Ants and Boat Guts.

Getting home from our trip to the lakeside wasn’t the end of our weekend last night. We still had a little bit of demolition left to do on the boat. There was still the whole front end left to gut.

So, I got to un-screwing everything holding up the partition board the console was attached to. The wiring on the back of that thing is an absolute bird’s nest. I hope we can reuse it, because it looks really cool, but the gauges are all clouded. We’ll see. The less new we have to buy for this thing, the happier I am.

Once we yanked that out, Matt chipped and pried out some more of the fiberglass floor and the foam between that and the hull. After that, we couldn’t get at any more of the floor without ripping up the ugly green vinyl covering the interior of the boat. So Matt took a breather and I got to ripping, yanking, and pulling. I got most of it out. The process gets a little difficult right at the prow of the boat, and we finally decided to figure that out later. We just wanted to get the last of the floor and that nasty, sodden foam out.

On this part of the boat, though, it was more sheltered from the elements. The fiberglass floor isn’t falling apart, and it isn’t yielding to the pressure from the shovel or the crow bar. Matt had to resort to using his metal grinder. He donned a respirator (thank goodness- the fiberglass dust plus the fumes of the hot, soggy, old foam?) and got to work.

The black circle was a necessity folk. Sorry Matt.

The black circle was a necessity folks. Sorry Matt.

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It was a pretty muggy night for only mid-May. Considering we had a frost last weekend.

It was a pretty muggy night for only mid-May. Considering we had a frost last weekend.

When I had been pulling out the vinyl, the sun had just gone down and we hadn’t pulled out the worklights yet. I saw all these little bugs and didn’t think much of it. But as Matt got to grinding, cutting, and pulling out more of the foam, it became obvious. The foam was infested with carpenter ants.

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Gross, but at least not termites, which could move into the house, and which I would need a professional exterminator for. We didn’t have any Raid, so I laid down a bunch of ant traps once we cleaned up, and I’m grabbing some Raid or something this afternoon. Anyhow, some more cutting and grinding went on. I asked Matt “So when does it stop being floor and start being hull?” Soon, he said. A few minutes later the grinder cuts out and I hear “Uh oh”. He has me go around to the front of the boat as he shines a flashlight on the floor.

The motto of this boat will be "I can totally fix that"

The motto of this boat will be “I can totally fix that”

I took that photo this morning. He was a lot more careful with the rest of the grinding. And we decided to leave the more delicate work at the prow of the boat for a day when we were both less tired. But a lot more foam came out, almost all of it really. We scooped it out and swept up a lot of the debris. We’re about to the point now where, once he grinds and cuts off the last vestiges of the floor, we can hose out the dust and actually start restoring her.

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Some time today I’m going to give my dad a call to see if he can make it up here to help with the engine. Maybe even over Memorial day weekend. My birthday is this Sunday, and I wanted to take a salmon fishing trip on Lake Michigan, but I would be greatly surprised if the charters aren’t all booked for the holiday weekend. But if we could get my dad to drive up, and get the motor started, I’d call that a decent birthday gift.

 

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