Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I had a plan…

For some time now I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to have a go at the gunwales on the boat. Both sides are looking a bit scruffy, with scrapes and scratches incurred since last autumn. So, with the forecast looking reasonable for today, I decided to make a start. We set off at around 10:30 with a wash load of towels running but with plenty of spare charging capacity to go to the batteries.

Approaching Elkington’s Bridge, and it’s sunny! IMG_6582

The intention was to travel for about an hour till the washing machine had finished, then find somewhere away from moored boats and houses, with a low bank, so I could attack the left hand side gunwale with my orbital sander. Avoiding dwellings wasn’t a problem, it’s a fairly remote stretch of canal, but boats were another matter!

We had a bit of manoeuvring to do to avoid an oncoming boat and an overhanging tree. IMG_6583

An advisory email to C&RT is in order, I think.

We finally spotted a suitable spot just past Bridge 33. It only took about an hour and a half to get the side sanded, the paint around the scrapes being feathered out and all rust removed. I swept off the dust and wiped down with white spirit before going in for a brew and a bite to eat. Then it slung it down!
The rain continued on and off till nearly 2 o’clock, putting paid to me getting a first coat of high build primer on the feathered patches. I’ll apply 2 or 3 coats of primer on the areas I’ve sanded back to bare steel, this will bring the level up to that of the surrounding paint. Flatting back will get rid of any surplus and level the surface ready for 2 coats of matt black.
It was still looking a bit dodgy but we decided to set off, heading for Welford Junction, hoping maybe to get some paint on later. We hadn’t been going for long before the heavy showers rolled in again, I put up with two then called it a day between Bridges 38 and 39.

Not my idea of fun…IMG_6586

It did fair up again late afternoon, so I managed to get that paint on after all. The gunwale is now blotchy with grey patches, and will stay that way till the finished coats go on.

Locks 0, miles 4½

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