Water In The Cabin Bilge

We often get calls and emails regarding water in the cabin bilge at the Floating Boatyard. The aim of this post is to make you aware of the causes of water under the boat floors and how to prevent it from happening.  We will show how we solve this problem and why you should not ignore the water on the inside of your boat. You should deal with water in the cabin bilge and water under the boat’s floor as soon as possible.  Left untreated, water under the boat’s floor will rot the base plate from the inside out.

If you have any further questions about water under the boat floors or would like to book work with The Floating Boatyard, ring 07886 388 689 or use the contact form on this website.

Water In The Cabin Bilge - Albert bathroom rust - the Floating Boatyard. Water under boat floors - Bow water tank rust - the Floating Boatyard

Some examples of the damage caused by water in the cabin bilge

Water in the Cabin Bilge is Not Always Obvious

All canal boats should have an inspection hatch inside the cabin towards the stern. You need to check this regularly to see if there is any water under the boat floors. This hatch may be hidden under furniture – under steps and beds are common places for them. If you have hunted high and low, but still can’t find an inspection hatch, we recommend having one installed.

One of the symptoms of water under the boat floors is an increase in the damp in your boat. This is mainly visible through a lot more condensation on your windows. In severe cases, the floorboards will begin to warp and you may get a smell of mildew. If your water pump goes off by itself intermittently, then there may be a leak in the fresh water system.

Water in the Cabin Bilge – Preventative Measures and Routine Checks

At the Floating Boatyard, we check our personal boats for water in the cabin bilges every time we fill up the water tank. This makes it part of the routine, and less easy to forget. We also check for signs of water around our water tanks and water pumps, as these are common failure points. Shower rooms and bathrooms are another usual suspect. Keep an eye on your tiling and bathroom sealant and make repairs as soon as they are needed. Any small cracks will allow water to slowly seep through and into the hull of your narrowboat. This water will get trapped under the ballast and won’t dry up.

During the winter, when the canal is icy cold, you will often find a small amount of condensation on the base plate. This is normal and not to be confused with problematic water under the boat’s floor. We recommend keeping your boat well heated. Keep the bilge ventilated and leave the inspection hatch open if it is not a danger to do so.  As with so many boat repairs, get to know your boat and if something feels weird, check into it.

Water In The Cabin Bilge - Cutting the first hatch - The Floating Boatyard.

Cutting an inspection hatch – this boat only had a small inspection hatch in the bathroom, this is what we discovered in the main living area.

Damage Caused by Water Under the Boat’s Floor

Let’s say you look into your inspection hatch and find 1 cm of water in the cabin bilge which wasn’t there the last time you checked – where do you go from here? Firstly, turn your water pump off. Report the leak to your insurance company if you are fully comp insured, as soon as possible. Check obvious failure points for signs of leaks such as water tanks, pumps, pipework connections. Don’t despair if you can’t find it immediately. The leak may come from a drainage, hidden pipe work or skin fitting which you can’t access. Using a wet/dry vac or a pump, remove as much of the water as you can. The Floating Boatyard can help you with all of these steps. We have the equipment and necessary experience to act fast and limit the damage to your boat.

We will help you track down the cause of the leak if it’s still an unknown, and get it fixed. Our team will then take a look in the hatch to get a rough estimate onto the extent of the damage. This is not an exact science, it is difficult to gauge the condition of a 60ft x 6ft 10 piece of steel by only looking a 1ft x 1ft  section of it.

If the water in the cabin bilge has been sat for some time on an untreated steel hull, the hull will corrode from the inside out and you face the task of repairing the hull. If you do not have a recent survey and have no idea how long the water under the boat floors has been in the hull, we will not begin any work before getting a marine surveyor to assess the thickness of the hull.

Water In The Cabin Bilge - Bluebelle Ballast Close Up - the Floating Boatyard

Starting to cut the floor out – the baseplate is not immediately visible even when the floor is up.

Treating the Damage Caused by Water Under the Boat Floors – Getting to the Hull

Most narrowboats are built and trimmed in a way which, in theory, allows any water in the cabin bilge to slowly run to the stern. In practice, we often find blocked limber holes, bad ballast choices such as gravel and iron, and unsuitable linings used.

We need to get access to the base plate itself in order to fully dry and remove any rust, and then paint the bilge to protect it from any future water leaks. This means lifting up the flooring in most cases. We have two options here, depending on the construction of the hull and how the flooring was laid originally.. Most flat-bottomed canal boats will not need the whole flooring to come up in order to lift out the ballast and treat the steel below.

We usually cut a channel through the centre of the boat’s floor and work around any built-in furniture. We can then reach under the floor boards to remove the ballast. This is time-consuming but faster than refitting the entire boat. If you have a v-bottomed hull, we may get away with cutting a series of inspection hatches in a channel through the cabin. We can lift the floors either all in one go or in sections. Doing the entire boat at once will be faster, but you will find it extremely difficult to live on during this time.


Water In The Cabin Bilge - Waterbug hatches - The Floating Boatyard.

Hatches cut into the floor of a v-bottomed Springer Waterbug

Treating the Damage Caused by Water Under the Boat Floors – Treating the Hull

Once we have access to the cabin bilge, we will remove all ballast to air dry. Most boats we come across have concrete slabs as ballast. This is relatively easy to remove and dry out. We have come across boats with gravel as ballast. This collects water, is difficult to lift and has a nasty habit of sticking to bad corrosion. We also see the use of heavy steel such as railway tracks and stage weights being used. This causes problems inside the cabin bilge. There is no way of telling what corrosion comes from the steel ballast and what from the hull.

Once the ballast is out, we can start to attack the rust. This is the point where we can fully see the extent of the corrosion. Up until now we will have only been able to make a rough guess as to the damage caused. We use a variety of tools for removing all of the loose corrosion, such and wire brushes and scrapers. This stage of works can generate some dust in your boat. We cannot avoid this entirely.

Once the loose rust is removed, it can be treated chemically with a rust converter. We also recommend that we apply bilge paint to the bilge. Applying primer and bilge paint will help protect your hull from any future water under the boat floors. This means that if you have this same disaster again in the future, you will incur less expense and less hassle to make it right. After the bilge has been painted, we repalce the ballast and refit the floors.

Water In The Cabin Bilge - Albert Cleaned - the Floating Boatyard

Cleaned up flooring – note how we have cut the flooring away around the furniture

Water under the boat floors- Albert vactan in progress - The Floating Boatyard.

Rust Convertor in Action

Water Cabin Bilge - Albert Bathroom Vactan done - the Floating Boatyard.

