A 44 gallon fiberglass fuel tank took up most of the bilge. This is where the water tanks will be installed.
first order of business was to gut the interior. I began this effort
in Texas. I tore out most of the interior. I naively thought I would
keep some of it an reuse it. I carefully packaged up the VHF and HF
radios. I bagged and labeled other components and associated
fasteners. Now that my wood working skills have progressed, and given
the scope of the project, it will make more sense to craft make new
trim vice trying to use the old trim.
learned a great deal about how boats are put together by taking this
one apart. I also learned that it's nearly impossible to take one
thing out of the interior without taking five other things out first.
I believe this to due to several reasons. First, most of the interior
in modern production boats is installed before the deck is fastened to
the hull. It makes sense given that the builders are trying to keep
their costs down to produce a less expensive boat. It is faster to
build a boat this way. Second, the people building the boats don't
have to repair them. Last, I think few builders are actually out there
sailing and repairing their own boats. Otherwise, they would not put
components together in such a manner that they can't be easily removed,
changed, or repaired.
Note the dust from grinding. A full face respirator is required.
a boat is a nasty job. The easy part is using a screw gun to remove
fasteners. Where it gets tough is cutting out fiberglass with an angle
grinder--water-tank support cradles, fuel tanks, and furniture that is
glassed in place. The mess is indescribable. My Makita 4 1/2 inch
grinder has been a work horse. I also use an 8 inch Makita variable
speed grinder with a soft pad that makes quick work of grinding down
tabs and other mastic that I could not cut out. I started with a half
respirator and goggles. I have sense transitioned to a 3M 6000 series
full face respirator. I shouldn't have waited so long. If you are
thinking about performing this kind of work, I think the full face
respirator is a must.
I kept most of the hardware--pressure
water pumps that I won't use again and the Sea Frost refrigeration
system (I'll take these to a consignment shop), the sink, various
brackets, all the bronze fittings, hinges, any bolts and nuts in good
shape, etc. Everything else I threw out to include all the furniture.
I pulled out what seemed like miles of wire. I removed and sold the
engine and tranny. I took out the wheel steering system. I threw away
the ancient Bendix auto pilot.
Cutting out the fiberglass headliner.
The headliner was a one piece fiberglass unit that extended from the forward part of the forward cabin back to just under the bridge deck and it also covered the quarter-berth. Additionally, it fit against the cabin sides and under the side deck. It was massive. It was installed to the deck before it was placed on the boat and fastened to the hull. Where it fit over the top of the bulkheads, the headliner had molded in "beams" filled with a kind of hard mastic and the bulkheads were screwed at the top into this protrusion of the headliner.
Cutting out the headliner was not a decision taken lightly. I sat for a while in the boat and thought about why it should come out. First, aesthetically I did not like it. It looked plastic. Given all that I planned to do to the boat, I thought it would always detract from the planned woodwork. Second, I could not attach deck hardware or modify the location of existing hardware because I could not get access to the underside of the deck to install backing plates. I would have to cut holes into the headliner and then develop a way to patch or cover the holes without being an eyesore. Third, the headliner was marketed as an insulating vapor barrier, but since it was open along the edge where the hull and deck are joined it was not really a vapor barrier and therefore had little or no insulating quality. Lastly, there would be no way to determine the source of any deck leaks since the water would drop down from the bottom of the deck onto the headliner and dribble along until it made its way out along the edge. And I already noticed leaks along the side of the bare hull whenever I washed the deck with a garden hose. I did not know where the water was coming from. The headliner had to come out.
I used my 4 1/2 inch grinder with a cut-off wheel and carefully cut the liner out in sections. It was a truly horrific job. Where adhesive was used to fasten it to the underside of the deck I had to use a hammer, wrecking bar, and a chisel to get the liner down. I also used a small Dremel with a cut-off wheel (which I proceeded to burn up) to cut the tight inside corners. Even though I tried to use the Dremel sparingly, and without too much pressure, it would get so hot I could hardly hold it. I sent the Dremel back to the factory based on their 5 year warranty (mine was about 4 years old) and they promptly fixed it, gave me a new accessory for my trouble, and shipped it back for free! Now that's customer service.
It took three half days to cut the liner out. It really tested my resolve. I was concerned about my state of mind while I was doing it but when it was done I was sure it was the right thing to have done.