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Under the floor of my boat – Part Two

Under the floor of my boat - Part Two

Location: under the floor of my boat

The last time I was telling you about under the floor of my boat I had taken up the floor and had examined the bottom of the boat. I found that it was not as bad as it could have been considering the bath that had been installed had been leaking for years.

This time I was actually doing some work to the bottom of my boat. (In a previous blog post I talked about taking the floor up and finding the damage.) As I am in a marina I have access to shoreline power which I used a lot during this work. The first job was to start taking the ballast out of the slots where it was housed. This is heavy work and requires a lot of bending, twisting and lifting (not a job for people with a bad back). I was taking the ballast out one slot at a time so that I could sit on the ones behind where I was working and didn’t have a huge, ginormous pile of concrete blocks in my living room.

Once I had got all the blocks out of one section I got out my dustpan and brush and I swept out all the rotten timber that had fallen in the hole as we were taking up the floor in my boat. There was a lot of timber that had fallen when we were taking up the old floor. The old timber was crumbling as we were taking it out and all that had to be swept up as I really don’t want rotten timber under my floor.

I had a big rubble sack in to which I was putting all the timber. (A normal dustbin bag would not be strong enough. The plastic is so thin the pieces of wood would pierce the bag in so many places.) After I had swept up everything that was going to be swept I took a scraper and used it to dislodge anything that seemed to be stuck in holes or stuck to the bottom. Then I swept again before using the hoover to pick up all the little bits of dust (that is where I am so glad that I had a shoreline to power the hoover). The hoover picked up all the dust that was eluding the dustpan and brush and also it helped to get all the timber shards out of the small section under the walls on my boat which was too small to get the dustpan and brush in.

The hole under the floor all swept out
The hole under the floor all swept out

Once the area was clean I got the rust eating paint and painted it on to the steel bottom of the boat because it is better safe than sorry. I only used a thin coat so that it would dry quickly and I could get on with the next part of the job. A thin coat is all that is needed because I was putting a layer of tar on the top of it.

After the rust eater had dried I went along and painted a thick layer of tar on top of the paint, covering everything. This is so that the water can not get through in the future as it would just sit on the tar and not make it through to the steel. The tar is thick and heavy stuff, I went through two paintbrushes as it got so thick on the paintbrush that it was unusable.

This tar is the same stuff that we use to paint on flat roofs to keep the water out, so I know it is good stuff. To do this work I had to buy a new tin, but I also had two partially used tins from work which I used up first.

All painted with tar
All painted with tar

While the tar was still wet I put the concrete blocks back in the hole and painted the top of the joist with black tar. Then I moved on to emptying the next hole. Using this method I managed to work my way along the whole corridor of my boat and the bathroom area. While I was working darkness fell (it is winter after all) I had a plug in a light to carry with me to provide enough light to see in to all the corners. The light my boss gave me was one with a light bulb and flexible cable that plugged in to 240 V power. Another reason why I was grateful for the shoreline power that day.

My boss tells me that he has a plan to shore up the sinking bulkheads in my boat, but I will have to wait until he has got all the materials ready before he tells me.

That is the end of part 2 in under the floor of my boat, to see part one click here , coming soon is part three.

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