Today I decided to empty the under-well-deck storage area and treat it to a coat of Fertan
, a rust converting chemical. I'd bought a litre of the product at the National Festival last month with this job in mind.
With the beer, wine and paint tins removed all that was left was the ballast.
The rust is all too obvious. It had been flaking off and covering everything with bits.
This is where the pipe from the water tank emerges: the strainer has handy isolation valves either side.
The ballast consisted of 61 engineering bricks. I don't know how much it weighs, but I knew I'd shifted them when I'd done it!
The next stage of preparation was to sand down the loose rust. This was a very noisy job as my head was inside the enclosed steel area I was sanding. Oh, and my hair turned orange. After sweeping up the rust I then had to dampen the rust prior to painting on the Fertan. This seems counter intuitive, but the stuff needs water in order to work its magic.
The head torch was as invaluable as ever.
At last, I could actually apply the Fertan! My first thought when brushing it on was Kurust. It had the same phosphoric acid smell as that evil grey stuff I used to paint on 1100s and Minis to get them through the MOT in the 1970s.
The smell was pretty strong in that small space: every so often I had to come out to breathe in some fresh air.
And this is what happens to the rust. In a few minutes it turns black, and looks as if it has been freshly painted that colour.
When I'd left it for a while I saw several areas I'd missed. As you're painting wet onto wet it's impossible to see where you've been - and I was probably too stingy with the Fertan anyway. It was an easy job to re-dampen the missed bits and re-apply the Fertan.
Now it's a case of letting it all dry. We have to move on from here tomorow as we're on a 48 hour mooring (at Cosgrove), so I brought all the ballast inside the boat. (Bad planning to do this on a 48 hour mooring!) If I'm going to paint what I've done I have to do it within three months. I don't know what will happen if I don't paint - it'll probably go rusty again, I suppose.
On to Stoke Bruerne tomorrow.