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black bottoming

How much to black bottom a 60ft 1989 trad narrow boat

Asked by: Pete  | 3.58pm, Sunday 6 March

WW says:

The price can vary a bit around the country, but in the Midlands expect to pay around £600-£700 for the job. This would include a dry docking or slipway, a jetwash of the hull, scraping of any loose material, sanding, and three successive coats of blacking.
The first coat is often only done just around the waterline (where most corrosion occurs). A standard blacking would probably be done with Intertuf, while the tougher Comastic might add £40-£50 to the cost. Most blackings ignore the baseplate, on the basis that it's going to get scraped off by the mud soon enough, but many experts think it's well worth doing. If you want the baseplate blacked, it's probably better to use a dry dock rather than a slipway, since in a dry dock there's usually more space to reach underneath. Where possible, it should be done in the summer, since each coat of blacking will dry faster.
You can cut costs by doing the blacking yourself. In that case, expect to pay around £250 for 3 days' hire of the dry dock and slipway, which should be enough time for most blackings. Allow about £50 extra for every day you overrun.
However, since the drydocking or slipway is the single biggest cost of the operation, it makes sense to include other tasks at the same time.
Most narrowboats will need a repainting of the tunnel band at the back every two or three years, and this will add up to £90 to the final bill. Meanwhile you will also want to inspect the rudder/propeller assembly and the sacrificial anodes, both of which will frequently need attention or replacement.

Andrew Denny  | 5.40PM, Friday 11 March

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