Dryed Rust Converter

Water in the Cabin Bilge - Waterbug hatches painted - the Floating Boatyard Water under the boat floors - Bluebelle Bow tank after painting - the Floating Boatyard

Freshly painted bilges – these should resist corrosion for many years to come

If you have any further questions about Water under the boat floors or would like to book work with The Floating Boatyard, ring 07886 388 689 or use the contact form on this website.



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Narrowboat Welding

Narrowboat welding in London, Essex and Hertfordshire

The vast majority of narrowboats and widebeams on London’s inland waterways are made from mild steel. Repairs to the boat’s structure are often beyond the skill of most boat owners.  This is why the Floating Boatyard offers narrowboat welding as part of our boat repair services.

Welding is in many cases the only way to make permanent repairs or alterations to the structure of your boat. It is often possible to make short-term repairs with various fillers and glues. However, these don’t solve the problem but just mask it. This article shows you why you should contact us for your boat welding needs and gives some examples of previous projects.

For bookings and consultations call 07886388689, or use the contact form on this website.

Narrowboat Welding – Why the Floating Boatyard?

When we carry out narrowboat welding, we make sure our work is as good as, if not better than, the original boat builder’s work – see below for examples of our work. When you book a boat welding job with the Floating Boatyard, you can be assured that we will take care of the logistics for you. We have several steel supply contacts inside and outside of London who will deliver to the waterway, meaning no more worrying about carrying steel on the 308 bus.

Hull repairs or any project which will require welding below the waterline should be carried out when the boat is out of the water. Above the waterline, the Floating Boatyard can carry out welding from our workboat, Perch.

Narrowboat Welding – Safety and Legal Concerns

The key to a successful narrowboat welding project is ensuring that you find the right welder. It is vital you find a welder who has experience on boats. They must also have the right insurance in place and they must risk assess every project. There is a fire risk with all narrowboat welding works due to the construction of most narrowboats. The insulation used on older fit outs and wood-lined cabins are flammable materials. As experienced narrowboat welders, the Floating Boatyard is able to take steps to mitigate these risks.

Whether your boat is moored on the towpath or in a private marina, you will need the landowner’s and local waterway authority’s permission to carry out hotworks such as welding on your boat. From our many conversations with CRT, it is extremely unlikely that they will allow welding from the towpath, citing concerns for the safety of the public. Our workboat is licensed for hotworks and narrowboat welding. If the person welding is acting without the landowner’s permission or the correct commercial waterways license, it will most likely void their insurance.

Make sure your welder has written permission from CRT or your local waterway authority, before booking any work with them. You do not want to ask these questions of the welder once something has already gone wrong.

Narrowboat Welding – Some of Our Past Projects

Narrowboat Welding – Repairing a Stove Collar fitting

Narrowboat Welding - Roof collar hole - Floating Boatyard London

When roof collars have been fitted and not regularly resealed, water quite often gets between the collar and the cabin roof itself. This trapped water causes corrosion around the hole made to fit the collar. The corrosion causes leaks around the stove collar when this is very bad. You will often not discover the corrosion until you move the collar.

Narrowboat Welding - Roof collar cut out - Floating Boatyard London.

Our aim was to do a clean repair that would be completely unnoticeable once painted. We cut a rectangular section of the roof out. Then we fitted a plate of new steel flush with the cabin roof. We often see patched roofs where the welder has not bothered to cut out the old, uneven hole and has applied a sheet of steel over the top. This leaves an obvious and unsightly patch. It is not a great deal more effort to do things correctly as in this example. Fitting a flush new sheet of steel gives a much better result.

Narrowboat Welding - Roof collar complete - Floating Boatyard London

This image shows the primer coat, once fully painted the new steel plate will be indistinguishable from the original cabin roof. This a permanent repair to a leak which will last the lifetime of the boat with the proper maintenance

Narrowboat Welding – Diesel Tank Repair

Narrowboat Welding - diesel tank cut out - Floating Boatyard London

After 30+years of use, the bottom of this diesel tank had badly corroded inside and out. As we removed rust, we saw holes appear in the steel itself. These holes could have developed at any time inside the bilge as vibration shakes loose the rust. This would have lead to 100l of diesel inside the cabin bilge and a potentially very costly bilge cleaning job.

Water in the diesel has caused the corrosion on the interior. If the tank has not been cleaned out in a long time then water from condensation will build up. This is a diesel bug risk factor as well as a cause of corrosion that can be avoided with regular diesel polishing. The bilge that this particular tank was sat in was also in poor repair. Water and dirt was sitting on the exterior of the tank as well.

Narrowboat Welding - diesel tank repaired - Floating Boatyard London.

We welded a new strip of steel onto the side of the tank and replaced the bottom. The old steel in this part of the tank was very badly damaged. It was more cost effective to overplate than to repair the holes individually, or build a new tank. This is a long-term fix to the tank. It will get many more years of use before it needs to be repaired or replaced once more.

Narrowboat Welding – Stern Deck Drainage

Narrowboat Welding - Bilge after cut out - Floating Boatyard London

This is an example of a larger narrowboat welding project. This boat had a cruiser-style stern with poor deck drainage. This made it impossible to keep the engine bilge dry and clean. The owner had spent a large amount of time and money trying to keep the engine bilge in good condition. This boat also a had disused tank built into the stern, which was impossible to maintain and had already badly corroded.

Narrowboat Welding - Stern deck drainage - Floating Boatyard LondonRather than risk any further damage to the boat, the owner asked us to overhaul the engine bilge and stern drainage. Floating Boatyard removed the old tank and the old drainage. We then welded new deck drainage from steel channel to keep water out of the engine bilge.

Narrowboat Welding - Bilge after painting - Floating Boatyard London

We also fabricated new stairs with a well for an automated bilge pump to sit in. The previous stairs allowed water to pool on the bottom step, which then flowed into the cabin of the boat.  We also painted the bilge to give it protection from ambient moisture and diesel/oil spills.

Narrowboat Welding - stern deck covers fitted - Floating Boatyard London

Finally, we fitted marine ply deck covers. We custom built these to match the drainage o the stern deck. The owner wanted to paint these herself. We were more than happy to advise her on how to get the best finish and best longevity on her work. We offer multiple trades at the Floating Boatyard. This spares you the hassle of managing the logistics of more than one trader for your boat repairs.

For narrowboat welding consultations and bookings call 07886388689, or contact us here.


