda bing, badda bang…it was time for lunch. Not a bad way to spend the morning.
We were loading the tank into Rich’s truck when Kurtis drove by and offered to throw it on their scrap metal pile for us. We said great. We loaded it into Kurtis’ truck and off he went to the scrap pile…then 10 seconds later he came roaring back and went to the office to see if Casey, the marina owner, wanted the tank. Casey owns a marine construction company and I guess has use for scrap stainless steel. Casey wanted it and said he’d give us some dough for it so we loaded it into his truck. Bye-bye rusty, leaky water tank!
The rest of the day was spent cleaning out the bilge. We cut off and removed more hose, bits and pieces of hoses we’d previously cut but hadn’t removed, and lots and lots of plastic hose hangers. I scraped a bunch of black gunk off the bottom of the bilge, vacuumed the rest, and then started degreasing with Simple Green, a scrub brush, sponge and lots of elbow grease. Our bilge is painted blue; two shades of blue actually. There’s a light blue that seems to cover the entire bilge under the floorboards including way up the sides underneath the settees. Then there’s a darker blue that covers the visible parts of the bilge. I’d love if it was all a nice clean white color, but after cleaning for hours and only getting half the bilge done the light blue color is starting to grow on me. My plan is to clean as far up the sides as I can reach and paint mostly just where it’s visible. This project is also growing, as nearly all boat projects do, and now includes sanding and painting the wood floor stringers, the frame they sit in, and possibly the underside of the removable floor boards.
Thursday I’m going to finish the first round of cleaning on the bilge and hopefully get it prepped for BilgeKote which means sanding everywhere I want to paint and wiping it down with Brushing Liquid 333 (basically it’s 50/50 kerosene and naphtha but at triple the price of buying them separately and mixing them myself). It’s probably going to be too hot to paint BilgeKote this weekend (another heat wave is on the way!), but I’m sure I can find something else to work on.