Blacking your narrowboat

The blacking process is to protect the hull from rust, pitting, rubbing (through locks, other boats, banks etc) and it helps to extend the life of your hull.

Blacking is an essential maintenance for your boat. There are two coatings used for blacking.  Bituminous lifespan 2-3 years.  Two pack epoxy is more expensive but lasts 5-6 years (you cannot paint this over bituminous).

Here at Kate boats we can get your boat out of the water using our tractor and trailer, the cost of this is included in the price for blacking (£300.00 for just a lift) if you are a live aboard we suggest that you make arrangements for alternative accommodation (the incline cannot be levelled out).  If you cannot arrange an alternative, we can get an outside company to crane your boat onto hard standing (this could be more costly).

The process

  • Preparation is the key so we first jet wash the hull, to remove all crud.
  • This shows the condition of the hull for signs of pitting and galvanic corrosion (it is normal to have some pitting) this is why you have protective anodes.
  • Stern gear will be checked for condition.
  • If there is any damage or pits that need to be addressed in our opinion, we will advise you first before we carry on with blacking, i.e. needle gun work, over plating. etc.
  • Once we are ready to black, two to three coats are applied including the bow thruster tube. The process can take up to a week,  but this is dependent on our lovely British weather.  
  • We can facilitate a hull survey by an independent engineer if required.

We will also check anode wear and recommend whether new anodes need to be fitted.

The “tunnel stripes” can also be painted at this stage.

For pricing and further information, please contact us on 01926 492968 or