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Water Tank Painting

Water tank painting is a job that often gets neglected by boaters. Many boat owners are taking an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude to their water tanks. Water tank painting and care is an important part of boat maintenance, with serious negative effects on both your personal health and your boat’s health if it is not done routinely. We strongly recommend that you do not drink or cook with your tank water unless you are certain that the water system is in good condition. We normally check water tank annually and touch up any minor issues. Full re-paints are carried out every 3 years or less. This is for water tanks that are integral to the hull. Plastic and stainless steel water tanks do not need painting.

If you think your water tank is in need of refurbishment, you can contact us here, call 07886388689 or message us on our FB page.

Why Water Tank Painting Needs To Be Done.

Crawling into a boat water tank to paint it is not exactly most people’s idea of a fun weekend. Yet it is important to maintain and check your water tanks at least yearly for a few reasons.

Firstly: your health. As mentioned above, all water tanks get build ups of biological matter from bacteria and micro-organisms. This can cause sickness in humans, depending on the exact organisms present. Another cause of sickness in humans comes from integral mild steel tanks painted with bitumen or other paints. As these coatings degrade over time, they flake off into your water supply. Constantly ingesting bitumen and other harsh paint chemicals is not good for your body. While rust causes obvious discolouring to your tank water, it is the least toxic constituent of water from a badly maintained tank. By the time the rust is visible in the water, the bitumen or paint has already gone through the water system.

Secondly: the health of your boat. Integral water tanks should be checked every 3 years. They are painted with bitumen and other water tank coatings, which do eventually degrade. Once these degrade, they offer no rust protection . Corrosion sets in rapidly as the water levels go up and down in the tank. This kind of tank needs to be regularly repainted to avoid expensive hull repairs and overplating down the line. When water tank painting is carried our regularly, there is no risk to you health or the integrity of your hull.

Water tank painting - visible corrosion in the tank - Floating Boatyard.

On initial inspection, this water tank, didn’t look too awful. There was some obvious corrosion, but it was far from the worst we had seen.

Water tank painting - rust inside the tank pt. 3 - Floating Boatyard.

Once emptied the rust becomes more apparent During cleaning, this same tank began to show some serious problems. There were holes in the steel between the vertical wall of the bow well deck and the water tank. Luckily for the boat owner, there were no holes below the waterline despite some heavy pitting.

Water tank painting - welding up a tank - Floating Boatyard.

We overplated the holes in the tank by welding from inside the tank to give a seamless finish outside. As the Floating Boatyard has full equipment on board, if we discover emergency works which must be carried out we can offer these without delay.

Preparation for Water Tank Painting

There is no substitute for climbing inside the water tank through the access hatch. Most of the water tanks have an access tank which is suitable for this, but if not a larger one can be fabricated by our team. All existing rust will need to be mechanically removed. We also remove all loose and flaking bitumen or paint – as with boat painting, preparation is big part of successful water tank painting.

Water tank painting - rust inside the tank pt. 2 - Floating Boatyard

This is a water tank a customer had been drinking from, the heavy corrosion is clearly visible. You can also see the bubbling and peeling bitumen which will inevitable find its way out of the boat’s taps.

Water tank painting - Rust inside a water tank pt. 1 - Floating Boatyard.

This is the same boat’s tank after it has begun to dry, the extent of the rust is clearly visible now. The rust in the centre was approximately an inch thick, there was also around half an inch of old bitumen. This had collected when a previous coat of bitumen was applied too thickly and it had pooled in the centre.

Water tank painting - after rust removal - Floating Boatyard.

The same tank after rust removal. We took this water tank back to bare steel as the old bitumen was so badly degraded. When water tank painting, some old bitumen can be left on the steel if it is still in reasonable condition.

Applying Water Tank Paint

Once clean and all loose old bitumen has been removed, water tank painting can begin. Most integral water tanks have traditionally been painted with a bitumen-based paint.  Bitumen requires the worker applying it to wear full safety gear. When using this chemical in enclosed spaces such as a water tank, it is vital that the person applying the bitumen takes regular breaks for fresh air. Bitumen also needs to be left to cure for at least 7 days, then flushed with multiple tanks of fresh water to remove any taint.

Water tank painting - work in progress - Floating Boatyard.

One of our team taking a breather (literally) while blacking a water tank.

The key to water tank painting is to ensure the correct coverage of bitumen. Too thin will cause weak spots in the protective coating, leading to premature rust. Too thick, and the product will slowly roll down the tank to the lowest point, leaving a pool of bitumen that will never cure correctly, tainting the water in the tank. The temperature of the product and the steel on which is being painted is vital to this. Warm bitumen is thinner and flows faster than cold bitumen.

When it comes to water tank painting, we can do the dirty work for you. Call 07886 388689, email through the contact form or use our contact form here

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Bilge Painting

A Bilge Painting Guide – The Floating Boatyard

Bilge painting is one of those less attractive jobs you will have to take care of as a boat owner. A well maintained bilge is important factor in function and safety of your boat. Serious problems can be caused by neglecting your bilge. We have seen bilges which had not been painted in long time. We have come across: leaking rudder stems, leaking diesel tanks, holes in gas lockers and dangerously corroded hull plates.

For bilge painting quotes, general enquiries and bookings, please use the contact form, call 07886388689, message us on our Facebook Page.

Bilge Painting – Before You Start

The first thing we do when we starting a bilge painting job is to professionally clean and degrease all of the areas we will work on. Please see our post on bilge cleaning for more information in this. It is important to completely remove any dirt, oil, diesel and other contaminants. Special care must be taken in corners and hard to reach areas. (We remove any fittings like calorifiers, diesel tanks, batteries, etc., before we begin work.) All this is needed to make sure that the new bilge paint properly adheres to the steel.

Bilge Painting - Before The Clean - The Floating Boatyard

A very dirty bilge. This is the worst case of neglect we have come across so far.

Bilge Painting – The Prep Work

The amount of prep work needed will depend on the condition of the existing bilge paint. In many cases we have come across, the paint needs stripping back to steel. In some cases is is sufficient to prepare the existing paint. This is possible when the bilge is well maintained and kept free of water, oil and dirt. We remove any loose or flaking paint. A scraper, sharp wood chisel, wire brush or sandpaper can be used for this. All of the surface will need to be well keyed with sandpaper before any new coatings are applied.

Bilge Painting - After The Clean - The Floating Boatyard

The same bilge after a thorough clean. We can now begin the prep work.

Bilge Painting – Priming and Undercoats

Whether we have opted for a full strip back or preparation of the existing bilge paint, we will need to prime and undercoat before painting. A marine grade primer such a Teamac Zinc Phosphate Primer is a good choice for this. The first coat can be mixed with Owatrol Oil to condition it. This will improve paint flow tricky areas and rough surfaces and will improve anti rust properties of the paint. We then apply a second coat of primer before painting two coats of undercoat. Bilge painting or otherwise, be sure to properly work the paint into rough and pitted surfaces to achieve full coverage. deep pitting should be filled before painting.

