Keel Tank Removal -Part 3

It’s out. Finally!

I have to say that was one of the worst jobs I have ever had to complete on a boat. I have never been so dirty, smelly or sore in all my boat renovation projects.

I am going to let the pictures tell the story and will keep my comments short.

Here I have managed to cut the rest of the glass flange that is holding the tank in place and I was able to move it a couple o finches without any issue so thankfully I knew it was free.This is not as quick and painless as it looks, getting to this part from initially freeing the tank was about an hour.Something strange with that light, seems to add a shiny spot on the top of my head…Post tank removal. Now there was about 4 inches of shit to clean out. I assume it was what was left of the foam but of course it was drenched in black crap. So what did I learn from this project?

On our last boat we had a strange smell that only surfaced when we were under way. We had cleaned every square centimetre of the bilge multiple times and when at anchor or moored, the bilge smelt like flowers. Get the boat moving and it was disgusting. I have a solid belief that I know what the cause was now. There was no keel tank, however I think the encapsulated ballast had seawater fermenting around it, it is the only thing I can think of.

The keel tank is absolutely MASSIVE in size. I will be putting another tank down there, but it will not be aluminum or stainless, it will be plastic so nobody (me when I am 90) ever has to deal with a rotted out tank down in the bilge.

In hindsight we probably should have done this job right in the beginning when I was 3 years younger.

Nothing in boat repair is impossible for the do it yourselfer. We could have paid to have this done, but where is the fun in that?

Another Whitby owner who did this job commented that if he had to do it again, he could probably do it in about 3 1/2 hours. Well, I am sure I could make the same claim, or close to it now, but as is common with everything, take your initial estimate and multiply it. In this case, basically 3.5 hours meant 3.5 days for us.

I also learnt that I am getting tired of rebuilding boats.

At some point, I will put all of this together into a handy guide for any other Whitby 42 owner, in the meantime, if you have questions, please send them my way, and I will be glad to do everything in my power to talk you into paying someone else to do the job! And no I am not doing it 🙂

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