Spills and Bilges

Baling is easiest using a cut-off milk carton or a dustpan.

Disposing of oil contaminated bilge water.

As someone who does a lot of servicing on my own and other boats, I wanted a good way of disposing of the really nasty oil and water mixes that I have to clean up. This is the technique I use.

If faced with a large volume of dirty water in a bilge I pump it into a 25 litre brewing bucket with a tap on the bottom. After standing for a while the water settles and can be drained off leaving the oil behind. As an additional precaution I filter the drained off water through sawdust before letting it go. The remaining oil is mixed with sawdust.

Dirty bilges are best cleaned with dry sawdust. Sawdust soaks up the water and oil beautifully. If it is not too damp I burn it in my log burner. If very wet I spread it on a plastic try in the sunshine and the water evaporates.

An oil and sawdust mix actually burns very cleanly if it has a small proportion of water still in it - about 10% and helps to heat the boat nicely.