Today’s visit to the boatyard revealed an almost finished boat. The final coating was applied late on Friday, which has given it the whole weekend to harden. All that remains is for the red and cream tunnel bands to be painted on the stern, for the weed hatch to be refitted and the anodes welded back on. We are anticipating a relaunch on Tuesday morning.
Today it was back to Debdale Wharf. We saw the boat sides had been fully grit blasted and the hot zinc spray coating had been applied. The boat was also raised far higher allowing access to the base plate. It was a little unnerving walking underneath 20 odd tons of boat, held up by just four props. We are still not sure if they have caught up with the delay caused earlier in the week, due to the hoist being out of action. If they can finish applying the two pack epoxy blacking today, this will give it the required two days to harden over the weekend, if not the relaunch may have to be put back a day.
On a visit to the boat yard today we were shown into the grit blasting shed to see the work in progress. The top sides are protected by a tent type structure, which is then firmly taped to the hull sides. Various bits have been removed to facilitate the blasting, including the four sacrificial anodes, the bow thruster grill and the weed hatch plate.
Yesterday we set off in the early morning gloom from our mooring at Foxton, for the short twenty minute cruise to Debdale Wharf. On arrival the service pontoon was partially blocked by another boat, so we moored between the bridge and the winding hole and went to report our arrival. The hoist used for lifting boats had been faulty last week, and although repaired, it had not been fitted back on the overhead gantry and tested. We therefore had a long wait ahead of us. To cut a long story short we occupied ourselves for the day by, conveying stuff to the cottage we have booked to stay in for the week, and going for walks. Finally, just before closing time they were ready to lift us out. The boat was manoeuvred into the service dock, and after some trial and error lifts the balance was found and out she came. This was the first time we had seen this part of the boat, since it’s very beginning in the steel shed. I was pleased how well the hull looked, with virtually no corrosion evident.
After spending a night on the blocks, this morning it was time for a thorough pressure wash. Once the hull was clean it was clear to see the current blacking was still in very good condition, so once the zinc treatment has been completed we should be able to maintain the hull, in virtually as new condition.