Last week, after many false starts, I finally achieved a couple of days alone on the boat in order to tackle the worst of the exterior paintwork.

At first glance our Eileen looks in pretty good fettle decoratively, however on closer inspection the true extent of the corrosion and deterioration of paintwork becomes apparent.

It was clear to me that any grand ideas I had for giving the whole boat a freshen-up was totally unrealistic, so instead I focused on the ‘flat areas’, the cabin top, the gunnels, the fore and stern decks ie. those part that get the worst of the rain.

The following few images give some idea of what I was up against.

The stern deck, perhaps the area of greatest wear-&-tear? This photo shows that it’s certainly a priority for painting.
Another view of the stern deck area. That chequer-plate sections are bubbling and lifting with rust… and, no doubt, will be really tricky to sort out…
Whilst the cabin sides are generally very sound, the colour of the paint has deteriorated markedly. Ultimately we’re planning to repaint these panels ‘Iron Grey’ with Off-White sans serif lettering, though (sadly) they’ll not get done over these two days.
A quick close-up showing the extent of the rust damage, with pitting and bubbling lifting layers of paint…
The most recent top-coat of ‘Red Oxide’ on the cabin roof is in a dire state. Crazy-paved and blistered. The majority will have to be removed… sigh.
Hardly any paint at all remains on the fore-end, it’s likely it was last given any attention about 20 years ago, so the lack of serious erosion is frankly rather reassuring, she’s made of ‘good metal’ is our Eileen!

As can be seen, when the photos were taken, ie. on the first morning of my two days, the forecast of high cloud and fine weather had proved wildly optimistic. I woke to find pouring rain, precious hours would be lost to the elements… sigh.

Time for breakfast and a re-think.

More tomorrow…

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