Saturday, 17 December 2011

Big Black Bottoms

DIY Bottom Blacking Part 3
November 2011

We left the project with the hull stripped and laid bare, shivering nervously like a bashful bride on the slipway. 

Applying the first coat of bitumen

With no time to waste we had our lunch whilst the hull dried out and then it was out with the paint brushes and the Sealex bitumen. The choice of covering is quite simple as far as I can see. Two pack epoxy is by far the best and offers up to five years protection but this needs a perfectly prepared shot blasted starting point. Then its Comastic followed up with the standard bitumen finished like Sealex. In reality there is only one viable choice - to stick with the type you already have on - the coverings are incompatible so don't try to change.


First coat on

We came armed with 20 litres of Sealex from Spencer Coatings - about £90 worth in total and a bunch of brushes we would be happy to discard at the end of the project.

Sealex B130

We set to with passion, starting with a wide band at the waterline where the corrosion is the worst, and then following it with a complete coat from base plate to gunnels.



















Does my bottom look big in this photo?


Its a dirty old job, especially under the uxter plate (which is where we sent Adam!). We slapped on a good thick coat, only stopping as darkness fell accompanied by a slight drizzle. Tilly joined us briefly, together with her boyfriend, Jack. I was in such a grimy state that even Tilly declined the offer of a kiss!

Jack with Tilly

Adam and I returned to the task the next day, finding a fortunate window between bands of rain and managed to apply the next 10 litres of bitumen. This gave us two good coats over the main areas and four coats at the waterline. Its a slow and knackering task but we made it, just as the rain returned at 3.00pm. 

Job done

We then left the boat for  four days, letting the bitumen cure in the balmy unseasonal 10 degree heat. This is very lucky considering the icy conditions which prevailed at the same time last year. I returned alone on the next Saturday and applied the last couple of litres of Sealex to any areas which looked thin or had been missed, repainting the stern bands plus reattaching the fenders to the bows and stern - ready for relaunch on Sunday.

3 comments:

bert the gnome said...

A job well done

Ross

Captain Ahab said...

Ross
The test will be how well it lasts!

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