Wednesday, 21 March 2018

A bad weekend for blacking

A bad weekend for blacking
21 March 2018

Way back in the summer I booked the boat onto the slip way at Hawne Basin, opting for late March as I figured it offered the best chance for mild weather. Big mistake.

 Leaving the Longwood building site

Our two day trip from Longwood was pleasant weather wise, but being one of the first boats out and about meant we encountered a lot of submerged debris, notably a silt bank in Rushall bottom lock and then an array of washing machines and shopping trollies on the way up the Riders Green flight.

M5 gridlock

The boat was hauled out of the water at 8.30 am and promptly pressure washed, exposing lots of loose bitumen. The weekend forecast was for the Beast from the East Mk 2 so I made hay on the Friday, stripping it all down with a roto blaster disc and then applied a coat of undercoat to the gunnels, a layer of bitumen to the waterline and then a coat over all the sides in the afternoon. The afternoon was rounded off with a coat of topcoat to the gunnels before turning in for the night.

End of day 1

I woke on Saturday to a very different Hawne Basin. Gone was the mild spring weather and in its place it was -2c and blowing a gale straight into the shed. The bitumen was warmed but even so it cooled fast and went on very thick, more smearing than painting. That said, I managed to complete the blacking but there was no way I could do any more painting.


The plan had been to spend the weekend doing all sorts of painting, but all this had to be abandoned and Helen was called to come and rescue me. 

Stern snowdrift

The weather got worse and worse over the weekend with drifts building up around our home and I have to admit I feared for the boat exposed up on the slipway. It was with some trepidadion I returned on  Monday, with the temperature hovering just above freezing. I was so glad I hadn't tried to tough it out on the unheated boat as a drift had accumulated on the back deck and a small one had even accumulated inside the back cabin! Fortunately the systems on the boat survived the frost.

Internal snowdrift

The weather was just good enough to paint the stern and attach the fenders ready for relaunching on Friday - the rest of the painting will have to wait.

The application of the blacking is functional, but the thickness means it has more sags than usual. Hey ho - I will have to repeat the whole exercise again in three years.    

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