Log in
Article search:

Q & A

What paint is best to use to black bottom of narrowboat?

We are on river chelmer and our only access to under the waterline on the narrowboat is by craning the boat out. We want to paint the bottom and wish to use something that would last as long as possible to avoid regularly craning the boat out. What paint/medium do you suggest?

Asked by: Janette Allen  | 11.24am, Tuesday 8 June


WW says:

The most long-lasting hull paint is the two-part epoxy type. This normally lasts for about five years on the canals but, if your boat has mainly river use where the chances of abrasion while locking is reduced, it may last considerably longer.
The only snag is that the hull must be grit-blasted before the paint is applied. This will add to the initial cost but it is an investment in the future.
You might also consider having the baseplate treated as well as the sides as many surveyors reckon that this will prolong the life of the boat still further.

Graham Booth  | 2.26PM, Tuesday 8 June

The tins carry some fairly scary warnings and some say 'for professional use only' so, unless you are very confident about what you are doing, perhaps it would be better to leave it to the professionals.

Graham Booth  | 4.44PM, Wednesday 9 June


Readers say:

Can the two-part epoxy be applied by a 'novice' or does it need to be professionally painted.

Janette Allen  | 3.43PM, Wednesday 9 June

The epoxy has to go on immediately after blasting, within a couple of hours at the most. Otherwise microscopic rust-cells form on the bare steel which will inevitably grow, even under the epoxy, over time. Spraying or a very fast brushwork gang will be needed. It is easy stuff to apply by brush, goes on just like normal paint. Set a kitchen timer when you mix the epoxy and put it in a prominent position, keep an eye on it, when the time is nearly up you just clean the brush, dump the epoxy you are using and mix another batch.I did a catamaran on my own a few years back but it was nothing like the area of a narrowboat.
If it was me, I would see how much someone with a mobile sprayer would charge first.

Andrew Durrant  | 10.23AM, Tuesday 6 July

You must log in to post an answer.