In the week after the engine came out, I was left with access to my bilges. These are usually hidden away behind an unmovable wooden wall, with access blocked by the engine. As far as I can tell these had not seen the light of day for two decades (my boat was built in 1993 and there are no signs of the engine having been out since then). It appears that they weren’t even painted, or if they were, there’s no paint left.
I was appalled at the state of them, frankly. The rust was thick, and not in a good way. My boat is my home, as well as my boat, and the sign of that much rust really wasn’t a very comforting thought.
I attacked the rust. The only thing for it at first was a crowbar. The next implement was a paint scraper, followed by an old pair of scissors, a wire brush and finally sandpaper. I hereby make a public vow to my bilges. I will never let you get wet like this again.
The bilges are the bits round the side and the back. Directly underneat the engine is the sump. We won’t talk about that. But I pumped out at least 5 litres of what I can only describe of as a mixture of diesel, engine oil, water and … biomass.
Here are some pictures in my bilges' journey from soaking and rusty to de-rusted and painted.