Pylasteki is a 1961 Pearson Triton sailboat. She is one of my personal project boats... I am rebuilding her as a blue water cruiser.

Enjoy, if you have any questions or comments, drop me line:


Thursday, November 27, 2008

The bilge.

Welcome... to the Bilge.

The bilge on a boat, the down low. Where all the refuse of the ages ends up, as it drips, falls, crumbles, or oozes to its eventual resting place. A friend calls this goo, "The Funk of The Ages." Proper nomenclature is paramount in all things. Gravity helps all this "Stuff" collect in the valley between the two sides of the hull, where it ferments... and turns into "Bilge Goo - The Funk of The Ages." A song well known to the sailor.

Pylasteki's bilge isn't all that funky, at least in comparison to others I've shoveld out. The shear difference in scale is enough to make one thankful of small boats. Forget the lower operating costs, reduced bottom paint, and ease of docking. Speedy bilge cleanup is the best part. It will simply be a task of days, instead of weeks.

Nevertheless, such jobs are thankless no matter the scale. No one can quite express what it is like to carry buckets of goo, and well composted wood forth from a belly of the beast. It is a job that must be done, to be understood. Walking the dock, with "The look," everyone that has done it... knows from wence you came. A grimace, and well wish... and back down the hatch with you!

That isn't all. No... Boats have had engines for several generations now. Unless you are one of those lucky sailors, whose boat has never had an engine tucked in its neither regions... Those of us who have done engine-dectomies, still have decomposed dinosaurs to clean up after.

Those oil drippings do eventually mix with water... sort of. It turns into an emulsion, which floats around until someone shoots soap in the bilge.... Instead of floating on the top of the water, it then settles out... and deposits an even coat, of never drying soap scum on everything. Fantastic! Its like grease... thats wet! Icky. (At the writing of this, my eyes are crossed and I'm sticking out my tongue. That visual, describes what it means to clean a bilge.)

The look involves:

Smudged clothing. Particularly the pockets... knees.
At least one smudge, across the forehead, and or tip of the nose...
Hands outstretched, away from the jeans and any other object that needs to remain clean. (Even a Rabbi's blessing cannot clean something from the bilge.)
One if not both shoes... will have bilge droppings on them.

To my fellow bilge rats, I would like to qoute Theodore Roosevelt

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly.... who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” T.R.

Do not fail in the bilge. Do not fall in the bilge. While it would be quite difficult, if not impossible to fall into Pylasteki's bilge... those timid souls that never start off to conquer the "Battle of the Bilge" (Props to Rachel for that name...) don't know that.

Zach - Shamefully, with no pictures of the progress... Camera had dead batteries.


Anonymous said...

I'm thinking a trip to Goodwill for disposable bilge cleaning clothes (and shoes!) would be a good investment. Then when you are done the final ritual would be to burn the sacrificial clothing.

Just a thought...

Zach said...

Ritual and sacrificial clothing... I love it! Grin!