We discovered diesel fuel in our bilge, AGAIN. It happened this summer and Dave thought he had taken care of the leak. For a moment we thought it was left over diesel from this summer that had just settled in the bilge after moving the boat. But there was too much for that to be the case. The last time we filled the tank was from the jerry cans before we left Ft Pierce, FL. Dave spent the day checking for a leak in the system and came to the conclusion that it is from the tank whistle he installed a couple years ago since the hose was wet. At least that’s what he will test first. A tank whistle will whistles as the tank is being filled with a fast flowing fuel pump and stops when air stops flowing past it, and the tank is full. That warns you to stop before you overfill and spill fuel.
The fuel line had to be cut and the plastic fuel whistle was inserted into the two cut ends. Then 2 hose clamps were placed to hold it in place. Last summer, Dave thought maybe the hose clamps had damaged the hose, so he cut the ends for a better seal. Now he thinks there isn’t a good seal with those clamps. Dave is always hesitant to tighten a hose clamp over plastic for fear of cracking it. Since we have been generally filling our tank from the jerry cans and not at a fuel dock, he decided to remove the tank whistle.
After removing the whistle, he had to make a fitting that would connect the two hoses. He used brass fittings for garden hose. There is a rubber o ring between the fittings that may not be diesel tolerant. So when we get to Marsh Harbour, he will go to the hardware store to get a brass union. To clamp the hose, Dave was excited to use his line vice grip pliers. Always good to justify having these tools on board.
He then opened the bilge by removing the floor boards in the salon. He removed the bulk of the diesel with fuel “diapers”, cloth made to absorb fuel. He also went under the engine compartment to remove and diesel in that area. He also found a dead bug that shall not be named. We are going to wait to really clean the bilge with soap until after we move the boat again. We want to be sure the leak is fixed.
I spent the day cleaning the v-berth and forward head. We did basic cleaning of the heads and floors before leaving, but this needed a REAL cleaning. We are constantly fighting the mildew battle. We had the boat closed up with a window air conditioner in our v berth hatch this summer. So you can imagine the state of things.
In the past I have generally used vinegar and water. Once, for a more thorough job, I used ZEP cleaner which has bleach, and I felt it was pretty toxic. I had to wear goggles and a mask. I had read that using tea tree oil in the vinegar and water kills the mildew. So that’s what I used today.
I removed everything from our side shelves and cabinetry to wipe them clean. Where the ceiling and walls meet, there is a vinyl material that isn’t fastened, but tucked up loose. I pulled that down and wiped it, too. I even sprayed the mixture up into the area in hopes of killing mildew that I can’t see. I believe there is a toxic way of fumigating your boat to really get into those areas. We don’t feel we need that at this time. But if you ever recovered your boat from sinking, I am sure you would need that. I can see that I will have to attack some areas with the ZEP at a later date.
For the first time, I used Old English on the woodwork. I really liked the finish, especially in the areas we always grab with our hands. Nothing new or different with cleaning the head. Same old same old. My sisters still don’t believe I am doing that myself. If I ever start sewing, Janice said she will have to come check who Dave replaced me with.
We called it quits right before sunset and enjoyed a “sundowner” in the cockpit. Tomorrow is our 39th wedding anniversary and we couldn’t think of any place we would rather be.
Happy 39th Anniversary to us. When we look at the weather back in SD and MN, we are so happy to be here. Actually, we are so thankful that we are enjoying sailing together after 39 years of marriage. We’re in the minority in the sailing community. We had a lazy day of cooking and watching movies.
|make shift double boiler
|pretzels with almond bark and peanut butter and crushed Heath bars on top