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.

Friday, November 21, 2008



This week has been a chilly one. In the 30's and windy! This morning it was blowing sleet at 20 knots, icy BB's...

Went down and did some cleaning up on Pylasteki. Pulled up the tape covering the stantion holes, and sail track mounting holes and filled them with a shot of caulk to keep any water from entering the core.

I noticed that my starboard side deck needs to be reglassed... the top skin is totally shot. Bummer. If I'm going to do any sailing in the spring, I need to get her hauled out so I can finish those side decks...

I stopped by another boat yard that has a travel lift to check on pricing. Yikes! 200 to haul out, and 200 a week on the hard. Or 420 for a month and a half... plus a dollar fifty a day for electrical service. Guess I'll be skipping lunch for a while! Where I am docked now, is geared more towards shrimp boats, with fixed docks that are about eye level at low tide. The railway's spacing between cars is longer than my keel, so while not impossible... I'd have to weld up a cradle before pulling her out.

Sigh! I'll probably end up borrowing the painting barge for a few days instead. Power tools, floating platforms, and cold weather... all in a days work! 400-700 bucks buys more materials.

After the decks are solid I'll be dropping the mast. It really shouldn't be as big of a stumbling block as I'm trying to make it, but I have a way of coming up with the most complicated solution for the easiest of problems...

In other news I saw a sailboat with no keel! The underside is shaped like a scallop shell. Weirdest thing I've seen in a while... and thats saying something. (grin) Going to call on it tomorrow and see what the heck it is. Camera was out of batteries...


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Water tank removal, and water closet ponderings. Warning: Bathroom humor below.

Got back from the coast Friday. I've inverted my working schedule... instead of putting in a 30 hour weekend, I figure I'll starve down at the coast and put in a 30 hour week working on boats. One boat or the other is going to see some progress, come heck or high water. (Grin!)

Over the course of an afternoon this week, when I wasn't pondering the location of shower and head on Noel, I wandered over to Pylasteki and pumped out the bilge. Floorboards afloat... I felt like such an abusive boat owner. High water I guess. (Went to the Annapolis boat show, then down to Hilton head. Life gets in the way of boat projects. Whining ends here.)

I need to glass over the vents on the lazarette, as they allow a fair bit of rain water in...

I pulled the water tank out, and was quite surprised that it came out without having to cut anything! (Else? Grin) I then wandered over to my plywood scrap pile and grabbed an appropriately shaped wedge to set my head on. See picture above... For my non-boat lingo speaking readers, a toilet is called a head when it is on board a boat. In this case it is a head, on a board. Proper nomenclature allows for the hilarity of the english language to stand out...

Speaking of standing, one of my primary reasons for moving the head forward to the V-berth is the limited crouching head room in its old location. In its new location one can stand up while relieving themselves (given the proper anatomy to do such things of course) all the while with a very relieved expression on their face. I expect the next time you see someone standing up through a hatch... anyway...

For information purposes to my fellow Triton owners... I'm 6'1 and 190lbs... 32in inseam...
Plenty of seated head room. Who knows if it'll take a 5 point racing harness to stay seated while sailing... (Grin)

*Photo in black and white, because... well... there is nothing else romantic about this dialogue.

Zach -