Monday, 19 August 2013

Well, Scrape Me Gunnels (Jim Laad)

One of the jobs identified on Starcross during hull-blacking at Uplands was the need to tackle the gunwales. The non-slip coating is starting to peel off and revealing rust underneath. It's been suggested that this might be because a previous owner applied builder's sand to produce the non-slip and this has absorbed moisture, hence the rust.
So, on the way back from Fradley, we called in at Uplands to make a start. The coating came off easily  enough where rust was present. The good news (but also the bad news) is that this was only about 10% of the surface area and where there was no rust, the coating was a pig to remove. What rust there was is distributed randomly and in small areas so the whole lot needed to come off - a job that took two of a couple of hours that afternoon and most of the following day - and that was just for one side. I then applied a coat of Fertan rust converter before we had to leave.
The crew hard at work
 You're supposed to leave Fertan for 24-48 hours before rinsing it off and repainting (although the repainting doesn't have to be done straightaway). Of course, not long after we'd packed up and left it came on to rain, which will probably have "rinsed it off" alright but considerably sooner than it should have been done! I'm reconciled to having to apply another dose before I start to tackle the other side.

The job was interrupted by a pleasant surprise. A visit by someone we hadn't seen for thirty years. In fact I didn't recognise him at first, although that might have been because - in his own words he has "less hair, more gut" than he used to. David was a crew member on various boats that we hired back in the 1970s. I hadn't seem him since, although we had "met" through our participation in Canal World Forum. He was in the area and had come to the marina on the off-chance, not really expecting to find us there, and we enjoyed a very pleasant couple of hours catching-up and reminiscing. Dave lives on a boat on the Kennet & Avon, but has plans to go continuously-cruising once he retires, so I hope we'll meet up again.

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