Refit day 11 was actually before we left for our vacation but I just didn’t have the time or energy to document what we did before we left so I’ll include it here.   When we got back to the boat we decided we’d give the wood some more time to dry out and in the meantime we wanted to get the bilge cleaned up since we’d pretty much decided not to let the boatyard work on it.

So it was the beginning of diving into the dark and mysteriously places.  You know in Star Trek they always “boldly” go where no man has gone before.  Imagine if they showed up on a planet made of old motor oil and sewage.  Can you imagine Captain Picard valiantly striding into that mess?  No.  Well it helps me to imagine it as we trudged into this awful muck.

Well, no harm in doing a little bit more cleaning in the engine room first though.  

Look, I don’t even have my hat. 

Def looking better on those walls.  You can lean up against them without getting filth on you.

This scrub brush was invaluable for getting into some really hard to reach spots high up in the bulwarks.  The problem is that it would get so nasty so fast we had to constantly change out the water, otherwise, we were just smearing filth everywhere.

Finally I could put it off no longer and we attacked the bilge itself.  The nightmare of sludge.  This is the primary bilge hatch with the main bilge pumps and a lot of plumbing running through it.  It smelled pretty bad.

I decided to clear out the bilge I’d resort to my previous tactics which involve hotwiring a diaphragm pump.  I needed to use a new one since the last one I used bit the dust so I’m stripping wires again.

Connecting the tubing that we’d run over the side into the biohazard barrel.

After the pump out this is what is left in the bilge under the tank area.  You can see that that is still quite a lot of liquid.  Its because the boat tilts slightly forward on the hard.  Normally all that would be back near the bilge pumps.  I can’t get up the last of it with the pump.

The white sandy looking stuff all of the floor is a product called Oil-Dri that is basically granulated clay, sort of like a really fine kitty litter.  I’m putting it all over to try and soak up the oil that leaked onto the floor and got into the boards.  I decided maybe we could soak up the filth in the bilge with it to make the clean up “nicer”.   I’m throwing a test pinch in right here.

“Yep, soaking up nicely.”


Blood diamond showed up later on with some beer, a grill, brats and buns.  Cool!  This guy is actually getting to be pretty cool.  We stayed on the boat well into the night chatting, eatting, and drinking some cheap beer.  It was a good time.

We met with Dani’s Dad the next day and showed him the boat before going home to pack up to leave for vacation.  It was a good vacation but the sunburn turned me off from working again until today.  (Saturday).   So it was back to the boat today.

First order of business, see if the oil dri had achieved my goals.  Check.

Making quick work of the nastiest clean up imaginable.  Just vacuum it up and NO residue left behind.  Worked like magic.

Here is the emptied bilge.  It looks nasty here but it is a lot better without the liquid in it!  Dani was the hard worker today and volunteered to scrub while I worked measurements in the engine room.

Smile you grease monkey!


Tada.  Look at that white paint!  The bottom looks pretty bad still but only because it is unpainted fiberglass, its actually clean.

The boat is smelling a million times better now.  I mean its almost smelling too good after all that stuff.  The bilge pump area is still full of sludge because I only put the oil dri in the front of the bilge to test its clean up capacity.  Today I filled the “back half” of the bilge with this magical stuff (10 bucks for 5 gal) and will vacuum it up tomorrow.  We’ll have the bilge fully cleaned out.

We took the bilge covers home to work on.  Will post progress on them soon.  Also of note, the oil-dri is clearly wicking the oil out of the floor boards.  Awesome!

After this I need to get back to basics in prep for the new motor that we’re still waiting on the factory for.  That means my basic plan is this.

  • Sunday – Finish the bilge clean up
  • Monday – Procure marine ply and make up templates for the new shelves in the engine room
  • Tuesday – Day off, I’ll be in BR for work.
  • Wednesday  – Procure aluminum straps for new fuel tank hold downs.
  • Thursday – Make up new shelves and epoxy the wood for installation
  • Friday – Fastening new shelves in the boat
  • Saturday – Fuel tank install!!