Of questionable benefit
MY THOUGHT PROCESSES on blacking the baseplate follow much the same course as Steve Haywood’s ( CB, Sept).
I have recently had a new baseplate welded over the original as its condition was very poor. When I peeped under my boat in dry dock to look at the new baseplate with its bare steel contrasting with the shiny, newly-blacked sides, I must admit my resolve did waver.
Saying that, the original blacking on the hull sides didn’t seem to stop much electrolysis anyway, as the first pressure-washing revealed some shiny metal – a sure sign of electrolysis.
The boatyard did a great job renewing and refurbishing the hull and the ensuing independent survey obviously gave the baseplate a clean bill of health.
On reaching the last page of the survey, however, in the ‘general observations’ at the end, were the words ‘may benefit from blacking of the baseplate’.
As Steve suggested in his article, is this a phrase that is going to escalate in status while any benefits are at best questionable? Will it be something that insurers, surveyors and boatyards just daren’t leave out?
Would it help if all new boats had galvanised hulls when new? Everyone gets the jitters once a boat is older than ten years; it must be a narrowboat owner’s biggest concern. The extra cost would surely help the boat maintain its value.
PHIL BROWN, nb Helen