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Old 03-23-2014, 10:40 AM   #37
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City: SF Bay Area
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Tollycraft 34' Tri Cabin
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 9,707
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Anywhere except the bilge.
Ron, that brings back some (now) pretty funny thoughts to me!

At first... I thought that is soooo damn true; it immediately brought back memories of my childhood working in LI, NY boatyards on old wooden boats.

Due to size in young teens I was consistently elected to be the “Bilge Cleaner” guy while restoring or repowering some boats.

In the early 60’s, working on 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s woody boats, the bilges would often be a sodden, mucky, smelly mess of old engine and trany lubrication (even fuel mixed in too) gunk that had over many years to decades become up to inches thick... all stirred up with the then dirtiest seawater you could imagine. Back when, it was not considered chic to have clean bilges. Also, old power trains readily leaked their fluids into bilges. Dented, galvanized metal buckets (ya know – before the now plethora of plastic ones) carrying gallons of sludge-crap would be filled by me using army surplus metal coffee cans, mason’s pointing trowels, big kitchen spoons, putty knives and other Rube Goldberg tool-methods.

After most sludge was removed, then bilge planks, stringers, and ribs would be scrubbed clean using stiff brushes, sponges, or rags saturated with ammonia and other grease cutting products. Sometimes a 50/50 solution of kerosene and gasoline was brushed into crevices and joints to help liquefy deeply embedded/solidified crap that had accumulated for years to decades. I scrapped the wood junctions clean with tips of pointy pocket knives.

Then, suddenly... my mind cleared! Realizing I now live in 2014... when bilges are supposed to be kept clean. And, I also realized that I now spend a lot of enjoyable very early morning hours “In Da Bilge” (so to say) playing with, checking up on, performing actions upon, or adding items to our Tolly’s mechanical units in my wide open, CLEAN, and good smelling double hatched salon engine compartment!

Heck, some of the engine rooms (bilge areas) I’ve seen on larger boats are simply spectacularly clean and even ornate. See Boydski’s “art room” post # 42 in this page: I could spend a LOT of relaxing time in that bilge! LOL

Happy Boating Daze! - Art

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