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Q & A

Frequency of blacking

There's lots of conflicting advice about this, but how often should my narrowboat be blacked? It was last done in summer 2014 with bitumen.

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | 5.51pm, Saturday 23 September


WW says:

It depends very much on what type of paint has been used before. If it is a basic bitumen paint, two years is the normal interval so your boat is probably due a docking. If it is a slightly more upmarket single pack paint like Comastic, it should be two to three years depending on the type and amount of use the boat has had.
You can extend these periods considerably if you use a two pack epoxy paint which will enable you to go for six or seven years between dockings. The only snag is that, if the boat is not already painted in two pack epoxy, you need to remove all the old paint and the only effective way to do this is by grit blasting. If the boat is new, or you plan to keep it for some time, it can be cheaper to invest in having the boat grit blasted. The extra cost could be more than paid for by having fewer dry dockings over the life of the boat.


  • I have recently blacked my own boat using two pack epoxy and described the job in an article in the October 2017 issue of WW.

    Graham Booth  | 6.53PM, Saturday 23 September

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