Painting and varnishing, getting our narrowboat ready to travel

After several months during which hardly any boats came in or out of the marina, the sunny weather has brought all the boats out. Several of the long-term moorers have left, and narrowboats and cruisers are stopping off at the visitor moorings, on their way to elsewhere. We’re looking forward to moving on, our mooring period ends this week, and there’s the rest of Yorkshire’s canals to see.

This clement weather, a relief after the cruel winter, is a call to paint, varnish, tackle rust, and generally fix and spring clean. This Easter weekend I sandpapered and varnished the wooden seats at the fore and aft of the boat. The aft seat had been loose for many months, and I finally got round to glueing and screwing the wooden seat back onto the metal railing.

Cruiser style narrowboat's railing seat

The decks were looking scuffed and grey, so I washed, rust-proofed then put a couple of layers of paint down. Still have a tin of Craftmaster Oxford Blue left, so they’ll get another coat later, followed by some varnish to add some shine.

Wooden seat varnished, deck painted

The local chandlery at Apperley Bridge had run out of bilge paint, so that task will have to wait a few weeks. Cleaning and painting the bilge is an unpleasant task, not so much because of the oil and water that needs removing, but because you have to be a contortionist to squeeze into the space beside the engine and wield a paintbrush, and it’s a sure way to get backache.

The roof needs attention, the white paint’s looking drab and there are rust spots appearing. That’s a job Alisha and I will do together soon, using non-slip paint.

Rust on narrowboat roof

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