Indigo Dreaming

The journeys of the Narrowboat Indigo Dream

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Archive for July 10th, 2011

Boat Blog: A look at Indigo Dream’s Bottom

Posted by indigodream on 10 July, 2011

Monday 5th July

We had Indigo Dream taken out of the water for the first time since her launch in May 2006 – always an anxious time as who knows “what lies beneath”! We have not counted up what she has done in that time but as our summer cruises are often 500 locks and 800 miles plus some cruising in the winter it is fair estimate that our blacking has been through 2500 locks and 4000 miles plus several stints on tidal i.e. salt water and even some ice breaking.

We were delighted that the long-life 2-pack blacking and Zinga combination had done its job – she was in excellent condition, though the local boat surveyor (who did a quick eyeball survey) gave us a bollocking for not changing the anodes every 2 years. That is tricky – we’ve replaced the anodes now – it cost £150 – it actually cost more to take her out of the water (£235 including cost of scraping and washing); the blacking would probably have lasted another a few years so we’ll need to get the balance right in the future as it’s costly to take her out of the water just to have the anodes replaced. The surveyor, boatyard workers and our ‘painter’ (corrosion specialist!) agreed that she was in excellent condition – the lady who organises the boatyard said that when some boats came out of the water they were “as porous as a teabag” – a worryingly graphic description! Update: We now know that our anodes go quickly when we spend time in brackish water, and proper salt water just loves our anodes.

Wayne, our ‘painter” says that any rust we can see on the photos is superficial. Wayne’s Company – (MWT Civil Engineering) originally shot blasted the hull, painted it with Zinga and then airless sprayed the two part blacking. The system has lasted well so we wanted him to come back and re-do the painting. The very nice people at JBJ Engineering agreed to lift the boat out of the water and allow Wayne to work in their yard so this was what we organised, more detail in another post.

We love our prop/engine/gearbox combination so it was nice that when the prop came out of the water all the men from the boatyard said “phwoar look at that prop” – I doubt whether a topless lady on deck would have got them more excited!

There was a patch of rust under the waterline which Richard suspects was caused by residual  electrical currents whizzing round the marina – I’ll let him explain this and the potential remedies – maybe in a separate post as it’s quite technical. Basically before we get back to a shore power connection he needs to make up his mind whether he buys a galvanic isolator (under £100), an airlink isolating transformer (£235) or a Victron isolating transformer (£600).

Here’s our photographic record of Indigo Dream’s bottom – of intense interest to us and a useful record for comparison when we take her out next – on her 10th birthday maybe!

Here we go….

We spent the morning clearing away all the stuff that could go flying as the boat was pulled out – she came up at quiet an angle….

We were a bit worried that the breather holes would be under water – we may need to check the bilges later….

Ah that’s better….

Indigo Dream exposed – she’s in excellent condition…

Our prop ID numbers (Vetus 18x12RH) – we’d want another one just like this if we needed a replacement…

The bottom (1)

The bottom (2)

The bottom (3)

The bottom (4)

The bottom (5)

The bottom (6)

The bottom (7)

The bottom (8)

The bottom (9)

The bottom (10)

The bottom (11)

The bottom (12)

The bottom (13)

The bottom (14)

The prop – see the weed hatch above….

Can’t resist another one of the prop….

The base plate (1)

The base plate (2)

The base plate (3)

The base plate (4)

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