Limber Holes and Limbo Dancing

This weekend’s entertainment saw me limbo dancing at bizarre angles in the depths of the hull trying to get to the bolts holding the steel frames. At one point balanced precariously on my midriff, head down in the belly of the engine bay I felt myself toppling forward and briefly wondered, if my outstretched legs had not countered the motion and, pendulum like, swung me back, how long it would have taken my wife to find me wedged upside down in there and effect a rescue. Later that evening over a glass of wine I was unsurprised to learn… quite a long time!

a very narrow space to find yourself wedged in!
a very narrow space to find yourself wedged in!

 

Taking a forum buddy’s advice I set about drilling a hole in the stringer to access the trapped nut. (see last post) A hidden nail means I now need to spend some time sharpening my 1″ bit. 😦

Grinding the rust and accumulated build up of paint and dirt off the steel floors was very satisfying, if a little alarming when the amount of corrosion was revealed. If they hadn’t been galvanised I dread to think how bad they would have been.

Some of the Frames removed and about to be cleaned
Some of the Frames removed and about to be cleaned
Pattern of corrosion. Note the limber hole
Pattern of corrosion. Note the limber hole

Where this plate was in contact with the wood and sealed with putty the steel is relatively clean, but in the centre it is deeply pitted from contact with the damp mulch that had accumulated there. The three steel plates have limber holes (holes designed to let water drain to the lowest point of the bilge where the pump is) none of the strap steel floors have this so there will always be a tendency for water to pool behind each one – a recipe for corrosion. The flat bottoms of the floors are so corroded I’m tempted to get new ones welded on and bolt them back through wooden blocks that incorporate limber holes….. I feel a little sketch coming on… something like this maybe?

Killing two birds with one stone. Adding limber holes and removing rusted frame bottoms.
Killing two birds with one stone. Adding limber holes and removing rusted frame bottoms.

I am definitely still on the egg breaking stage of this nautical omlette, Flamingo is looking very sad and grubby inside. I might spend some time this weekend giving the inside a really thorough clean, it needs to be done and will help show up any other problems I’ve missed.

Both benches gone and evidence of water ingress.
Both benches gone and evidence of water ingress.

I think she must have been left with water in her for some time, which would explain the poor state of the steel floors and the brown muck everywhere. Seriously thinking it may be sensible to remove the whole interior and start with a blank canvas….

of course there are always other jobs to do
of course there are always other jobs to do

Sometimes it helps to not work on the boat. Time doing other jobs is good thinking time, time to imagine the gleaming interior, new floors glistening, paint work bright and woodwork glowing… 🙂

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