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Our narrowboat, which is showing some rust just above the waterline, is scheduled for blacking in the autumn. Most boatyards only seem to do two coats of basic blacking like Intertuf 16 whereas I always thought three were recommended. Also does it make any difference whether the blacking is applied by brush or roller. It has been suggested to me that rollering achieves achieves a thicker coat and therefore that two coats are okay.

Asked by: Clive Dutson  | 12.25pm, Tuesday 7 April

WW says:

I suspect that many boatyards offer a fairly basic paint system in order to make the total price seem more reasonable. They would probably be quite happy to apply an extra coat or use a better type of paint but the price would naturally go up.
The basic aim should be to get as thick a coating as possible so three coats offer more resistance to wear than two. If you look at the product data sheet for Intertuf 16, it only recommends brush or roller application for small areas. For larger areas, it suggests an airless spray. In spite of this, a brush or roller are normally used for narrowboat hulls.
How much paint either method manages to get onto the boat depends on how generously the paint is applied. Greater pressure results in a thinner coat. I normally paint around the strakes and any other details with a large brush and then do the flat areas in between with a roller.
You might also consider using a better type of paint but this depends on what type is on the boat already. For expert advice on what is possible, have a word with Mainline Building Products on 0151 920 6451

Graham Booth  | 6.39PM, Thursday 9 April

Sometimes just using a roller on a pitted surface does not get the paints into the pits, which is where it will provide the best protection and will not get rubbed off. A combination of a roller to get the paint on, and following with a brush will ensure the best coverage, and don't forget the base plate if you want the boat to last!

Rupert Smedley  | 12.02PM, Friday 10 April

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