I know who you are by reputation and I respect that.
Firstly I don't have any engine leaks
, no seeps either, I've made my living maintaining and testing aircraft and I cannot stand a dirty engine
, my engine is cleaner than most peoples dishes, I have no need for oil absorbent pads, but I have several under my engine, just as I have several fire extinguishers, because I have had oil leaks
in the past and will again. I put a remote
mount oil filter
on not too long ago only to have the O ring fail and dump oil, but none went into the bilge, it all was caught in the pan under the engine.
But my bilge is not bone dry, I have the old fashioned shaft seal
and a keel
,so when it rains, I get rain down my mast
. I have no idea what it is, but slime seems to form in my bilge, I'm not talking about enough so it smells or anything, but you can see and feel it on the fiberglass
, and a little dust of course because well boats get dusty too.
I have never pressure washed my bilge and don't intend to, not when a few tablespoons of dish washing
detergent keeps them clean. I don't understand how a few teaspoons of dish washing
detergent is bad for the environment
, not anyway since phosphate was removed how many decades ago? We put way more detergent in the water
form our sink washing dishes than we do from our bilge.
And yes, believe it or not but nature has a way of taking care of even petroleum, we are not talking spills like the Valdez here, ships sink even in peace time taking thousands of gallons of oil with them when they do, and yet nature struggles on.
But even if there were a few ounces of oil in my bilge, and I do the right thing and soak it up with absorbent pads, what then? Throw them away? Where is away, exactly?
Vast majority of petroleum that ends up in my Marina basin comes from the parking lot, when it rains the storm drains dump into the basin bringing with it all the oil from the cars that leak it, there is no oil separator in the storm drains and they are cheap
and easy to install. The evilness of emulsifying oil is that the emulsified oil will flow through a separator, but if there is no separator, then it's irrelevant.
I think the amount of petroleum coming from sailboat bilges to be minuscule compared to other discharges.