Slipways – Dry-docks – Cranes
UK Inland Waterway Slipways, Dry-docks and Cranes
Periodically every boat should be taken out of the water for the hull to
be inspected, cleaned and the bottom treated. The inspection can also include
the propeller, shaft, retaining nut and split-pin, bearing gland and rudder.
The rudder should be treated with the hull. The prop should be inspected for
bends or cracks in the blades and replaced if necessary. The rough edges may
be filed smooth.
The rule of thumb and common advice is that this inspection should take place
every two years. If left much longer the minor problems likely to occur below
the water line in that period may develop into something more serious and costly!
With a steel hulled vessel the inspection would include the sacrificial anodes,
if there is over 50% loss of volume then they should be replaced. Whilst the
boat is out of the water we would recommend pressure washing the hull and removing
any rust flakes, repair any seriously damaged or worn areas of the hull. When
dry the hull should then be painted with at least two coats of anti-fouling paint
With GRP hull - you should look for signs of osmosis and damage to the hull.
Small bubbles on the hull should be broken, dried out and epoxy filler applied
to the crater. The gel coat should be inspected and re applied.
There are three main ways of removing a boat from the water:
Slipways are where your boat is drawn out of the water on a trailer, cradle
Dry Dock where the water is removed from an enclosure at canal level by hydraulics
- The traditional method of carrying out the above work is in a dry dock but
they are few and far between.
Craneage; at a boat yard where there is a resident crane, the boat is lifted
on to ‘sleepers’ for the inspection and work to be carried out. Generally
the most expensive option if the crane has to be brought in to where the boat
is. The cost can be shared if a number of boats are coming out (and going back
in) on the same day(s)