It feels a bit that backwards is the new forwards. The big action in January and February has been stripping out all the wooden panelling and grinding the interior – yes, more grinding when I thought the grinding and cleaning was largely done for this year.
The inside of the boat was still filthy after all the welding and associated grinding, and there was a persistent trail of water from the aft starboard corner every time it rained and it was building up to a significant volume. I was bailing out 40 or 60 litres of water every week to 10 days (depending on how much it had rained). Digging around showed that the water was coming in somewhere around mid-ships but exactly where wasn’t clear because of the panelling on the sides (confusingly the panelling is called the ceiling on a boat). If I was going to remove the panelling to find the leak then it made sense to finish grinding the inside to get rid of the accumulated grime and any rust patches. There was also water coming in from above what any normal person would call the ceiling (the layer above your head) but which on a boat is called the deck head. Anyway, call it a ceiling or a deck-head it was clear the time had come to take it off. The wood used for the deck-head was good quality and about 9mm thick unlike the very thin stuff on the sides and so I numbered each strip before I took it off so it can go back where it came from if that’s what I want to do.
Like so much on this boat once the structure was exposed it was actually in pretty good condition with just a few minor rust patches. Two weeks of a daily blast of grinding got it all cleaned back to paint or bare metal.
The picture below also shows the source of the leak, it was coming in at the bottom of the port-light – so they will have to come out and be re-bedded!
I very nearly needed the same treatment – I’m not sure I have ever got so dirty!