"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

The weather is warm enough now that we can’t really use the line “oh, but we’re going to start building our new bedroom as soon as it warms up” anymore.

The time had come to “shit or get off the pot”, as my Dad would say.

The first step was to empty the ballast water tanks which are under the floor of our future bedroom. So we lifted up two floorboards, and James cut a hole in one of the interconnected rectangular tanks (the same design as those which store our fresh water and have given us so much trouble).

James cutting into the ballast tank Bosco is curious

The water looked worse than it actually was due to the shavings from cutting the hole. But I still wouldn’t want to drink it, or find it in the hull 5 years after we’d built our lovely room on top of it…

The murky depths

Then we dropped the submersible pump into the tank and let it pump the water overboard, which surprisingly only took a few minutes to empty.

Like most things on Hendrik, we’ve found that whenever we remove something, we find hidden surprises left there by the Kanotel’s former patrons. This time, we found empty weed packets when we lifted the floor boards! I can just imagine some teenager hiding the evidence under the floor…

Under the floorboards, weed packets

So after draining the tanks, we had a wonderful 11 days driving all around France, and when we got back, we used our newfound vigour to demolish the port bunkbed room (so our friend Josh was officially the last to sleep in a Hendrik bunkbed!).

Bunkbed room destruction

Happily, we discovered there was an arm’s length air gap between the hull and the wall back there, so my future sewing room is going to be a tad bigger than I’d imagined!

Bunkbed room destruction - extra arm length of room!

It actually only took us a morning to take down the whole room, plus bag up 4 bingbags full of Rockwool to reuse in the interior walls (we’re putting Celotex against the hull), and stack up the refuse neatly in preparation for the skip.

Bunkbed room destruction - fully demolished Bunkbed room destruction - full width

You can see the “before” state on the right!

The next step is to similarly demolish the starboard room, the central linen cupboard, and a metre or so up the hull on both sides. And the celiings over all that space.

We had a few neighbours round to get their opinion on the state of the hull (and to show off. Ok, mostly to show off!) and we heaved a sigh of relief that it’s looking better than we had expected:

Bunkbed room destruction - state of the hull

The general consensus is that it just needs some wire brushing to get the loose paint off, then a good dose of hammerite before we can put some nice, new Celotex against the hull.

Though Bosco did have to have some sulking “alone time” when he’s discovered we destroyed Treat Lady’s room, which was one of his favourite cat caves, snuggled under a duvet on the top bunkbed…

Bosco on the dry dock

- posted by Melissa Fehr on 10 May 2011, 16:37 in