Monday, 16 March 2009

Back on the Bilge Gang

There must be something you can do with rust. There must be a way of recycling it. There has to be a use for it rather than ending up in landfill somewhere. And if we knew what it was and how to do it we’d be loaded. So until we’ve worked it out we’re back scraping the bilges, this time in the unconverted half. I read somewhere that 10mm of rust amounts to 1mm of metal, that’s good news for us as ours is about 2mm at it’s thickest (the rust, that is), but it’s still heavy when it’s soggy sticky rust mixed with nasty sticky greasy stickiness with a bit of water thrown in for good measure. Still if it wasn’t mixed with grease it would probably have been a lot worse, and we’d have 60mm of rust and no water keepy outi-ness. On the whole it’s not too bad and as the sides haven’t been covered with insulation or anything the rust is only on the surface and cleans up easy enough ready for treating with Vactan.

Whilst cleaning the underside of the deck area we’ve found a couple of small holes which explains how the water is getting in and I’ve now taken the chipping hammer away from Maureen as she kept finding more. I know we need to find them all but it’s a bit disheartening when holes appear. On a temporary basis we’ve covered these with flexible flashing tape, which is basically bitumen and lead like metal on a roll and sticks to almost any surface really easily making it water tight until we either get to weld them up ourselves or get someone in. Hopefully we can time this with our next visit to dry-dock, which is due soon, but I’m not going to say when as that seemed to jinx it last time.
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