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Canal Boat - - This Month - DAVID FARNELL, via email

Deal­ing with hull pit­ting; con­fus­ing charg­ing; plan­ning for 240v; trick­ing the reg­u­la­tor

QMy nar­row­boat has some pit­ting on the wa­ter­line. Strip­ping the lin­ing out would mean gut­ting the shower room, gal­ley and stove area. Is there an al­ter­na­tive to weld­ing on plate? I’ve heard of a method that coats by elec­trol­y­sis or sim­i­lar.

ATONY REPLIES... If there are not too many pits, they can be filled with weld and then ground flat. Many hulls are welded with­out strip­ping the in­te­rior. It de­pends upon the lo­ca­tion and type of ther­mal in­su­la­tion. There might not be any be­low the gun­wales. If it is poly­styrene slabs it might not touch the side of the hull – but it would be a good idea to get ac­cess, take a sam­ple, and see if it is self-ex­tin­guish­ing. If it is Rock­wool then weld­ing should not be a prob­lem. If it is spray foam, be cau­tious, I think it just chars a bit and stinks.

I would be very cau­tious about fil­ing pits with some­thing such as ‘plas­tic metal’: ad­he­sion can­not be as­sured and it might be por­ous.

Deb­dale Wharf (0116 279 3034) do some form of blast­ing then hot zinc spray­ing fol­lowed by twopack black­ing. In the­ory, all fur­ther cor­ro­sion should then stop (un­less caused by elec­tri­cal prob­lems). How­ever, if you have 6mm hull sides with 5mm pits, what­ever you do with the hull you still only have 1mm of steel keep­ing the canal out. I would want deeper pits welded up be­fore treat­ment (as I would if you went for a pos­si­bly slightly cheaper al­ter­na­tive of blast­ing, a coat or two of cold gal­vanis­ing paint like Zinga and then two pack hull paint).

Deep pits need to be welded or plated

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