Bilg Painting - Primer Applied - The Floating Boatyard

A bilge with primer applied.

Bilge painting – The Top Coats

Bilge painting the top coats must be done with the right materials. Teamac Bilge Paint or International Danboline are the ones we use most often. The paint used for bilge painting needs to be strong and resistant to oil, fuel and water. Standard marine top coats or household paint will deteriorate fast in a bilge environment. This will lead to exposed steel, which will get damaged and corrode. Boat repairs of that nature are going to be expensive. We usually recommend to have three coats of bilge paint applied.  This will help insure that we achieve an even coverage and the minimum recommended thickness of bilge paint.

Bilge Painting Finished Project - The Floating Boatyard

A completed bilge painting project.

For quotes and bookings call 07886388689, use the contact form, or message or Facebook Page.

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Boat Paint Stripping

How To Guide: Boat Paint Stripping – The Floating Boatyard

There are many ways to strip old and tired paint off your boat. This post will give some advice on how to best go about boat paint stripping. We will show the methods we use on a daily basis in our boat repair business, and talk about how not to do it. We will show what tools are commonly used and which are the best in what circumstance. Be sure to get permission from the Canal and River Trust, or your local waterway authority before starting to strip the paint off your boat or doing any other kind of boat painting works on the waterways. Boat paint waste is environmentally harmful and you could incur a large fine if you don’t have permission or don’t take the necessary precautions.

To book our boat painting or boat repair services please use the contact form here or ring 07886388689.

Boat paint stripping can be hard work and take a lot of time, if you want to do it right. The best way to prepare a boat is by stripping the paint completely. Keying the old paint and painting over it is not a good solution. The new paint coat won’t last and you will likely have to start again in 2 or 3 years. See the post on our narrowboat painting project Navayana for an example of this. A well prepared paint job should last for at least 8 years, or even longer with the right kind of care.

Boat Paint Stripping – The Random Orbital Sander

Removing boat paint with a random orbital sander is our preferred method. This works well on steel, but is also suitable for wooden boats. Sanding won’t damage to wood while we work on it. We use professional Festool sanders with a dust extractor. These are safest for the environment as any waste material is collected in a waste bag inside the dust extractor. This waste bag can then be disposed of through a licensed waste carrier. Paint dust is a hazardous waste substance and cannot be disposed of through normal household or public waste collection. We use licensed waste carriers, such as Envirogreen, who will supply us with a waste consignment note.

Festool random orbital sanders also have a built in setting for eccentric motion. This further randomises the movement of the sander when stripping boat paint. The clean surface will not have nasty sander marks in which could show through the fresh paint coat later on. These random orbital sander have a large round sanding pad and these are very use when boat paint stripping large areas. Corner sanders are also available for tricky to reach areas. very small corners will have to be hand sanded. We normally work with Festool Granat sandpaper, which has excellent boat paint removal qualities.

Boat Paint Stripping With Random Orbital Sander


Boat Paint Stripping – The Angle Grinder

Boat Paint Stripping with angle grinders requires some skill. We attach a wire brush disc to the grinder to remove the paint. Grinders are heavy and powerful machines. It takes stamina, practice and skill to operate a grinder safely. You must wear full protective safety gear when using a grinder to remove paint from a boat. Pieces of the wire brush cup become loose through normal operation. These sharp pieces of metal get thrown about by the grinder and have the potential to cause serious injury .

Stripping boat paint this way is best suited for closed environments. We can clean paint dust up and safely dispose of in boat sheds, boatyards and some dry docks. Dust extractor extensions are available for angle grinders. These are bulky though and will get in the way when trying to reach corners. A wood chisel or other sharp tool can be used to reach areas the grinder can’t get to. This method is only suitable for boat paint stripping on steel vessels.

Boat Paint Stripping With Angle Grinder


Boat Paint Stripping – The Rotating Blaster

Removing boat paint with a rotating blaster is light work, but not always suited for the job. Care must be taken not to damage or mark the steel. It works well on steel hulls and cabins, but is unsuited for wooden boats. A rotation blaster is a wheel attachment for a drill or grinder. Tungsten Carbide tips sit on a flexible rubber wheel. The tips ‘whip’ the paint and chip it off the steel. When using this method, we take several precautions. Most importantly, full safety gear must be worn. This includes long sleeve overalls, goggels, dust masks and safety hoods. We also spread out dust sheets and attach them to the hull. These catch and of the paint chips falling from the rotating blaster.

Boat Paint Stripping With Rotating Blaster

Boat Paint Stripping – The Use Of Scabblers

Some boatyards are using scabblers to strip paint off boats. We don’t recommend doing this. Scabblers are known to cause a condition called white finger and have been banned in most work environments. This is a health and safety risk we are not willing to take. They also create a lot of hazardous waste in a very uncontrollable way. This is unsuitable for painting outdoors as it contaminates the environment. Inexpert use of scabblers will scratch a pattern into the steel which can be seen trough the paint later on.

For quotes and bookings use the contact form, or call us on 07886388689

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Boat Painting

Professional Boat Painting by the Floating Boatyard – Professional Boat Painters

Boat painting is more than a cosmetic treat for your boat. It is an integral part of keeping your superstructure in good condition for many years to come. Spring is here (at least at time of writing, we are refusing to rule out snow in May) and narrowboat painting season is upon us. In this article we will help you decide if your boat needs painting . We will discuss the preparation work for boat painting and give you an overview of the process.

For bookings and estimates from our boat painters Call 07886388689, use the contact form, or message us on our Facebook page.

Boat Painting – When Should You Do It

The first step is to take a long, critical look at the coat of paint already on the boat. As boat owners we often have a bit of romantic view of our boats. The flaking paint is ‘charming’, the streaky finish is ‘rustic’ and the rust showing through is ‘characterful’. If the paint is dull and chalky, it is dead and is no longer effectively repelling water. Water will then sit in the paint and against the steel, causing corrosion. Flaking paint and visible existing corrosion obviously needs to be dealt with as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Brushed out paint gives a traditional look which is aesthetically pleasing and practical. Our boat painters brush the paint out in the direction that the water rolls of the boat, if this is not done then the water will sit longer on the paint. It’s a small difference, but over the years this does affect the longevity of your paint job. Boat Painting repairs are easier with traditional brush work too. Damaged areas can be keyed with sandpaper and touched up with. The new paint can be brushed in almost seamlessly with the original coating.

