Sunday 11 December 2011

Off to have our bottom blacked

Journey to Stafford Boat Club
November 2011

Other posts in this series:
1. Journey to Stafford Boat Club - this post
2. Stuck on slipways
3. Stripping and bare bottoms
4. Big black bottoms
5. All tanked up
6. Slipping back
7. A peek at my bottom

Its two and a half years since Wand'ring Bark was last out the water to have her bottom blacked and her hull is in need of some TLC. The bit above the waterline looks scrappy, but its the rust blooms beneath the surface which give cause for concern.

Teddesley Park Bridge

This will be the third blacking we have competed but till now its a job I have always left to the professionals. I like to do  what I can to the boat and re blacking the bottom is an obvious next task for the DIY list. Its not that I have been dissatisfied with the previous bits of work, but I would like to know exactly what state the hull is is as we approach her 10th birthday.

I cast around for somewhere to do this task and settled on Stafford Boat Club who are convenient and charge a competitive £250 for a winch out and a week on the hard standing. The dry dock at Stourport costs about the same and has the added benefit of a roof, bit it is two days cruising away and correspondingly further to drive.

Stafford Boat Club has a enthusiastic and friendly membership and its good to know that my money will be reinvested in their site.

It all turned out to be a bit of a rush in the end. I flew back from Kazakhstan on the Friday afternoon, Bones cane to stay and we had to drop a car off in Stafford, buy materials from Midland Chandlers in Penkridge and get some food before we could get to Calf Heath Marina, In  the end we cast off just before 1.00pm with about five hours of cruising ahead of us - there are not enough hours of daylight in late November!

The sun was setting was we passed through Penkridge and the last glimmers of sunshine slanted down the cut as we passed Teddesley Bridge. It was odd to see another boat occupying  Lady Hatherton's mooring at Teddesley - does anyone know where she is?

We were onto the headlight at Acton Trussell and stayed that way for the next hour and a half, passing a surprising number of moored boats, far more than I would expect this late in the season. We finally crept into Stafford Boat Club at 5.30pm and were promptly invited to the Country and Western evening. The head was willing but the body was just too weary, so we settled down to a couple of DVD's and an early night. Not bad for an end of season bonus.

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