Vlog 125: Utter Bilge

In October last year I headed along the North Oxford canal to Hillmorton Marina where they have a little dockside crane, suitable to lift an engine out of a boat. This I then did (OK, Colin the engineer actually did it) and over the course of the next week I scrubbed out a load of muck and rust from the engine bilge, treated it with Vactan and then primed and painted it before getting the engine put back in.

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  1. Greetings past, historic and a younger David…., or should that be ‘Darth Vapour’..
    Maybe so as the next vlog was ‘The Empire Strikes Black’..
    Obviously I have just been rewatching your past blogs…, (Again)
    I can’t believe I never passed comment on your earlier vlogs.. Perhaps because I never realised that they would turn into such an entertaining, little mini addiction..
    Was good to see you showing all of the due care and attention to the engine bilge..
    Said simply David, a job well done sir. Emperor Palpatine will be(was) pleased with the end result I’m sure..
    I tRUST that the seam welds were OK in that worst effected area and obviously had not lost enough of them to that pesky oxidisation process.. rust., and no rewelding was needed.
    Anyway, a good job sir.
    Kindest regards,

    PS: For potential future engine works, disconnects. Little zip lock baggies held in place with elestic bands or tape over the open ends of disconnected pipes will catch any dribbles… Or corks used as bungs

    • Cheers. Yes, in theory all the dribbles had already come out of the pipes so I wasn’t expecting any more as this was a couple of days after they were all disconnected and drained! So annoying :-(

  2. Was there any reason you didn’t put down that waterproof bitumen stuff at the bottom? I seem to recall you putting it in either the gas locker or the well decks. It’s supposedly waterproof and might stop any rust forming in the future as-and-when water inevitably gets in there.

    I suppose one reason why not might be that it doesn’t deal with the engine heat that well, or is affected somehow by diesel. Another might simply have been time :)

    (And yes, sorry, I’m late to the game here and catching up! Love the vlog, and am planning on moving back to the UK from USA and becoming a liveaboard in a couple of years. I’ve learnt a lot from your videos, so thank you!)

    • The blacking dissolves in diesel! Any time you get a diesel spill in the canal you’ll get boaters complaining about how it’s taken their blacking off at the waterline (which is also the area most prone to rust due to the combination of water and air)

  3. Hi David, just a thought, is there any merit in deliberately putting oil on the floor in the few compartments by the engine to prevent rust? just enough to move around during usual use? Wont look as gleaming, but would help with maintenance?

    • Now that I’ve repainted it with several coats, I’m hoping it shouldn’t need it but if ever it starts chipping off then maybe. Meanwhile, the engine has already dumped oil over the section underneath it so that’s taken care of :-)

  4. Excellent , highlighting all the stuff which make a simple job, perhaps, easy to doo. The agony of stuff; paint, drying, time to get the job done and all the things which conspire to get in the way. Enough of the blather, this is what we need to see, we all have these jobs to do in a boat, time to put these things into perspective, and this is done well. David, I hope you have a good shower installed…

    • Thank you. The boat shower is actually very good, only the relatively small hot water tank lets it down but while it runs, it’s great :-)

  5. Job Well Done David! I so much enjoy these DIY videos as we all get to share in your efforts and success!

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