Boat painting is big job, there is no denying it. However, if you get it right it should last up to 10 years, with only minor touch ups needed in the meantime.

Boat Painting – The Preparation

We can’t stress this enough: the preparation is the most important part of boat painting. This is by far the most time consuming and labour-intensive part of repainting a boat. However, do it well and the effort is more than rewarded. There is not much difference in labour time and cost between stripping the boat back to steel and keying the existing paint by sanding it. Both will progress fast on the large, flat panels of the boat and both will require you to spend time removing paint by hand in the awkward corners.

We recommend stripping back to bare steel as this gives the longest lasting finish. The lifespan of your paint is dependant on what it is applied to, if it is applied to half-dead old paint it will not last anywhere near as long. Not preparing the surface at all or preparing it poorly will lead to the paint flaking off within a couple of years.

Narrowboat Painting Starboard Cabin - Navayana Springer Waterbug

This boat was painted 3 years ago, but the painters did a poor job with the preparation. Note the flaking paint everywhere, and the visible corrosion.

When stripping the boat back to steel it is important to bear in mind the environmental effects of paint dust. Our boat painters use on tool dust extraction whenever possible, and when it is not we use dust sheets to collect paint dust before it falls into our canals. Older boats in particular are at risk of having lead-based paint on them. We work cleanly and minimise dust ingress into your boat’s cabin.

Boat Painting – Use The Right Paint

When boat painting, we use either Teamac Marine Gloss or Craftmaster Coach Enamel and their respective undercoats and primer systems. Both manufacturers have standard colours or can mix RAL and BS colours according to your preference. When boat painting outside, our boat painters will also use a brushing additive, either Owatrol which has anti corrosive properties, or Craftmaster PPA brushing additive. The brushing additive keeps the paint wet for slightly longer, vital when brushing out paint as it gives the painter more time to carry out the next stroke and avoid getting an edge in the paint.

Our boat painters use paints specifically designed for marine environments and coach painting, as they are longer lasting and give a good finish. Never use basic metal paints from hardware shops such as Dulux Weathershield or Hammerite. We cannot warn against this more strongly, particularly with Hammerite. These paints will give a bad finish to your boat and will not last anywhere near as long as a purpose designed paint. Hammerite in particular is nasty as it is a chlorinated rubber based paint. It cannot be over coated with any other type of paint. Once you have gone to the expense and hassle of having your boat prepared for boat painting, it seems such an incredible waste to scrimp on the paints and end up with a mess.

Boat Painting - Craftmaster Paints With Matching Undercoats - The Floating Boatyard

Craftmaster Coach Enamel Paints with matching undercoat, anti slip deck paint and PPA paint conditioner

Boat painting – Prime and Fill

The next stage when boat painting is to prime the boat, and fill any pitting. When Painting the primer coat, we are using a high concentration of Owatrol, to take advantage of Owatrol’s anti rust properties. Our boat painters then fill any pitting or dents on the steel of the boat. This is then sanded flat. This is an important step to getting a good finish on the boat. When sanding filler or sanding in between coats, we use professional random orbit eccentric motion sanders, to avoid sanding patterns in the surface. Once the gloss paint is applied any imperfections in the smoothness of the steel will be magnified.

Boat Painting - Primer and Sanded Filler - Floating Boatyard

This boat needed a lot of filler. It has been primed, filled and the filler has been sanded.

Boat Painting – Undercoat and Anti Slip Deck Paint

Once the boat is primed and flat, we can begin painting the undercoat and anti slip deck paint. Undercoat helps build colour for the final coat and the extra coats build the strength of the final paintwork. As professional boat painters, we recommend using anti slip deck paint on the gunwales of all boats, and on most boat cabin roofs. The boat cabin roof is often walked on by cruisers. In the rain or during the winter you will be glad of the extra grip.

We always brush out all paint coats, from the primer onward, in order to leave the correct finish. Rollers leave a distinctive orange peel effect in the paint. This rippled effect does not allow rainwater to roll off quite as smoothly. This affects the longevity of the paint. Painting with rollers leave a rough and uneven finish, which ruins the look of a newly painted boat. Undercoat should be sanded before top coat is applied. See our post on sanding between coats for more info.

Throughout painting it is important to minimise any paint spilt into the canals.Our boat painters use dust sheets to collect any paint spills. Marine gloss paint is highly toxic to aquatic life. This is why spraying boats should only be carried out on land in a controlled environment, and why a license is required to paint boats on the water way.

Boat Painting - Antislip Application - Floating Boatyard

Antislip Deck Paint is being applied to this narrowboat roof.

Boat Painting – Top Coats and The Finishing Touches.

After all of this is done, we are ready to apply the top coats. This is when good surface preparation really pays off. Before applying the topcoat, we usually run through the boat once more with a purpose made specialist p600 sandpaper to remove any bumps or drips. The number of topcoats required can vary between paint manufacturers, but will usually be 2 – 3 coats. Some colours seem to be less highly pigmented than others, requiring an extra coat. After the topcoats are done, we recommend giving the paint some time to really harden out.  Once hardened, you can expect one of our boat painting jobs to last you 7-8 years. Potentially even more with regular cleaning. We can also sort any touch ups that may be required.

Contact us for a quote and with any questions you my have. Use the contact from on this website, call 07886388689, or message us on Facebook.

Boat Painting - A Completed Project - The Floating Boatyard

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Narrowboat Painting – New Project Navayana

The Floating Boatyard – For All Your Boat Painting Needs

Narrowboat painting has continued this Spring, with the arrival of Navayana today. Navayana is a 27ft Springer Waterbug, which needs a full strip back and repaint. The cabin of this boat was painted only three years ago, but the prep work was of poor quality. As you will see in the photos below, the paint is dead and peeling off already.

She will be primed, undercoated and finished with Craftmaster marine paints.  The vessel is in poor condition with visible corrosion in need of rust treatment. The old gloss narrowboat paint is also now dull, which shows that it has degraded to a point where it is no longer repelling water and will instead trap water. This causes rust corrosion. Our professional boat painting team is itching to get going on this cute little boat.

For bookings ring 07886388689 or message us through the contact form.


Narrowboat Painting Bow Cabin - Navayana Springer Waterbug

From the Bow – Narrowboat Painting Navayana

Narrowboat painting needs to be carried out on a regular schedule. In this photo you can see where the paint has failed, leading to visible rust patches. As this boat is a Springer Waterbug, it was constructed with 3mm mild steel, rather than the 4-6mm mild steel which is standard with other narrowboats. As this steel is thin, it is more important to keep it fully protected from the elements as any corrosion has a proportionally greater effect on the structural integrity of the steel. We advise that you budget for narrowboat painting to be done every 7-8 years, depending on the quality of paint used. This will minimise the need for larger boat repairs in the future.

