Sunday, 23 August 2009

Colours of the Duck


This weekend, I have been doing a lot of angle grinding. No, wait, "a lot" doesn't cover it. "Enough to take most of the Duck's roof back to bare metal" is much more accurate.

At first, on Saturday morning, I used a twisted-wire brush on the grinder, and Amy attacked with a hand scraper. We managed to do a few square feet,but it took hours and the rest of the roof looked daunting.

So I tried using the sandpaper disks, with a flexible backing, and they just tore through the four or five layers of paint. Still hard but methodical work, but by 7PM, I had stripped the entire roof back to level with the chimney. We then both hopped onto the roof, and with the new International Yacht Primer that Amy had ordered online, we started methodically priming. We finished just as the sun was going down- good timing!

Finishing off on Saturday

The results were impressive; the primer has very good coverage, and it's not so much paint as lots of zinc in a paint suspension, so we're really cold galvanising the steel.

It's been pointed out that we could have left the paint on the roof, and just roughened up the surface. We decided to go the whole hog, and take all of it back to bare metal, because the paint on the roof had degraded a lot in the sun (fading from a scarlet to a pinkish colour) and we didn't want the sandy non-slip surface. There were also a lot of flaking patches, and a bit of rust where the coats had been scraped down to the metal, from where we loaded the bikes onto and off of the roof often, and also a few patches where the rust had pitted the steel.

So we decided to take it all off, so we knew that the steel preparation was high quality.

On Sunday, we started at 10:30 (having checked when our neighbours were planning to wake up!) and, by 5:30, I had taken all the paint off right back to the side hatch, which is about 70% of the roof done. The pigeon box, morco chimney, and all the mushroom vent bases have been given a through going over.

Neat grey primer- far better than the old paint!

The plan for the future is to finish off the roof tomorrow, and then work on the red sides which have a fair few patches where paint was scraped off, by Fotheringhay bridge, etc. etc.... In order to get a good finish, that has to come off too. So it will. I'm also planning on taking off the yellow strip, which has got a lot of rust bubbles underneath it, in order to fully prepare for painting. For now, the dark blue will stay as it is.

The overall plan is, one day, to have a cream or grey roof, and the sides of the lid in light blue, with the sides of the boat in dark blue. And some nice signwriting, too.

For now, the roof looks great. John and I are going to attack the rest tomorrow, so we'll see how far we get!


  1. Glad you chose to remove the old paint. I'm sure you'll never regret it. When I have to make a decision like that, I always ask, "Am I going to spend the next 20 years wishing I had done it the other way?"