As I mentioned yesterday, we had a long weekend. The salmon fishing charter I had tried to plan for fell through. Finding charters with available time slots turned out to be no problem. Finding people who wanted to go with us was another story. Matt found two of his Marine buddies who wanted to go, but that was about it. Maybe a different weekend.
My best friend decided to drive up, though, with her husband and one year old. It was great to visit with them. I hadn’t seen them since about two years ago, when we took a 25 mile, overnight kayaking trip. This was obviously well before their son was born. We hung out, and spent a considerable amount of time at Madison’s yearly Bratfest, held every Memorial Weekend. I ate nearly my weight in bratwursts and roasted corn. We listened to some mediocre music, in spite of the chilly, cloudy, rainy weather. They headed back home on Monday morning.
Since the salmon charter fell through (Plan A), and the boat had yet another fiery failure (Trolling for pike and muskie was plan B), Matt opted for his Plan C for my birthday. To run around to all the outdoors stores and let me pick out my gift. Unfortunately, I didn’t see anything I really wanted, but getting to spend time with Matt was worth it.
We got home, donned our painters’ suits and respirators, and started in on the Ditch Boat.
We got a lot done. I disconnected the two fish finder cables from their transom parts and from the screen. I also un-bolted the various hydraulic parts on the stern of the boat. Once these were all removed, we managed to slowly rip out the transom. The bottom half was rotten and went easily. The top, not so much. The glue there was still holding very well. I worked on sanding that down while Matt sanded off the bits of ledge left on the sides.
Tuesday afternoon, we managed to get a lot more work on it done. I chiseled and pried off the last of the plywood hanging on from the transom, and then sanded down some of the glue spots.
Matt got the last bits of the floor and ledges ground off, so we have a fresh surface to begin fiberglassing on.
There’s fiberglass dust everywhere. Matt also started brushing some of the rust off the fuel tank.
My dad cautioned us against reusing it. He’d had an old Ford dump truck that he’d salvaged. The engine ran, but the fuel tank was so rusted out, that any time they went to a job site, they’d take 6 or 7 extra fuel filters, and swap them out every 5-10 miles. Hopefully this tank will not be that bad. Replacing a roughly 50 gallon fuel tank, of this very specific shape would be expensive. Matt’s researching right now how to patch the rust holes, as well as a coating my dad mentioned for the interior of the tank.
Next up is to brush out a lot of the dust, remove the console and label the very messy wiring harness, and to remove some of the softened, wet fiberglass under where the gas tank sits. After that, we’ll move it up to the asphalt of our driveway and start the fiberglassing process.