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Monday, November 12, 2007


Well Friday morning arrived and it was time to caste off and head round to the marina to watch my baby being dragged from the water so i could spend the weekend blacking the bottom.
A narrowboat should be blacked every 2/3 years as rust is the biggest enemy of a boater. As this was the first time the boat had been blacked other than the coat it had when new i was keen to do it myself so i could prepare the hull properly and make sure every nook and cranny (wonder where that expression originated) was well coated with the bitumastic.
I have heard stories of boatyards just jet washing off the slime and then painting on the blacking with no regard to treating any rust that might be present. Do the job yourself and you know its done proper is my philosphy. With this in mind after jet washing the whole surface was sanded down using some heavy duty sanding discs. This was followed by 2 coats of black and a 3rd 6" each side of the waterline as this is the spot where a combination of air and water is a recipe for rust to form.

So this is where i need to go and you can see the trolleys just entering the water. The boat will be floated over the trolleys and the tractor unit will pull her out. Hope it doesn`t hurt her.
The tractor unit is ready.

The front rises up like a plane taking off

and of course the back follows.

Well she seems to have survived being pulled out and i am just holding her to reassure her.
Plenty of room in the shed so on with the washing.


and front.

Here`s the finished product
That ladder was my means of getting aboard.

So job done back in she goes

Don`t know how she feels as she slides back in but i miss the feel of water under foot with that little movement as you walk around inside.


Anonymous said...

Lovely job, Les. She's lookin' good!

Les Biggs said...

Well thankyou kindly and i`m looking forward to our lunch date.

Anonymous said...

Hey Les,
It as great to meet you last week, thanks for making us welcome. Your boats looking great, looks like the blacking went well at the weekend. How did the hull look when you first lifted her out ?
Our boat launches at the weekend so I'll look out for you over the next few weeks and we can get our kettle going next time !!
All the best.

Les Biggs said...

The hull was pretty much the same all over as in the pics, no rust as such just surface dis-colouration that needed light sanding. Lesson for the future is do it sooner than later.

Keith Lodge said...

Hi Les.
A good job, jobbed. It is always satisfying to do it yourself, at least you know you have done a proper job. I reckon on doing it every 2 years, that way you know the hull is well taken care of.
Hope to see you when we are on the move again.

Anonymous said...

Valerie blog,

What started as a very interesting blog and exciting read has now unfortunately resorted to a blog once in a while and on further investigation i have also noticed the comments slowly equating to one or two instead of the regular 7 + for each blog you wrote.

I have spoken to several other bloggers and they too agree the blog has gone downhill to the extent they no longer even bother to look anymore.

We think you should take the points above seriously and start to give the readers what they want and blog more about your travels. And leave some of the non important blogs you have wrote about to scraps of paper for your own reference.

Come on Valerie Blog sort it out...

Anonymous said...

jack does not like the photo of the man sticking his fingers up as he pulls out your barge with the tractor

Anonymous said...

heck, Les,
Do you think some 'anony' folk may be a leeeeetle bit jealous? or summink?

Sue said...

The annon complainer writes quite well, "hey matey you should do a blog yourself."

I wonder who "we" is.. but then again, he is not 'man' enough to put his name up, and hey "you dont have to read this blog!"


Unknown said...

Well Said Les and if you look at the man in the photo he is holding up 2 fingers as in a Victory sign and not the other way as in an insult sign. Oh and anon if you don't like it then don't read it!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Les
I totally agree with Sue of NP. YOU Blog as YOU wish! All Bloggers have a slightly different approach and style(thankfully)and as much as I enjoy reading daily updates and musings I always visit NB Valerie to see if you have posted. When you do post, great, and if you don't, well heck , isn't that your business? Isn't the point to keep in touch with your family and friends - the rest of us benefit from peeking in.
Lesley K

Tyson said...

If anonymous finds it boring why is he still reading the blog? I think your boat looks fab by the way

Unknown said...

Isnt it funny, I always thught I did this for me and if others liked it all well and good I didnt realise it was a job with deadlines.

If Mr Anon wants to see a boring blog he has just to look at mine of late. Due to my requirement to be static it has all but died. In the last week I have used the same pic twice and commented about the Ice twice too, but the rule is if you dont like it thats OK coz I have some fun writing it, its good practice.

Ciao Maffi

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs