Saturday, 28 April 2012

I see a red floor and I want it painted black.

Now that the sap is rising, as you can tell from the blogs, I am finally getting round to completing some of the jobs that should have been done during the winter months when the hold was clothed up, had it not been for the broken leg.  One job that I am desperate to get done is re painting the inside of the hull and bottoms, re-black the shuts and get all the running gear red oxided, but as you all know the weather for the last fortnight has not really been suited for painting, in fact the weather has not been suitable for anything, apart from filling the cut up.  I know that traditionally and I think probably about 99% of all steel ex working boat owners red oxide or red lead(well the equivalent) both the inside of the sides and bottom of the hold.  The ‘weather conditions’ under working boats shuts are not ideal for the upkeep of painted surfaces and certainly red oxide paint doesn’t last, in fact, within 12 months of painting, rust spots usually start to appear.  This has always been the case and back in the 1970’s when I owned the large Woolwich butty Bingley, it became quite popular amongst the crowd of working boat owners that I mainly associated with to treat the bottoms differently.  It was discovered that by applying a coat of good quality bitumastic paint to the bottoms they would last a lot longer between repaints and were not affected so much by the damp conditions.  Bitumastic paint never actually ‘going off’ and remaining flexible.  The same treatment was given to the lower half of the footings showing about 6” above the shuts as can clearly be seen in this 1972 photo of my mom and me dog on Bingley.

And so, between the showers over the last week or so, I have made a start, having red-oxided all the panels on one side and about a quarter on the other, along with about four of the bottoms blacked.

As I said, the conditions under wooden shuts are not ideal and under Darley’s were no exception, to say that it has only been just over a year ago that she had a complete new bottom which was freshly oxided.  And so I set about them with an old plane blade as a scraper and a wire brush and without too much hard work all the rust spots have been removed and a generous coat of black bitumastic paint applied.  The knees, however were a different story for although they had been red oxided at the same time as the new bottom,  the old rust/scale etc had not been removed first, simply painted over and si these have been set about with a chipping hammer and all offending scale scabs removed before receiving the same blacking treatment.

These were completed last week and since then it aint stopped dry long enough for me to do any more, but I’m sure over the next couple of weeks we will have some nice sunny or dry days and I can get it completed.

As the weather has been quite dry today I have been down the boat and completed some more, another three bottom panels chipped, wire brushed and blacked, four more sides red oxided and three shuts re painted with Creosote mixed with bituastic paint. 
Finally the plan is coming together, and it needs to as the boat gatherings season fast approaches with our first show at Etruria only about five weeks away so we need some more days like today if I am going to get on with the jobs.  So till next time, when I hope this drought ends! As always.
Don’t bang ‘em about


  1. And there was I thinking you were just picking up all you fag ends when I came past today ! ;-))
    And I didn't bang you about !!

  2. Sorry Alf, Did I speak,or was I sat in the boats bottom painting and I threw my fag end out as you went past. What is your boat called?

  3. Yes we spoke, Scappare. And you were right the "drought" has indeed returned today !

  4. Yes Alf I remember you going past, cheers mate.