Preview: BONNY BRIDE Progress — Restoring a Wooden Lobster Boat, Part 7: De-greasing, New Frame Ends, Replacing Rusty Bolts

November 6, 2014

Avatar Walt Ansel

I’m back working on the BONNY BRIDE after a summer of CHARLES W. MORGAN sailing and teaching at the Woodenboat School. It’s been a very busy and exciting time. But it’s also a relief to be home and back on the BRIDE project.

The BRIDE’s old 4-71 Detroit diesel went to Cape May to repower a self-righting U.S. Coast Guard lifeboat that a friend of mine is rebuilding for a museum down there.


Garboards off IMG_3395

The engine space on the BRIDE was coated with a heavy layer of oil and grease that the Detroit had leaked and sprayed on it for thirty years, thoroughly coating planking, floors and frames. To clean up this area, I removed the garboards along with the concrete that had been used to fill the voids between the keel and frames. Then I started witha scraper and putty knife and was able to remove most of the grease and oil, although my poor old Shop Vac suffered and still seems to be under the weather. My next step was to buy heavy-duty automotive de-greaser and a variety of sacrificial brushes. To capture the rinse water, I rigged a plastic hammock under the garboards, which was loaded with oil absorbent pads. The de-greaser (purple stuff) worked great. Brushes, however, were fairly ineffective, but very coarse Scotch-brite pads seemed work. I wore rubber gloves, oilskin pants and safety glasses. Two passes of scrubbing and rinsing got me down to the red lead primer. The water that had drained into the plastic hammock was the color of hot cocoa. I let this settle for a week, then decanted off the layer of liquid, and threw away the sediment with the plastic.

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