What price black­ing?

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin: Experts -

QAre In­tertuf or Keel­black hull black­ing prod­ucts worth the price, or is a cheaper paint like Black Jack just as good?

JEFFRICE, from the CB web­site

ATONY REPLIES… Black­ing cov­ers a lot of prod­ucts. Tra­di­tional black­ing falls into one of two types: tar-based or bi­tu­men-based. If you put tar-based over ex­ist­ing bi­tu­men, the bi­tu­men is likely to dis­solve and shed the new black­ing. To test it, rub the hull with a rag soaked in white spirit. If the black­ing starts to come off on the rag, it’s bi­tu­men and you should only reap­ply bi­tu­men-based black­ing (un­less you blast the whole hull back to bare steel). Bi­tu­men will of­ten cover well-weath­ered tar based black­ing.

Black jack is a sim­ple bi­tu­men paint, but for a lit­tle more you can get mod­i­fied bi­tu­men like Pre­mium that has more body and is a lit­tle bet­ter suited to hull work. In­tertuf ( In­ter­na­tional’s black­ing lines) has a num­ber suffix eg In­tertuf 16 or In­tertuf 203 to iden­tify the prod­uct, so with­out the num­bers, I can­not com­ment. Keel­black, bi­tu­men in a wa­ter-based body, is a new prod­uct. It’s too new for much user feed­back but the claims made for it seem good.

Prob­a­bly the most long-last­ing black­ing is one of the two-part epoxy prod­ucts, but they should be ap­plied to bare steel so blasting is re­quired. Al­though much tougher than or­di­nary black­ing, the coat is still likely to be dam­aged by abra­sion on lock walls etc.

In sum­mary, find out what type of black­ing you have, check out prod­ucts us­ing the same base, and eval­u­ate claims made for it against price.

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