Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Bottom Paint Saga, May 19-22

Tuesday afternoon the boat was blocked up in the boatyard.  H2O had put the new paint on the bottom and was trying to figure out what caused the adhesion problem.  By chance on Wednesday, the representative of the paint company, International, visited the yard and had a look at the bottom with Angelique, the yards paint manager.  Later, Phillipe Gerard, the yard general manager stopped by.  For most of it’s life, the bottom had been coated with what is essentially tar. Since it lived in fresh water, there was no need for anti-fouling but tar, or “bitumen”,  is no longer allowed because the petroleum leaches into the water.  And nothing sticks very well to tar!  A couple of days of testing, head scratching and consulting resulted in a plan; all of the epoxy paint that remained on the hull would have to be removed by hand then the boat painted with another type of paint. Since the boat has a riveted hull, sand blasting is kind of dangerous; it can remove the heads of the rivets, weakening the hull. So the old paint would have to be removed by hammering the hull then scuffing it up with a wire wheel. To their credit, H2O said since it was their paint application that failed, they would cover the expense of the removal and repainting but it was going to be lots of loud, dirty work and it would take close to two weeks to complete.

This was all decided by Friday afternoon.  Monday was another holiday so the work wouldn’t start until Tuesday, the day we had to return the rental car to Amsterdam so we would not be able to see what progress was made until Thursday.

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