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Painting a narrowboat water-tank

Painting a narrowboat water-tank

** Update 27th July, 2018.**

After coating with Vactan
After coating with Vactan

During last summer, the heat of the sun on the hull and the cool of the interior of the water-tank caused a lot of the coating, previously discussed in this post, to flake off.

This left flakes of toxic residue in my water and made it unsuitable as a potable water source.

As an alternative to climbing into the water-tank and getting myself covered in toxic bitumen water-tank paint in the blazing hot summer sun, I decided to try another suggested solution for the coating of watertanks on narrowboats, that would be VACTAN.

Vactan

A water based product. Instead of bitumen, it applies a latex anti-corrosive coat to the watertank.

The advantages of VACTAN vs Rylards Water-tank coating

VACTANRYLARDS
PreparationRemove lose materials and residuesRemove lose materials and residues
Number of coats12
Time between coats1hr8hr
Drying time1hr7days
TypeWater basedBitumen based
DatasheetDatasheet

Below, there are 5 steps to coating your water-tank.

To amend that.

  1. Strip the loose and decayed metal (#1)
  2. Apply VACTAN (#4)
  3. Flush the residue (#5)

If you decide to use one of the other coatings, then you need to take the steps below.

I’ve made a short video about my experience in applying VACTAN and some of the practical observations about using the product.

Painting a narrowboat water-tank, old version

This little story is about how to paint a narrowboat water-tank:

There’s 5 steps

  1. Strip the loose and decayed metal
  2. Work surfaces down to bare metal or non-corroded paint
  3. Apply Iron Oxide paint to areas still rusting
  4. Apply bitumen blacking paint
  5. Remove paint residue

Time:

Stripping and prepping (rusty tank) – 2days
Painting (1 primer and 1 top) – 2 days

Total – 4-5 Days

*This is doing it fast. If you want to paint the tank in two halves it’s going to add a day.

Cost:

Paint – £15-£20
Brushes – £15 -£20

Total – £40

Step #1:Strip loose and decayed metal

Tools:

Shave-hook – Triangular headed scraper

Triangular headed scraper
Triangular headed scraper

Water pump

rule il280p pump
rule il280p pump

 

Narrowboat watertank rust
Removed a few shovel-fulls of rust.

Located right at the front of the boat, the water-tank has been rusting for a while. The paint has come off over time leading to corrosion and a build up of sediment at the bottom of the tank.

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