Boat Painting Cabin Roof - Navayana Springer Waterbug.

Cabin Roof – Boat Painting Navayana

When it comes to the cabin roof, you should be carrying out narrowboat painting on a more regular basis. The cabin roof gets lots of abuse when you use the boat as a liveaboard. Storing items on the roof traps water between the item and the boat’s paint, leading to flaking and rust. It is also a high foot traffic area, with many cruisers walking along the roof while using locks. We recommend anti slip paint for the roof for all liveaboard boaters. Anti slip paint provides extra grip when navigating locks in icy winter conditions. This can make the difference between a pleasant cruise and falling in icy water.

Boat Painting Stern Deck - Navayana Springer Waterbug

View From the Stern – Boat Painting Navayana

Our professional boat painting team are less excited about tackling the stern on Navayana. The checkerplate steel used for the stern deck is excellent for the safety of the cruiser and very hardwearing but it is difficult to strip. Thankfully we have the tools and experience to do it well, but it is something for the DIY narrowboat painter to bear in mind. Again there is a lot of visible corrosion on the stern deck. This is something which we will need to remove before painting.

Since the Floating Boatyard are Roving Traders, we paint all our boats outside. For this particular project we will be using the road bridges at Stanstead Abbotts and Harlow to protect the boat from the sunlight and rain.

For bookings ring 07886388689 or message us through the contact form.

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Bilge Cleaning Service

Engine Bilge Cleaning Service by the Floating Boatyard

The Floating Boatyard offer a complete engine bilge cleaning service, as it is one of those jobs that most boat owners dread. Cramped, damp and dirty, the engine bilge can be an awkward place to work in. This is why we offer a full bilge cleaning service, from getting rid of the contaminated water safely and legally, to prepping the area for painting. In this article, we give you an overview of why you should have a clean bilge and we let you know how we carry out our service at the Floating Boatyard.

For bookings call 07886 388 689 or use the contact form on this website.

Why You Need a Clean Bilge – Water and the Damage It Does

First things first: Why bother keeping the bilge clean and dry in the first place? Unless you have an old, wooden boat, ignore anyone who tells you that water in the bilge is completely normal. It is certainly common, but it’s not the ideal state of affairs. The whole idea of a boat is to keep the water outside. If the water is inside the boat, it will cause problems. Water stood on the inside of the engine bilge will degrade the bilge paint to the point where it no longer protects from rust. The water will then cause rust corrosion inside the bilge, leading to pitting and ultimately a hull failure.

We have seen examples where the water inside the bilge has rotted swim plates from the inside, where it has caused holes in the bottom of diesel tanks leading to big leaks and most seriously, where a seacock pipe had rusted completely through, leading to a 2-inch diameter hole suddenly appearing at the bottom of a hull.

Damage to seacock - Bilge Cleaning Service - Floating Boatyard, London Essex Hertfordshire

A snapped off seacock pipe. Apologies for the blurry image, we were too busy stopping the boat from sinking to get a better shot.

Water in the engine bilge can come from a number of sources. Some of these sources are more of a cause for concern than others. All water ingress into the bilge should be monitored and dealt with immediately. A common source of water in the engine bilge is simply rain water. Worn stern deck covers and blocked drainage channels can allow rain water to fall into the bilge. Regularly clean out your stern deck drainage and replace or repair any damaged covers.  Calorifiers and engine coolant systems are also a source of water in the bilge. Check the connections are tight and watch the pipes when the engine is running to spot any leaks. Losing engine coolant can cause your engine to overheat, which damages the engine. Finally, the stern gland is another source of water in the bilge. This should be regularly greased and tightened when needed.

Why You Need a Clean Bilge – Used Engine Oil, Diesel Spills and Other Nasties

Our bilge cleaning service does not just deal with water. In a neglected engine bilge, there will often be ancient engine oil and diesel. This collects into a greasy crust below the engine and around the rest of the bilge. When the bilge is in this state, it is almost impossible to spot if you have an engine oil leak, or if you are leaking diesel. This is important, because both of these things suggest engine faults. You risk serious damage to the engine by running it without oil. You will also have a very difficult time cruising if you are not getting enough fuel to your engine. Most mechanics will refuse to work in an engine bilge that is in very poor condition.

Why You Need a Clean Bilge – Environmental Risks

When water combines with old engine oil and diesel, it becomes contaminated and is then  classed as hazardous waste. Used engine oil is a particularly harmful substance. It is known to cause skin cancer after repeated exposure in humans. It can also contain heavy metals from its time in the engine. There is a significant risk of the oil and diesel contaminated water being accidentally discharged into the environment. This can happen if you have an automated bilge pump or if you need to operate the bilge pump manually in an emergency. Engine oil build up in the environment is causing long term damage to the plants and wildlife. There is also the risk of a large fine or in extreme cases a prison sentence if your boat is found to be the source of pollution.

Our Engine Bilge Cleaning Service

We offer a full engine bilge cleaning service. Depending on the condition of the engine bilge, this can take anywhere from half a day for a simple clean and de-grease, to a full day for a deep clean in preparation for bilge painting.

Bilge before cleaning - Bilge Cleaning Service - Floating Boatyard, London Essex Hertfordshire A particularly bad engine bilge before our bilge cleaning service.  Note how the bilge water is almost halfway up the engine

Bilge after cleaning - Bilge Cleaning Service - Floating Boatyard, London Essex Hertfordshire

The same bilge, after our bilge cleaning service. The bilge in this narrowboat was also in need of a full restoration.

Our Engine Bilge Cleaning Service – Removing the Waste

Firstly, we remove all oil contaminated water and thick build ups of used engine oil. We securely store all oil contaminated water and hazardous waste we handle in oil and fuel proof containers. We then have the waste collected immediately by a registered hazardous waste disposal company. Expect to pay £1.20 – £2 a litre for the safe disposal of your hazardous waste. Be very wary of companies who charge less than this, it is extremely likely that they will be fly tipping the hazardous waste. As the hazardous waste was produced in your engine bilge you will also be liable if it is fly tipped. You have a legal responsibility to check that whoever cleans your bilge will dispose of the waste correctly.

Licensing Requirements for Bilge Cleaning Services Providers

We are licensed by the Canal and River Trust to carry out bilge cleaning services on their waterways. CRT carry out strict licensing procedures for this kind of work. Operators who are licensed by the trust to carry out any work on the waterways need to have full public liability insurance and will be fully risk assessed. To protect ourselves and the environment, we use the correct safety clothing and equipment for our workers and we always have spill kits on hand. We store our waste correctly before collection.  Reputable and licensed hazardous waste services collect all of our hazardous waste. We can provide copies of our waste certificates to customers on request.

