Last Monday I took the boat up to Fradley Services – the boatyard just up from my mooring. We were there for the blacking of my bottom and the painting of my roof – well my boat’s bottom and roof!
They were running a little behind and so only got me in on Tuesday and I had assumed that it would take maybe 5 days in total. I was wrong! We will not be released from the shed until either Tuesday or Wednesday next week. The downside is that Bonny and I are living in the dark and breathing lots of paint fumes. The upside is that we are on shore power which means unlimited electricity and no running of the engine. It’s a real treat as I haven’t been on mains electricity since I left the marina over 2 years ago.
It may be taking a long time but that is because they are very thorough. They have taken my roof back to the metal and have painted several undercoat layers with long gaps in between so they dry properly. Yesterday they painted the first topcoat – a beautiful buttery cream colour and will do another coat next week, together with sand to make it non slip. They finished the blacking of the hull on Friday and since they don’t work on weekends, the paint has a good two and a half day to dry and harden before going back in the water. In some boatyards you would be lucky to get one day at most for the blacking to cure.
So it is all good and Bonny is adjusting to the surroundings although we will both be very happy to be back in the water and breathing fresh air again! Meanwhile she is passing the time by hunting mice and possibly rats around the yard! I am also delighted to discover that my roof was not nearly as rusty as I had thought (more discolouration than rust) and that my hull has lasted very happily with a gap of two years between blackings. In fact for 15 years old, she is in very good condition all round.
That’s more than can be said for me as I am finding life quite exhausting at present, what with the shed causing me disturbed sleep, a bit of a domestic with a friend, and work issues as well. Still I wouldn’t swap my life for anyone’s and I have my long cruise to look forward to – almost certainly beginning in June now.