Friday, September 20, 2013

Treasure in the Bilge, by H. Michael

Last week while I was finishing up a project on Adventure Us 2, I happened to notice that there was water standing in the bilge under the forward head.  Usually any water that accumulates in that area drains into the lower, main bilge and gets pumped out.  I was alarmed by the volume of water that was standing and promptly employed my wet dry vac to extract what tuned out to be about 15 gallons of water.  The whole time I was working to remove the water, I had visions of various problems I could have created back in May (JL wrote about it here) when I removed the old plumbing, and holding tank. Yikes.  What if I inadvertently created a slow leak in the hull by removing the wrong plumbing, I thought to myself.  I was even contemplating contacting the marina for an emergency haul out to spot any unknown issues with the hull.  Once I got most of the water removed however, I traced the problem to a condensate line from the air conditioning unit supplying the main salon, and residing in a cabinet in the forward birth.  It's hot and humid in Texas this time of year and I have been running the air almost full time which explains the volume of water, but did not explain why the condensate was not draining properly into the main bilge.   I used my fish tape as a rooter from the main bilge forward under the head to dislodge any trash that may have accumulated in the drain, and low and behold the last of the water came streaming out just like it is suppose to.  I decided to let the area dry out for twenty-four hours, without running the air conditioning, and then try to vacuum out any "crud" that might have found a home in the dark, dank recesses of the bilge.  The area I was interested in cleaning is not highly accessible, and at best can only be reached with advanced boat yoga technique.  It's a good thing I am a yoga master skilled in the ways of discipline that promotes spiritual unity with old crap.
Access to the bilge under the head

Bilge Treasures
(back in May I removed a rusty screw driver and 3 stainless #8 screws from a different area of the same bilge)
The smaller of the two holes at the bottom of this picture leads to the forward bilge.
I wonder what kind of dip wad thinks it is acceptable to drop an item into a hard to get to place on a boat, (car,  plane, or                 , insert your personal favorite ) and walk away thinking it's okay.  I personally would toss and turn in my sleep all night long worrying about any item I dropped and did not retrieve, no matter how hard it was to get to.  Especially when it has the potential of causing problems down the road. 
Just last week while I was replacing the battery on JL's Corvette, I accidently dropped my open end wrench while tightening the last nut on the battery cable.  Corvettes have a sealed underbody so the wrench did not fall to the ground.   It took me 10 minutes to replace the battery and 25 minutes to remove enough of the under carriage to access the f*#@/n wrench.  Even then I had to get JL to reach in and get it because my hand was too big to get into the tiny, tight spot where it landed.  It's a good thing she rewards me regularly with her fantastic  awesome awesomely fantastic smile.
The end.