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Project Log:  Tuesday, September 21, 2010

There were still six or seven through hull fittings still in place, all of which I wanted to remove.  I planned to replace and relocate the fittings as necessary; certainly the current collection was a haphazard mix of original, decent-quality fittings (including three Wilcox-Crittenden seacocks in the engine room) and marginal ball valves located elsewhere.

Besides the obvious (to me) need to refit all the through hull fittings with newer and better valves, I thought the existing locations would end up being less than ideal, and preferred to start with a clean slate.  During earlier parts of the unbuilding process, I'd already removed a half dozen through hull fittings from various places in the boat, mostly plastic vent and drain fittings above the waterline. 

The three "real" seacocks in the engine room were the only ones that were acceptably installed, though I'd be glad to start over nonetheless.  These flanged sea valves, a tapered-plug type, were secured with through bolts and backing plates.  I probably could have left these alone, but I didn't.  In any event, the engine intake seacock was only 1/2", far too small for the cooling water requirements of modern diesel engines.

With the seacocks bolted to the hull, I first attempted to remove the through hull fitting from the outside using a special tool, thinking the through bolts would hold the seacock from turning; in an ideal world, this might have worked.  Unfortunately, the tool didn't work properly in the style of through hull fitted, so I quickly gave up on the idea of being able to unscrew the fitting from the seacock. 

I scraped away the bottom paint around each fitting to expose the screw heads that I knew would be there, and was able to remove most of the through bolts without difficulty.  Not being one to waste time with attempts to save fittings that have no business being saved, I used a grinder to cut off the mushroom heads of the old through hulls, thereafter enabling me to remove the seacock and plywood backing plates easily from the inside.  Later, I'd remove the remaining threaded section from inside the seacock, as the three W/C valves would be worth saving for some future use or resale.

The three valves located in the head compartment were cheesy and not worthy of any efforts to save, and their installation allowed me to use a reciprocating saw to cut through the through hull stem from inside, cutting partially through the wooden backing plates in the process.  These fittings came out quickly.


With all the fittings out, I ground roughly circular dished areas around all the old holes in the bottom of the boat, including the old engine exhaust (located right at the waterline just aft of the starboard beam) and propane drain just below.  This prepared all the old holes for future patching, which would take place a little later in the process.  At some point during topsides prep, I'd similarly prepare the various holes located in the topsides.


Next, I returned to the cabin and removed the small edge sections of plywood from the cabin sole.  (You didn't really think I'd leave this in place, did you?)  These small sections, which had been inside cabinetry in the original interior, were in poor condition, dampened by water, and were barely secured with sections of loose tabbing and poorly-executed repairs to other sections.  I removed a few screws and the sections came out pretty easily, taking most of the tabbing with them.

Beneath the port side was yet more mud, silt, and debris, which I dug up and spread around to hasten drying before I attempted removal.



In the forward cabin, I removed some remaining sections of hose from the water tank, including the fill and vent hoses, plus a hose leading to and old deck washdown fitting.  I discovered that the supply hose was connected to a fitting on the aft lower side of the tank, which fitting was buried behind the bulkhead and foamed-in tank, so it became clear that I'd have to remove that bulkhead for access.  What a thoughtless design.  If I couldn't rebuild the forward cabin in such a way as to preserve reasonable access to this hose connection in the future, I'd have no choice but to trash the existing tank, since I didn't like the idea of a non-accessible fitting like this.  More on this later.

It seemed as good a time as any to remove the plywood ceiling support strips that someone had installed in the forward cabin.  These strips were secured with some sort of green-colored polyester paste.  With a chisel and hammer, I knocked them loose. Some of the globs of adhesive broke cleanly away, while others shattered and left clumps behind.  Later, during interior surface prep, I'd remove the remainder.


Finally, I unbolted and removed the four round ports located in the hull in the forward cabin.


Total Time Today:  5.5 hours

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