Out of the Water

Albert has been moored at Debdale Wharf since May waiting for their new grit blasting facility to be completed. The facilities, much delayed by the awful weather of the winter and spring, are now completed and the first boat is in the facility being blasted and metal sprayed. 

A boat being grit blasted at Debdale Wharf

We got a phone call yesterday that Albert was about to be lifted out of the water with the plan for her to be grit blasted next week. This is the first time while we have owned Albert, and possibly the first time ever, that Albert has been lifted out of the water rather than use a dry dock. We travelled up to Debdale to look at her out the water and discuss details of the work to be done.

Out of the water

Pressure washing

After lifting, Albert was pressure washed and lifted high enough the have a close inspection of the base-plate. Albert has a 15 mm thick base-plate so I have been quite comfortable about subscribing to the commonly held view that base-plates, out of the heavily oxygenated area near the water surface and subject to lots of attrition from grounding, do not need blacking. However, Debdale were keen to get me to inspect it. 

Having a cup if tea underneath Albert!

After almost 20 years in the water, the base-plate was in good condition but with the odd sign of pitting. I have therefore agreed to the plate being treated with blacking on the basis that the bitumen, at the very least, will fill the pits where it will not be abraded, and will therefore provide some increased protection. It will be interesting to see how the coating as a whole survives until the next blacking.

Onto the supports

So far as the blacking on the hull sides was concerned, the blacking has done its job but certainly needs re-coating. In places, particularly near the bows, the ice breaking earlier in the year had done a good job of removing the bitumen.

Blacking removed on the waterline during ice breaking

We look forward to the grit blasting and the boat being back into the water shortly after.