ALL IS SHIP SHAPE SHIPWRIGHTS KEEP BOATS AFLOAT BOAT UPKEEP
Anti-fouling: Anti-fouling paint releases toxins that repel organisms such as mussels, oysters and barnacles, which tend to anchor to the hulls of boats. Over time, these marine creatures can cause structural damage to a vessel so antifouling is important. Marine detailing: This is a multistep process that involves giving the vessel a good wash to remove salt water residue, polishing any stainless steel parts and applying wax, which is used to protect boats from unsightly watermarks and chalky build-up. Spray-painting: A nice coat of paint keeps boats looking clean and shiny. Painting options range from full resprays to small touch-ups, gel coating and varnishing. The paint used on fibreglass boats is slightly higher quality that the paint used on motor vehicles. SHIPWRIGHTS are jacks of all trades but it’s up to boat owners to take their vessels in for service.
“It’s best to get things checked over once every 12 to 14 months,” the lead shipwright at ARMS in Balmain, Adam Ross, said.
“Sticking to that schedule will save you money in the long-term — otherwise you might be paying for heavy degradation in two to three years’ time. The marine environment is quite harsh.”
Mr Ross and his team work mostly on fibreglass boats, with timberwork becoming a dying trade.
They relish any chance they have to work with classic wood vessels.
“Timberwork is when the true craftsmanship comes in,” Mr Ross said.
“It is very intensive because every piece of the boat is integral to its structure.
“A lot of the work involves applying multiple paint coatings to keep the wood sound,” he said.
Timberwork was the “holy grail” of shipwrighting, Mr Ross said.
The shipwrights at ARMS do everything except building boats from scratch.
Services include antifouling, spray-painting, crash repairs, mending dings and holes and doing modifications and fit-outs.
Shipwright Adam Ross gets stuck into detailing.