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Daybreak
Daybreak

Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:37pm

Post Subject: Bilge area / engine bay floor painting

Hi have recently purchased a 40ft narrowboat and notice the engine bottom of the engine bay is showing slight rust marks through the grey primer originally used. Should I just repaint over (as now dried the area completely) with grey primer or would hammerite be a better option - or does it have to stay I primer finish as is all engine bay area? Appreciate advise on if hammerite metal paint is not to be used on boats for some reasons I cant think of myself. thanks John

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:50pm

Post Subject: Bilge area / engine bay floor painting

First we must distinguish between the engine drip tray and the bilge areas. The drip tray is normally formed by the front bulkhead, the two engine beds (the bits the engine is bolted to) and a vertical plate welded between the beds behind the engine. The bilge areas are the roughly triangular areas either side of the engine beds or right at the back of the swim (below the stern gland). Most people do not bother over much with the drip tray because it is usually covered with a film of oil and fuel spilt during servicing. It is hard to deal with this area properly unless you take the engine out. The rest of the bilge is often painted but even though you say the area has dried I would suspect it will still be damp at this time of year. In know Hemple and International produce Bilge and Locker paint specifically designed for this task but as long as you make sure the area isleery well degreased and abraded to give the new paint a key then any paint is better than nothing. I suspect this will turn out to be a two to four yearly task. I suppose that in truth the rusty areas should be ground out to bright metal, any remaining rust dealt with, then primed and top coated several times. However I just degrease and abrade followed by one or two coats of the Hemple product. Many boaters have sworn by Hammerite in the past but there seems to have been a change of formulation and the new stuff seems to have lost its good name for this type of job. Please remember that primers are porous so should never be left exposed on steel, especially in areas that get wet. Your grey “primer” may in fact be grey raddel paint that is a very mat type of topcoat intended originally to give the look of red lead primer but now available in a variety of colours.

Daybreak
Daybreak

Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:56pm

Post Subject: Bilge area / engine bay floor painting

Really appreciate your informative advice and think you maybe right that what's on is the matt topcoat grey as you suggest it could be Once again, than k you for your time in replying today. John

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