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Sole Plate

I have had conflicting opinions as to whether or not the sole plate should be painted. Does the sole plate need to be painted?

Asked by: Rachel Kirkland-Walters  | 5.50pm, Friday 30 October


WW says:

For many years, the generally accepted wisdom was that the base plate is so far away from the surface (where most corrosion occurs), and any coating would soon be scraped off on the bed of the canal, that it is not worth painting it.
More recently, some surveyors have observed that boats that do have a painted base plate have less general corrosion and are starting to recommend it.
If you decide to go along with this advice, the problem is how to get it done. Depending on the height of the bostocks, crawling about underneath the boat can be anything from back-breaking to completely impossible. And if you do manage to get underneath, how do you paint the part over the bostocks? One way is to paint as much as you can do and then get the boat moved, but this would almost inevitably involve additional expense. The other would be to leave the inaccessible parts until the next docking and try to ensure that the boat is in a different position.
For these reasons, the base plates of most narrowboats remain unpainted.

Graham Booth  | 10.10PM, Friday 30 October

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