Removing The Bilge Plate Shoes

July 04, 2014 – Removing The Starboard Bilge Plate Shoe (Part Two)

To remove the starboard Bilge Plate Shoe, I needed to do some work inside the boat.  The first thing to do was to remove the starboard water tank from underneath the main salon starboard bunk.

I used my battery drill, with a flat screwdriver bit loaded into the drill’s chuck. I backed out the screws that held the bunk timbers in place.

I removed the water tank’s vent tube hose.

And, I removed the supply hose from the bottom of the water tank.

The supply adaptor that protruded out of the lower end of the tank was too long to allow the water tank to be lifted clear of the bunk area.  I needed to remove the adaptor. (I do not have plans to reuse the original water tanks, so what damage I might do to them didn’t matter to me.)

I muckled on to the adaptor with my pipe wrench and the fitting broke free very easily!  It turns out, this was two fittings fiberglassed into one. And, it leaked badly.  A very poor design, or some kind of repair.

After the supply fitting was removed, the water tank could be easily lifted out of the bunk and then transferred out into the cockpit.

I also removed what looked like an old “house battery” platform from underneath the bunk.

Next, I removed the Start Battery from underneath the Navigation Station.

Back outside the hull, I used my Makita grinder to deeply clean off the surface of the Bilge Plate Shoe so that I could expose the heads of the fastenings that were hold the shoe to the hull.

Some of the screws backed out easily.

Most of them didn’t!  Because I plan to replace the shoe, I didn’t mind “digging” a hole around the head of each screw, using a hammer and a screwdriver to do the excavating.

After all of the screws were removed, using the blunt end of a splitting maul, I drove the Bilge Plate Bolts up flush with the face of the shoe.

Then, I drove the bolts clear through and free of the hull using a hammer and a drift.

My dog Reuben supervised each step of the way!

Once the Bilge Plate Bolts were clear of the hull, I returned to driving wedges between the shoe and the exterior surface of the boat.

And, the Bilge Plate Shoe dropped free from the hull!

I climbed inside of the hull and gathered up the old Bilge Plate Bolts and backing plates.





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June 30, 2014 – Removing The Starboard Bilge Shoe From The Hull (Part One)

On this day, I decided to do some preliminary “poking around” to get a feel for what kind of condition “ElizaLin’s” hull was in.  Of specific interest was the area that is referred to as the “garboard / keel joint”.  On old wooden boats, this joint is notorious for breaking open and letting water in. On the wooden versions of the Golden Hind 31′, the exterior of the hull was covered with a product that I think was called, “Cascover”.  I believe this was a nylon fabric bedded into some kind of glue. On “ElizaLin”, the covering was breached along the garboard / keel joint and water had worked its way up between the fabric and the exterior surface of the plywood sheathing that makes up the hull.  This covering needed to be removed.

This is the garboard / keel joint that I am referring to, just above my fingers.

Here you can see that the original protective covering has broken down and separated from the plywood hull.

The removal of the loose covering was not much different than removing old canvas style wallpaper.  Just rip and tear!

I also did some removal of the old covering and old bottom paint with a putty knife and chisel.

To remove some of the decomposed “gunk” out of the garboard / keel joint, I used an old trick of creating a “reefing tool” out of the tang of a hand file.

I bent the tang of the file over in my shop vise.

Then, I ground a “blade” on the tang’s tip using my bench grinder.

A file repurposed to a reefing tool always works great!

I also did some exploring with my 8″ grinder; working down the old material covering the deadwood.

But, my real focus of the afternoon was to try to remove the starboard Bilge Plate Shoe.  To do this, I used my 4″ Makita grinder to clean off all of the “old scale” and bedding compound from the face of the shoe.

This work exposed the heads of a few fastenings at the very ends of the shoes.  I tried to back them out with a screwdriver, but the fasteners were just too corroded and they broke underneath the efforts of me trying to remove them.

“Plan B” led me to cut some wedges from a scrap piece of 2 x 4.

Using a hammer, I drove several of the wedges between the shoe and the hull to begin to force the mating joint apart.

This process revealed that there were other fastenings that were holding the Bilge Plate Shoe to the hull.  These fastenings needed to be located and removed for the Bilge Plate Shoe to drop away from the boat.

Here is one of those fastenings.

I cut that screw and drove more wedges between the shoe and the hull.  I didn’t get very far before I quit for the day.  The Maine mosquitoes were getting the better of me!









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