Our Engine Bilge Cleaning Service – Getting Things Clean

Once we’ve removed the contaminated water, we scrub the entire engine bilge from the gunwales down. We use commercial engine degreaser, this a strong detergent and should not get onto bare skin. We also use large quantities of elbow grease. No chemical cleaner in the world is substitute for getting up close and personal with the bilge. Our team refer to this stage as bilge yoga. We find ourselves in strange positions, often upside down, to get every last square inch sparkling clean.

Bilge yoga - Bilge Cleaning Service - Floating Boatyard, London Essex Hertfordshire

A spot of bilge yoga in progress, all part of our bilge cleaning service

Our Engine Bilge Cleaning Service – The Professional Touch

We work in engine bilges regularly, we know what to watch out for to avoid damaging your engine, wiring and fittings. It is too easy for an inexperienced person carrying out a bilge cleaning service to break fuel lines or soak electrical components in water. We also know what a bilge should look like and can give you advice on any problem areas we spot.

Cleaning and de-greasing generates a small amount of contaminated waste as we rinse the final traces of engine oil and diesel from your bilge.  After this step the bilge will be clean. We can either continue to prep and paint the bilge, or we can leave it in your hands. If the bilge has been dirty for a long time, we recommend removing the rust and repainting. Bilge paint is resistant to oil and diesel, but it will degrade over time. It is important that bilges are cleaned and painted regularly. Rust treatment should be carried out as soon as any corrosion appears.

Get in touch with us here if your bilge needs some TLC from a professional bilge cleaning service.

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Narrowboat Restoration

Perch – Ex-British Waterways Narrowboat Restoration

In this post, we will showcase a narrowboat restoration. Our workboat Perch was originally build in 1976 for British Waterways to service the navigation. After being removed from service maintaining the canals, Perch was left unused in a tidal river. We bought Perch in Spring 2016 as we began to set up our co op.


Workboat Perch Craned Onto Hard Standing - Narrowboat Restoration

Craning a Narrowboat

For our narrowboat restoration project, We craned Perch out at Kecksy’s Farm, Sawbridgeworth. This boatyard offers on land hardstanding places for boat repairs. Before the craning took place, we were unsure about the actual condition of Perch’s hull as we had no survey. We knew we would need to do work on the boat’s hull. Perch had been kept on a tidal river with an open cargo hold. There had been easily a decade of constant water ingress. There was visible pitting and corrosion on the inside of the hull in the cabin bilges and we could infer that the rest of the hull would be in a worse state.

Narowboat Survey

We asked Colin Mallard South  Dip. Mar. Sur. MIIMS, a well respected boat surveyor, to survey the hull and tell us the bad news. Colin advised us that there was serious corrosion across all of the hull which had previously been below the waterline, and would need fully overplating.


Before The Hull Cleaning - Narrowboat Restoration Limescale And Dirt Removed From Hull - Narrowboat Restoration

Cleaning The Hull

We cleaned up the hull, ready for welding to begin. This involved removing all rust, dirt, old overplating, limescale mechanically and with a sandblaster. We hired a sandblaster from a neighbouring boatyard to prepare the hull. The sandblaster saved us a great deal of time, the alternative would have been using a wire brush cup ion an angle grinder or a Tercoo blaster to clean the old bitumen off the hull.

Cargo Hold Bilge

The Perch has an open front cargo hold, used for transporting materials to and from worksites when the boat was in use by British Waterways. It was in a poor condition, having been open top the elements since the boat was built. There were several layers of old paint and bitumen, the previous maintenance had been done according to what materials were at hand rather than by what was best for the boat.

Floating Boatyard stripped the bilge mechanically with an angle grinder and wirebrush cup. This was very laborious but was the best way to get the steel clean and ready for a coat of Teamac Metachlor primer. After we applied this, we used a chlorinated rubber paint for our bilge. This kind of paint is extremely hardwearing, much more so than usual bilge paint. As the cargo hold is open to the elements it will constantly be exposed to rain and dirt from our working activities. Ordinary bilge paint, while excellent for engine and cabin bilges, would not be able to keep the hull protected under these conditions.  We wanted to be confident that after this narrowboat restoration was complete, we would be able to use and abuse the boat as a workboat for many years to come.

Cargo Hold Before Refurbishment - Narrowboat Restoration

Stripping Boat Enamel Paint And Bitumen From Cargo Hold - Narrowboat Restoration

Bilge Painting Metachlor Primer - Narrowboat Restoration Bow Loading Bay Painted - Chlorinated Rubber - Narrowboat Restoration


Engine Bilge Restoration

The engine bilge was not in the worst condition, we often see much worse. It did however need a thorough clean and then repainting. The existing coat was already beginning to flake and show rust. It is vital that the engine bilge is completely clean before repainting, as any paint applied on top of oil or grease will not hold.  The engine itself was in good condition, it is a Lister SR2 and to this day, runs beautifully.

Engine Bilge Cleaning Completed - Narrowboat Restoration

Bilge Painting Complete - Narrowboat Restoration

Bow and Stern Deck Painting

The bow and stern deck painting also needed fully restoring. The decks are made from checkerplate steel. This is very functional for a workboat, as it is hardwearing and gives excellent grip in wet and icy conditions. Checkerplate is also very difficult to strip for painting when doing narrowboat restoration. The crossways pattern means that you are unable to use a continuous motion with the tool you are working with. We also recommend  knee pads while stripping paint from this kind of surface. The raised pattern becomes very painful to kneel on after a short amount of time.

Stripping Paint Of The Bow Deck Checker Plate - Narrowboat Restoration

Stern deck stripped to bare metal - Narrowboat Restoration

Primer Painted on Stern Deck - Narrowboat Restoration


Diesel Tank Restoration

During many narrowboat restoration projects, there are certain corners which are often overlooked. The engine bilge is especially prone to rust and neglect between the tank and the swim plate it sits on . When restoring Perch we removed the tank entirely, stripped it and repainted it. We also refurbished the original diesel gauge, which is a nice feature.

Original Diesel Tank Restored and Primed - Narrowboat Restoration

Flooring Plank Refurbishment

Replacement flooring planks had been fitted at some point by the previous owner. As part of our narrowboat restoration project, we wanted to make sure that these planks would stay in good condition for many years to come. We pressure washed years of grime off them, and left them to dry out. We then applied a very hardwearing wood treatment.

