Let's Get It On...
Nope. Not like that. It's not Christmas or my birthday so that's right out of the question. I am referring to the paint. The sprayers have been and painted the hull and she has been refloated with no ill effects. So far, so good. However, with the top sides not painted and open to the elements, there became a pressing need to get a lick of paint on in order to stop any water flowing off the rusty topsides to flow through the (rusty) scuppers and stain the brand new white paintwork... I have had some willing help this week which has been fantastic, so thank you Andy, you are a star! If anyone else wants to see how barge renovations happen then we can provide tea, lunch, biscuits and post work beer...
Quick reminder of what she looked like pre and post hull paint...
The walkways have been given a coat or 2 of Jotamastic as well. Ultimately they will need something like 3 coats of Jotamastic to provide the depth of paint required. Don't worry, she is not going to keep her black 'Death Star-esque' livery for very long. The art of estimating the quantities required for painting is obviously still a bit of guesswork as we had a considerable amount of the black Jotamastic left over which should have been used on the hull. The painters recommended using the leftover black as the first coat/s on the top side, then using the Aluminium Red and after that the offwhite primer in preparation for the white 'hard top'. It means making the best use of expensive paint and will give the steelwork more protection.
She looks much better and the paint seems to give pretty good coverage as well as feeling satisfyingly thick (let's get it oooooon, bow bow bow booooow...).
Once we have a good coat of paint everywhere, the scuppers have been treated and painted, the anchor painted and back in the foc'sle with the steel ballast and the engine successfully fired up and running ok, then we can consider the short transit back to Portishead under the watchful gaze of a pilot.
And now the not so great news. I don't often talk about money on this blog but I am sure everyone is wondering what the costs are of something like this. Well, here goes:
Hull strip and sprayers to apply paint accordingly: £11,500
Dry docking/welding/small amount of mechanical work: circa £17,000
After and initial quote for works of about £13k, the overshoot is considerable. All this is due to a crappy survey (thank you Selles and Van Dyk). As a result we are having to minimise our outgoings after raiding the piggy bank, looking down the back of the sofa and selling a kidney. We are moving out of the flat in Portishead where we're currently renting, primarily because we expected to be living on the barge - at least in the cargo hold - by now. Whilst my Beloved and the baby Bodester move back in with Beloved's mum, I will be a roving, sofa surfer (and possibly a caravan or tent sleeping hobo) while I work a variety of roles. When not working I will be commuting back to Portishead marina to work on the barge. March will be painting, welding, packing, moving, driving. April and beyond will be work, drive, barge work, drive, work (repeat). Yes it both sucks and blows and essentially is a direct result of us being led down the garden path by a survey which was wholly unprofessional. Let's not forget we have been in physical dry dock for over 6 weeks and at Sharpness since October.
So, dear readers, a heartfelt plea. If anyone knows of friends or acquaintances who need house/boat/pet sitters for an extended period we would be most grateful for the opportunity to help someone out and allow us time to build our finances to the point where we can get back on track and get some more major work done on the barge.
Until next time shipmates...
Brownian motion-type musings on barge renovation, life and other bits of flotsam.