Pressure Washing

At P&S Marine you have the option to be able to do the hull blacking of boat yourself (DIY) for get us to do it for you (P&S Marine hull blacking). Either option see us pressure washing the boat due to the strength of our pressure washer. Narrowboats are washed at £2.50 per ft, and wide-beams at £2.80 per ft. Once you have been lifted out of the water the boat is placed on trestles enabling you to comfortably gain access to the underside of the baseplate. It is a myth that has unfortunately gained recent ground that you do not need to black the baseplate which has more than likely been told to people who haven’t been able to gain access to theirs in other yards or dry docks. The bottom of your boat is no different from the sides and requires the same level of protection and at P&S Marine this is what we highly recommend. Once out of the water and on trestles the hull of your boat must be pressure washed to remove any build up of underwater growth before it can be blacked. Our 3000 psi pressure washers make this task easy. Once washed it is then clear to see what condition your hull is in and if any work needs to be carried out prior to blacking.

P&S Marine: wide beam being pressure washed by P&S

Pressure washing of the sides and baseplate. Roller chairs make moving around underneath easier.

P&S Marine: narrowboat side before pressure washing

Before pressure washing

P&S Marine: narrowboat side after pressure washing

After pressure washing

Narrow Beam Washing

£240inc. VAT

Wide Beam Washing

£270inc. VAT

Hull Blacking with Bitumen

Pressure washing removes most loose materials. However, some hulls may need extra time spent on them removing other things such as rust from the waterline. After the hull has been properly prepared, hull blacking can commence.  We recommend applying two coats of bitumen. High-quality bitumen and rollers can be purchased from us or you may provide your own.

The time between coats depends on temperature, but a good rule of thumb is to leave 24 hours between the first and second coat. This ensures the first coat has had well over 18 hours needed for surface temperatures of 10 degrees Celsius. After the last coat has been applied 24 hours are needed for the paint to cure before being immersed in water (again, at 10 degrees).

Other materials such as paint trays, roller handles, brushes, white spirit, disposable gloves etc. we also have in stock.

5ltrs of SML Ballistic Black
Bitumen data sheet
P&S Marine: narrowboat side after DIY blacking
P&S Marine: narrowboat after hull blacking

Along with the usual configuration of two and the bow and stern, we recommend sacrificial anodes to be welded onto the baseplate every 8-10 foot apart. By attaching them to the underside of a boat they are able to provide protection to both the sides and bottom in a 4-5 foot radius enabling the maximum area to be covered by one anode. After the baseplate is painted we grind away small areas for the anode tags to be welded to and then reapply bitumen to these areas. This ensures the area under the anode has been painted. See our anode page for more information.

P&S Hull Blacking Prices

If you are blacking your hull yourself the hire of the pressure washer, cost of materials (bitumen and rollers), hard standing and crane lifts are the prices you will need to take into account. If you are hiring us to do your hull blacking for you, our prices are on a per foot basis dependant on the beam of your boat which do not include the cost of the crane lifts or hard standing.

Narrow Beam Boat (up to 7ft)

£2100per foot
  • inc. VAT

Wide Beam Boat (over 7ft)

£2700per foot
  • inc. VAT

Hull Blacking of Additional 2-pack Coatings

If your boat benefits from 2-pack epoxy coatings it is generally recommended that additional coatings of 2-pack are applied on top of the existing coats after the paint manufactures time has expired (typically 6 years). In order to do this the surface of the existing coats needs to be abraded in order for the new coats to key properly. This can be achieved with the light use of the small cup brush on a 5” angle grinder or with a dual action sander, both of which can be hired from us or your welcome to use your own.

P&S Marine: narrowboat side being abraded in preparation for new 2-pack coatings

Hull Blacking the Baseplates of New Boats

At P&S Marine our most common craneage operation is lifting brand new boats off of road transport into the water. Most of these vessels come from the boat builders without having any protective coatings on their baseplates – just bare steel. This is normally due to the fact that boats are built from the baseplate up, meaning that the underside of the plate is sat on the workshop floor for the whole time the boat is being built and only sees daylight when the finished craft is being lifted onto a lorry to come to us. Putting a brand new boat in the water without any protection on its baseplate is very bad practice in our opinion. Un-protected bare steel is going to be effected by electrolysis (see anode page) very badly and at P&S Marine we have seen 10 year old baseplates with such heavy pitting that over-plating is recommended by surveyors because vessels have been put into the water without having bitumen put onto their baseplates during hull blacking. At P&S Marine we offer the chance for you to apply coatings to any areas of your new hull which the boat builder hasn’t before going into the water. Depending on availability, hard standing is available for vessels to be placed on trestles so that baseplates can be blacked. You are welcome to do this yourselves for you can get us to do it for you. We recommend two coats of bitumen and anodes welded every 8-10 foot apart to provide maximum protection. With weather permitting we can normally normally achieve this in 4 days: one coat the first day, the second coat on the second day and then welding anodes on, on the third. The fourth day allows 48 hours for the paint to cure after the last coat had been applied which is recommended by our bitumen supplier.