It occurred to me that as the boat was on her side, all I would have to do to extract the plate was to undo the pivot bolt and slide the plate out of the box, not through the top, but the bottom. Hence, there would be no need to unscrew the wood that seals the top of the box.
On examining the centreplate I discovered that the rust I had previously observed was not as bad as I had thought. I cleaned the plate with a rotary sander; then I took it to a local galvaniser. He was away having lunch, but a friend who has a business nearby said it would cost £40.00 and it would be ready for collection on Friday 31st. He took my details and I left the plate with him.
Back at home I tipped the boat onto her port side ready for making good the surface where the old boot topping had been painted. I had to scrape off areas of flaky paint, and the best tool for doing it was my penknife. I also sanded underneath the starboard rubbing strip and the adjacent fibreglass edging. I was amazed how thick the fibreglass was, at least a ¼ of an inch and where they overlapped at the join, ½ inch. I varnished the bare wood and the corresponding fibreglass edges. Finally, I gave the side of the boat below the waterline a coat of white Toplac.
If I have an opportunity tomorrow between the showers that have been forecast I shall apply a second coat of Toplac over the area painted today.
The more I see of the boat, the more I become aware of what must be done to make her ready for the water. I’ve noticed that six bolts retaining the bow fairleads are severely rusted. Despite this, they are sufficiently strong for keeping the fairleads in place. However, I don’t like the thought of them being there, but I may let them be until I have more time to play around replacing them.
I’m certain I shall be painting the sides of the boat, but the type of paint and the colour I have yet to decide.