Saturday 24 July 2021


We had all sorts of plans for bits of boat maintenance while on this trip. Two years ago I had painted the inside of one of the lockers in the cratch, and was pretty pleased with the result, given that I was still in the process of learning to paint Erin Mae's metalwork. Now it was the turn of the right-hand locker.

I think the previous owner had encountered some rust in this locker and had used Hammerite paint on it. You're supposed to be able to apply it over rusty bits, but my past experience is that the result can be a bit hit and miss. The entire base was showing signs of corrosion and I wasn't sure – or especially competent to determine – how deep it went. I asked engineering John in the marina, and he was very unconcerned. 1 mm of steel, he said, produces about an inch of rust – it always looks worse than it is. He recommended hitting it hard with a ball-ended hammer to break up the rust. He even lent me an angle grinder with a sort of flexible sanding disc to take off the loosened rust. 

After a first session with a hammer I went down to B&Q to get some ear protectors – my tinnitus didn't need the extra excitation. The overall results were promising, though I gave up on any attempt to get back to bare steel. The angle grinder wasn't as productive as I'd hoped. I thought we'd be continuing with this project as our cruise got under way.

It didn't quite work out as planned. First there was simply the business of getting used to cruising again. Then the heat wave struck. But today, finally, progress was made. We cruised for just a couple of hours back from the terminus of the Ashby Canal before tying up at Congerstone. The temperature is down about 10˚ from what it was, and at last I could continue the work on the locker without melting or burning. I used my Dremmel with a wire brush attachment to finish cleaning up the base of the locker, and got a coat of Fertan rust treatment down.

No pictures today – it was too late by the time I'd finished. I don't know whether my efforts will even out the roughness caused by the corrosion – I have plans for a great many coats of primer / undercoat / bilge paint!


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