Sunday, October 21, 2012

Painting the boat - part 1 (of many!)

On Friday, we decided to take advantage of the improved weather, and do some of the necessary remedial work on Kantara's paintwork. Under white cloud, and in a total lack of wind, we left the marina (where any extensive painting is disallowed) and moored just a five minute walk up the canal, at a spot where there was a bank low enough for us to have easy access to the rubbing strake which was most in need of painting. This raised strip runs along both sides of a narrow boat, and protects the hull from the inevitable bumps and scuffs along moorings, lock and bridge entrances and so on.

Working in dry, mild weather, we rubbed down the rubbing strake and the various chips along the side panel above it, painted the strake with one-coat hull blacking, and primed the other areas with Red Oxide paint. It was hard work, and took hours. We went to bed tired!

That was the starboard side done, but now we needed to get to the port side. So on Sunday morning, misty and promising, we headed up to the nearest winding hole about three miles away, turned and came back to an ideal spot just north of bridge 27, where others had moored with the same idea in mind. The bank was very low, and we completed the day's work on the port side of the boat.

We were still working as the sun went down, and I missed taking photographs of the amazing light on the autumnal trees opposite the sunset, and the misty spectacle of the sky in the west. I did, however, get some good shots of our latest mooring spot, taken this morning as the mists started to clear.

Rising early this morning, we applied undercoat to the spots where we had primed the port side, and Grace did some preliminary rust spot treatment to the boat's name on that side. The paints dried quickly, and we left to return to the marina. The weather, which had been sunny and mild to start with, deteriorated as we neared Yelvertoft, and, by the time we had berthed, there was a cold, biting wind.

The remaining work on the sides of Kantara can now be done in the spring. The paintwork is winter-proofed, although far from pretty!

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