Cargo Hold Deck Planks Prepared For Painting - Narrowboat Restoration

Deck Planks Painted - Narrowboat Restoration


 Overplating Narrowboats

Andy of Heavy Metal Welding, based in Kecksy’s Farm, Sawbridgeworth took the lead on the overplating of Perch. We cut the steel sheets to size and bent them where necessary, ready to be welded onto the boat. We took all the millscale of the new steel, as we wanted to apply Coflex blacking. Coflex (sadly no longer available) is much more hardwearing than standard blacking. We felt that after embarking on this big narrowboat restoration project, it would be a waste not to use the best blacking we could find.

Boat Welding Overplating in Progress - Narrowboat Restoration

Rust Removed From Overplating - Narrowboat Restoration


Boat metal work sheet welding - Narrowboat Restoration

Boat Overplating Prepared For Blacking - Narrowboat Restoration

Deck Covers

Floating Boatyard fabricated deck covers for the front of the boat. This is to increase storage space and also give us a platform from which to work on other boats. These are checkerplate steel, and we can lift these to get access to the cargo hold below.

Boat Cargo Hold Cover Primed - Narrowboat Restoration

Boat Painting – the final touch to our Narrowboat Restoration

Finally, boat painting is one of the most visually rewarding parts of any narrowboat restoration. Once the hull overplating was completed and the bilges were complete, we could give the finishing touch to Perch. We stripped back the cabin to steel, and applied primer, undercoats and topcoat to the cabin, gunwales and decks.


Boat Painting in Progress Starboard View - Narrowboat RestorationPainting Complete Bow View - Narrowboat Restoration



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Boat Repair Examples

The Floating Boatyard – Boat Repair Examples

Here are a few  boat repair examples of completed projects from our time repairing boats in Greater London, Essex and Hertfordshire. To find more boat repair examples carried out by us over the last years, please visit our Facebook page.

For quotes and bookings call 07886388689 or use the contact form.

Boat repair examples - Narrowboat painting

 Winnie May – Narrowboat Painting

Winnie May came to us for narrowboat painting, after the previous boat paint became old and tired. The owner chose a modern, understated finish which works well with the angular lines found on Springer narrowboats. Springer narrowboats have a reputation as boats always in need of repairs, however Winnie May was well maintained with no need for overplating and a pleasure to work on. We advise anyone thinking of purchasing a Springer narrowboat to get a full survey before buying, but with the right care and maintenance they can be excellent boats.


The Floating Boatyard - Boat Repair Examples - Canal Boat Painting

Boat Repair Examples – Bright Eyes

Canal Boat Painting

Bright Eyes came to use with a large amount of exterior boat repairs required. As well as a full boat painting, she needed hull blacking. The paint already on Bright Eyes was at least 10 years old, and was completely dull. When the gloss boat paint goes dull, it is no longer protecting the steel structure from corrosion as it has stopped repelling water. The previous coat had been applied professionally. Professional boat painting is less likely to flake and there was only a small amount of rust present. Once the rust was removed, we filled the pitting and sanded it flat. This step helps make the boat look as good as it had done when it was brand new.

Hull Blacking And Welding

We also carried out hull blacking on Bright Eyes.To do this we removed the majority of the old blacking, as the original layer was no longer adhering to the hull. We then applied 3 coats of Rytex, a bituminous coating. As she was out of the water, the owners asked us to carry out welding on the boat’s hull, to seal off two unused bow thruster ports.

During the boats time with us, we also assisted the clients with the boat’s electrics, as the control panel was showing signs of heat damage from faulty wiring. We also advised the clients on how to carry out bilge cleaning themselves, in the most efficient way without harming the environment.

The Floating Boatyard - Boat Repair Examples - Stove

Magpie – Boat Stove Fitting

Magpie had been stripped out to a shell and was having a full refit. As well as boat carpentry work which included building custom furniture, we carried out the boat’s stove fitting. The surround and tiling was built from scratch. The boat had welding carried out on the roof to seal the hole left by the old collar. To seal the hole on the roof, we set a new plate into the roof, and flattened the seam. Once sanded, primed and painted, the previous hole was now not visible leaving the boat looking neat.

The Floating Boatyard -Boat Repair Examples - Engine Bilge Refurbishment

Boat Repair Examples – Spindle Tree – Bilge Refurbishment

Spindle tree originally came to us for lots of boat repairs including full bilge cleaning , new stern deck drainage and bilge painting. The owner also asked us to strip the boat’s paint in preparation for her to paint herself.

The original stern deck and drainage was not fit for purpose. There was water making its way into the cabin bilge and the owner originally suspected a problem with the boat’s plumbing. Floating Boatyard fitted all new stern drainage, new steps and an extra bilge pump. After this we updated some of the boat’s electrics to make sure the bilge pumps functioned correctly.

We  replaced the wooden stern deck. Boat carpentry is a specialised trade as there are rarely straight or square edges to work from. The old wooden decking had become worn and frayed. Rain water did not run into the drainage but straight into the engine bilge. The rain water running in to the engine bilge combined with oil and diesel which had leaked from the engine. This left the engine bilge in a poor condition. We fully cleaned it, removed the old paint and rust and repainted with Teamac Bilge Paint.

Spindle Tree – Boat Paint Stripping – Boat Painting

When stripping the boat for painting, we found at least 9 layers of old paint on the boat. This meant that the boat paint stripping was hard going. The owner of the boat did not feel confident that she would be able to remove all of it properly in the right amount of time. As we are experienced boat painters, we were able to give her boat painting project the momentum it needed to get finished before the summer was over.


The Floating Boatyard - Boat Repair Examples - Coal Bunker

Laika – Steps/Coal Bunker Boat Welding

This is part of an ongoing boat repairs project to take the vessel from a stripped out shell to a fully repaired boat with a new fit out. Floating Boatyard custom welded these for the boat and they also function as coal and stove supplies storage. This is a neat addition to any boat stove fitting as it saves lots of space. They have been primed and painted in marine gloss with anti slip deck paint on the lids.

The next steps on this project will be the solar cell fitting and boat plumbing including refurbishing and painting the water tank and fitting a water pump, before installing a rebuilt boat engine and servicing it. We will also be carrying out a full interior fit out of this boat. We plan to ballast, lay floors, insulating and clad the boat. After this we will be building the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom and after this build custom boat furniture.


Posted in All Boat Works Undertaken, Bilges, Carpentry, Electrics, Engines, Equipment Hire, Hull Care, Painting, Plumbing, Solar Cell Fitting, Stoves and Heating, Toilets, Towing, Water Tanks, Welding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments