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Blacking over vinyl tar

I found out recently that coal tar products are being banned from January 2019 and my narrowboat was blacked with Rylards Vinyl Tar from new last year and I understand that this product is coal tar based. I've also heard that bituminous blacking doesn't adhere to vinyl tar, so I was wondering which blacking I can use when the time comes, and for touching up any scrapes?
Many thanks

Asked by: Raymond Fowler  | 5.01am, Monday 30 July


WW says:

It seems that production of coal tar vinyl paints such as Comastic and Coflex has already stopped. Owners of boats with this type of paint on the hull have two conventional choices.


  • One is to have the hull grit blasted and a two-pack epoxy applied. This is obviously expensive but it has the advantage that dry docking can be stretched from every two years to every five to seven years. If you plan to keep the boat for around fifteen years, you will probably recoup the cost and save yourself a lot of time and effort.
    The other is to apply a bituminous paint like Rytex or Intertuf 16 over the vinyl tar paint. My local dry dock operator tells me that his customers have had no problems with this provided that the existing paint is pressure jetted and rubbed down to provide a good key. The disadvantage of this option is that, should production of coal tar vinyl paints restart, it will not be possible to apply them over the bituminous paint.
    A third possibility is to use Keelblack which is a water-based bitumen paint that the makers say can be applied over any existing coating. This is a new product and I have no experience of how it performs. More information can be found at www.keelblack.co.uk.

    Graham Booth  | 12.33PM, Wednesday 1 August

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