Bottom Blacking is Boring!

by Ian H Bruce (2008)








I steer a steel boat on the system
Above water things look rather fine
But I know that beneath tranquil water
My boat is being ravaged by time
The hull it is slowly corroding
Itís thinner than this time last year
The anodes they look rather feeble
Itís time for more blacking I fear

Chorus :
But bottom blacking is boring
From the stem to the stern and then back
I lose count of the coats that Iíve put on
Itís black upon black upon black

I awake to the sound of the mallards
Pecking algae from where it has grown
On the hull just below muddy water
Where the bitumen paint has long gone (gown)
They delight in a snack nice and tasty
But their morning alarm annoys me
That weed is due for removal
Bottom blacking it just has to be


Iíve just passed a boat partly sunken
I deduce it has water inside
And I wonder just how it has got there
Was it rainfall or slow rising tide?
Was its bottom frequently blackened?
Was the progress of rust held at bay?
Or did water and oxygen conquer
The steelwork which stood in their way?


Hull thickness was tested just last Monday
The surveyor he charged me a bomb
He scraped off some paint for inspection
Then removed all my cash with aplomb
The charts of numerical thickness
Arrived in the post yesterday
They paint such a depressing picture
Of a hull with Ďsignificantí decay


I must get out the paint brush and roller
Spray away mud, rust, algae and slime
Then apply several coats of comastic
And just pray that Iíve done it in time

As any boat owner who blacks the bottom of his boat will know, it is not the most inspiring acivity. This song was written whilst I was experiencing the most boring in-service training session imaginable ('death by PowerPoint') - even bottom-blacking would have been preferable.