The gas locker up in the bow has two vent holes to let the gas escape if there is a leak. The only problem is that these vents are near the waterline. The bow wave tends to flood in and out making it damp inside. Every time we changed the gas bottle we noticed how rusty it was getting. There is a fair amount of ballast in there to keep the bow down making the boat more level than it would be. Our friend Vic from No Problem had helped many years ago to put it all in.
So we got around to it and took the bottles out plus some ballast, the unused anchor and much else besides. I got in and rearranged the ballast left inside. Then set about scraping all the loose rust off. The floor sounded quite thin and I was happy to realise that it was not the bottom of the boat! A coat of primer was applied and when dry a coat of blacking went on as well.
That evening another problem presented itself. The starter battery has failed. It was at least 5 years old and only the first replacement so it has done well with the boat now seven years old. River Canal Rescue came and 'jump' started the engine using a spanner to short between the starter and domestic batteries. "I could have done that!" The engineer did not have a battery to replace it but did check that the starter battery was being charged.
We then went into Crick Marina to get a replacement. The engineer, Tony Bale, got a new battery and fitted it next day. He is past retirement but happy to continue working in the mornings.
We moved about seven miles north near a bridge and good walks and settled down for the weekend. The launch of our friends boat Plaidy is now due on Monday afternoon so we will get back for that.