|Looks harmless enough right?|
There was much to do, and so upon his departure he gave me the homework of removing this awkwardly placed and impossible to reach in-line stainless steel sea preventer (?) box from down below so that he might come over and extract the prop shaft later.
I was enthusiastic about the project though a bit cautious about what I would have to do structurally to get to this "extraction" point! He advised an access point to port via the lazarette. That made sense, however after some "Hot Yoga" trying to get positioned in there head forward body sliding toward electrical panel, I thought there had to be a better way. Dripping in sweat, I gave it some thought, but before I arrived at an answer, I decided it was time for "Cross Fit" and I descended the ladder to get something cold to drink. That would certainly boost my mental prowess I figured.
Back aboard, I sat in the cockpit looking down through the sole, a pedestal mount being the only access from above, and thinking how useless this pedestal thing was for me. I would not put a wheel helm at that point on this boat because the cockpit is simply not large enough to accomodate such a structure. Too, there'd have to be a system of pullies and relays...too much.
So, a deck hatch might be the preferred solution for this area. Something large enough to enable hands-on work on the through hulls, the shaft, the tubes, etc., that was what I was thinking. Armed with that decision, I went back to Hot Yoga and entered the lazarette, yes, entered feet first, then legs into bilge area back of engine, leaning against one of those enormous fenders to keep me from tearing up the electrical panel. Once in, what to do now?
I say Hot Yoga, because our neighbor's daughter introduced us to that idea in casual conversation, speaking highly of the art form. Hot means you sweat in the heat. Yoga means body contorting to fit the environment. And so once there I left one leg in and the other 90 degrees toward stern permitting me just enough room to begin wrestling with the stainless steel box still holding on to its exhaust hose and its stern hose. Unrelenting. It was better at Hot Yoga than me. But I managed to pull the box through the hole I had cut in the lazarette-to-bilge area. While pulling, I twisted it like an arm wrestling contest, and noticed the slightest movement of the hose, aha!, I thought I would win! It took me about 30 minutes of arm wrestling to wrest the box from the cyclops exhaust pipe which was suctioned onto the end of it. I was soaked as I lifted the box onto the cockpit sole and took a breather before trying to figure out how to extract myself without injury from my predicament.
|I have no idea why this is here other than that as one fellow "AlBerger" told me, it might have been a seawater preventer for situations where following seas might flush into the exhaust against the engine. A probable scneario.|
So, next will be to insert the deck hatch and move towards re-arranging the electrical, putting batteries in the "ice box" to port of the hatch stairs, and re-routing the wiring to meet the needs of the batteries and remove them from tangling with the engine. In no way am I proficient at this stuff, I'm taking photos so I can put things back in correct order. I just know that the batteries were below the water line and the bilge was sketchy, so I've got to make some changes now while I can, as once she's in her slip all this stuff will be much more difficult.
There are too many anomalies in this bilge so my idea is to replace and refit as necessary and to re-route electrical, making this area as difficult as it is, manageable even so. I don't anticipate a lot of use of the diesel but I do want it to be regularly tended to so that in times of crisis it is available and ready.