Starting the remodel

I started by removing the toilet and entire holding tank system with hoses down to the bronze seacock and valve. I cleaned out the upper lockers and then as much of the areas where the new holding tank will be installed, including as much as I could reach under the toilet mounting platform. I started stripping and sanding the moulding and tongue and groove beadboard with paint stripper. My first couple of days I was dumb enough to begin the stripping and cleaning without a respirator, then came the morning with a compromised respiratory system and now wisely equipped with eye, hand and lung protection. I have a plan for the next tasks at hand and I’m curious at what order this will really play out.

What’s next:

Strip all of the beadboard down to bare wood then sand, seal and then repaint

Strip the lacquer off of the veneer, patch holes then lightly sand, seal and varnish

Remove glue from old wallpaper and add shower paneling or paint

Remove sink, faucet and top coat of countertop paint, then seal and repaint

Finish varnishing the moulding

Patch holes on wood floors, cut new holes for toilet then sand, seal and varnish

Caulk with clear latex, install finished moulding with new bronze screws

Once these steps are completed, I am ready to install the new faucet, holding tank and toilet. Right now I’m only at the varnishing stage with the moulding but so far it’s a great indicator to how glossy the rest of the veneer and floors will look. The first coat had filled in much of the surface so another two coats should demonstrate a smooth, high-gloss finish. I also am using a penetrating epoxy as the first primer coat to seal the wood since the bathroom wood will have the highest amount of humidity in the boat and the least amount of direct ventilation. Th

Penetrating epoxy drying on the bathroom moulding.
Penetrating epoxy drying on the bathroom moulding.

Since the finish work is so damn slow going, I am taking the in-between time to start replacing and rebuilding the other mechanical systems on the boat. I bought a new bilge switch and pump, plus hose and clamps so I have a brand new automatic bilge assembly. Getting the hose attached to the outlet was not easy. In order to reach over to attach the hose and screw the clamp on I had to open the cockpit floor to get better access to the engine compartment. Then I contorted myself to fit inside with both arms able to reach the hose barb and screw the clamp closed. Then once I had that finished I removed the bilge switch fuse from the electrical panel and clipped the wires to the old bilge and switch and then wired the new parts up. I am not happy with the wiring so later I will run new wires all the way from the electrical panel to the bilge but for now I just used the old wires as they seem to be mostly okay.

Next was learning where the switch was to be mounted. I really wanted both the bilge pump and switch at the bottom of the bilge but realized that the compartment is too small and the backwash from the pump would cause the switch to cycle on an infinite loop so remounting the switch to a higher point fixed the issue. Now I just need to deal with the remaining water using a diaphragm pump and a manual switch to keep the bilge bone dry. I know this isn’t a big deal with a lot of boat owners but I can see how having water under the flooring for extended periods of time can cause mildew and other odors I’d rather avoid. Solving this will not be difficult since it’s just to keep the bilge dry instead of move large amounts of water in a short period of time. Using a solid state sensor could also make keeping the bilge dry totally automatic while docked and connected to shore power. While underway I can just use a rag or run just once or twice per day instead of cycling as often as being docked.

Installing a new Rule 1100 and new switch into the bilge.
Installing a new Rule 1100 and new switch into the bilge.

I also ordered the holding tank, pump-out assembly and faucet this week. I need to cut out the countertop to install the tank. Once I have the tank in the locker and know what the faucet drill pattern looks like I can finish the countertop with new melamine paint. I’m not entirely sure how this is all going to come together but for now, I’ll focus on what I can do and keep ticking off the ‘to-do’ list to complete the project.

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