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Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:01am

Post Subject: Hull Blacking

We have recently taken possession of a 40ft narrowboat that is over 20 years old. She appears to have been professionally painted `up top` but we have no knowledge of when her last hull blacking was. Should we have the hull blacked by the professionals or have a `go` ourselves which friends say we should do? We have no previous experience but are very keen to learn.


Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:47pm

Post Subject: Hull Blacking

If you DIY it then you will still have to pay to get the boat out of the water and back in again. Unless you have a professional high pressure pressure washer you will have to hire one or pay the yard to pressure wash it off when the boat comes out. Once that is done you will have to find out what type of blacking is on the hull because tar based blacking will not normally adhere to bitumen based blacking. Then you need power do wire brush all the rusty areas and then disk the area to key the metal - that may be another hire charge for a generator. After that has been done the fun starts. Blacking seems to get everywhere, in hair and all over your hands and cloths. If you pay to have it done (between £400 & £600 probably) the yard should also check things like the rudder, prop. shaft bearings and propeller, the anodes and give the hull a visual inspection for excess corrosion. Would you know what to look for and if you needed new anodes can you weld them on? If your "friends" want do it with you and they know what to look for the fine but I suspect when it comes to it they will be unavailable. I pay my £400 and be thankful I do not have to do it but you may be different. Tony Brooks

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