Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Summer trip on Shropshire Union (Tuesday 31/7/2018) - Nantwich to Barbridge Inn

Engine hours start: 386.5 end: 387.7 = 1.2 hours

Miles:2.5 Locks:0  Lock miles: 2.5


The start of our summer cruise: supplies aboard - diesel checked - water refilled - will empty the toilet at Calveley - then smartly away into a lovely summer evening - sunshine and clouds, slight breeze.

Heading for Barbridge for dinner: burger for Andrew, liver for Alison.
Top Mooring!


Peaceful night having watched the International Space Station pass and seen Mars at perigee (if that's the word) looking large and decidedly pink in the night sky.
International Space Station (no really... it is!)

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Shropshire Union (Saturday 7/7/2018 - Thurs 12/7/2018) - Painting boat roof near Hurleston Junction

Engine hours start: ?? end: ?? = ? hours

Miles:4 Locks:0  Lock miles:4


This was a pre-planned trip for Andrew to undertake the major summer project of painting the boat roof which had been looking increasing tatty with various patches of rust showing through. 

We had done a brief recce trip back in June to find a good spot near Calveley which would have access to services and buses. In the event I did not use that spot because of the incredibly hot weather that the UK has experienced this summer.

I travelled to the boat on Friday afternoon and quickly set off after unpacking the car. 

Arriving near Hurleston Junction, I spotted a place just short of the visitor moorings which had the potential for a little shade so opted to stop there instead. This did mean that I did not pass Calveley services where I was planning to top up the water so was rather nervous about running out of water. Was fine in the event.

I moored up using spring lines fore and aft and our new wheels procured from Aldi for coping with the Shroppie shelf. I knew I would be here for some time and did not want to be moved about by passing boats while up on the roof painting.

The actual time spent doing the work is a bit of a blur as I worked through the different stages:

  1. Use scraper, chisels, wirebrushes and sanding blocks to remove any loose paint and rust
  2. Apply Fertan to convert any remaining rust to an inert form. 
  3. Wait 24 hours if possible.
  4. Clean off the Fertan
  5. Degrease the surface with panel wipe
  6. Apply undercoat
  7. Wait 16 hours
  8. Apply gloss coat 1 (Dulux Weathershield)
  9. Wait 16 hours
  10. Apply gloss coat 2
We had already done the rear part of the roof during a trip to Chester.

I initially chose a seam line on the roof to work up to which represented around two thirds of the remaining surface. Had to get up early to do preparation and apply paint in the evenings in order to avoid the heat of the sun.

I was originally planning to complete this first area then return home to pack for a weekend at the Folk on the Farm festival on Anglesey. I would then return to the boat to complete the work.

However as I was getting near the end of the first section, I check the forward weather forecast and saw that the weather was due to be unsettled in the second week with likelihood of some rain. So, I modified my plan and by staying an extra night and slightly pushing some of the above timings, I was able to get the whole roof painted before returning home.

I was a bit worried as the gloss on final section was distinctly soft when I was applying the final coat. Luckily it does seem to have baked on fine over the subsequent weeks.

While far from a perfect finish, it's a lot better than before and the rust has been dealt with. Will be looking to paint the handrails red during our summer cruise.