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Solar Panels now available online and in store!

We have just teamed up with a local Energy saving company who have been importing Solar Panel and other energy saving products for over 10 years.

The range of panels include flexible and ridged designs, the ridged are available in both Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline (more on this in my next post).

There will also be a complete range of accessories

  • Solar Controllers both MPPT and MPW (again more on this in my next post)
  • Solar Cable
  • MC4 connectors, Y’s,T’s, diodes, etc
  • Cable Glands
  • Adjustable and fixed brackets

We can even supply the cable, fuses and connectors to connect the solar system to the battery

The fist kit we have loaded on to the site is our 200w Solar panel kit ideal for most narrowboats.

More products will be added over the next week


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Coal Tar products to be banned from Jan 2019

You will find it increasingly difficult to buy Coal Tar based products now due to a ban being introduced in January 2019.

Products we used to sell include;

Coflex VT ( Comastic)

Standard Black

Epicol CT

Epicol MT



The main problem most people will have is the availability of Comastic, our supplies have now run out!




Rylard Paints our main supplier of Blacking products is now recommending Rytex to be used to over coat existing Coal Tar products (except Standard Black, see below),  this is what they sent to me:




Products containing Coal Tar have been phased out of the UK market due to changes in Health & Safety Regulations.

As a result, we no longer manufacturer Standard Black, Coflex, Comastic, Epimastic MT and Epicol CT.

As the above are no longer available, Rytex should be used instead.  The only product Rytex cannot be applied on top off is Standard Black, this needs to be fully removed.

Existing Coating

Type Can be overcoated with: Water
Epicol Coal tar epoxy Rytex (Intex) Fresh & Salt
Epimastic Coal tar epoxy Rytex (Intex) Fresh & Salt
Coflex = Comastic Vinyl tar Rytex (Intex) Fresh & Salt
Standard Black Coal tar single pack Fully remove, then Rytex (Intex) Fresh & Salt


  • We have tested for both fresh and salt water immersion.
  • Over painting existing tar based products and direct to metal.
  • We found that Rytex gave the best overall results on all test areas.
  • 1 pack product – easy to use
  • non toxic and a safer solvent combination


I hope this helps!

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The importance of proper maintenance(hull blacking)

This is an article published in Tillergraph about a customer of ours who’s boat I was blacking.

The first time the boat was dry docked by us it was quite evident that any existing rust had never been cleaned of before blacking and it they had just over painted it, unfortunately it ultimately (4 years later) resulted in a small hole that cost a lot of money.

Maintenance: catching corrosion

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Rylard Paints and Hull Blacking


The season has started we are busy in the shop and website orders are coming in, thanks.

I have just added the Rylard Paints range to the site and their range of Hull Blacking.

Paint delivery is always a problem as there are very few carriers who will carry paint but it is now sorted.

If you are after advise please have a look at their website or send us an email. Make sure you have look at my recent post on blacking.

We will also be on their stand at the Crick Boat show on the Saturday, so please call in and say hello, when you visit please pick up a discount code for the website it gives you 10% off all Rylard products in June.  Just enter the code at checkout.

Cheers see you at Crick

.Rylard paints logoRylard colour card


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Bottom Blacking

February half term is a busy week or two for us at Thorn Marine.

For those of you who don’t know we have a day boat and a small boat we have had for a few years that we have never done any thing with.

Half term and the week after is our time to black the bottom and re paint the sides and roof, I will explain more about the repainting in my next post.

During the two weeks I also had a customers boat to black as well so that is 1 x 36′ 1 x 30′ and 1 x 40′, Whilst doing this I got to thinking, nobody ever discusses blacking and what it involves. I decided to have a think about what questions you should ask when getting you bottom blacked.

Blacking before
Jet washed and wire brushed all the loose stuff off with a grinder

1. What surface preparation do you need to do?
This can range from a quick jet wash through wire brushing or scabbling to grit blasting. I know of some companies who just give the hull a quick jet wash to get rid of the weed growth and then black the boat, they do nothing about any rust build up on the surface.

2. If your previous coats of bitumen are stuck on well do you need to remove them?

3. What has the boat been painted with previously?
Comastic, Bitumen, epoxy.
This effects what you can use and what surface prep needs to be done epoxy needs to go on clean steel, comastic cannot be put on top of bitumen.

4. What product are you using?
Are they using a product specifically designed for use on boats, under the water or just a roofing product that is designed to get wet occasionally and then dry out. Rylard paints have two products that are designed to be used together one that works in to all the marks etc on the hull and a much thicker one to give film thickness.

5. How many coats are being applied and how thick are they?
The Rylard paint system is 2-3 coats, International recommend between 2 and 5 coats, depending on application method.

6. What drying times and launch times are used?
Most bitumen products require 8-24 hours between coats and 24-48 hours before submersion.

7. What else will be checked when blacking?
Anodes, are they in the right place how much longer will they last.
Prop condition, bits missing or bent.
Stern gear, is there any movement/excessive play.
Rudder condition, bolts corded etc.
General hull condition, pits, corrosion etc.
Welds, are the rubbing straights continuously welded, etc.

8. Do you paint inside the weed hatch/cover?
Some people don’t remove the weed hatch. The tape may need to be replaced as well.

9. A great one to start and argument is does the bottom plate get a coat!

Let me make one thing clear this is not a guide to painting your hull/getting it painted. I am not a surveyor or have any steel/chemistry qualifications, these are just the thoughts of a guy who has been in the industry for about 20 years and have blacked a few boats over the years. Some have been great some have been so badly blacked before they will need the sides over plating.

All I want this to do is to make you think about how your boat is blacked. Remember a boat without a hull is not a boat! You may not see it but the bit in the water it is the most important bit!

Blacking finished
3 Coats of Rylards Blacking Premium Protection, Rytex and then a final coat of Premium Protection.
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Warrington Transporter Bridge

A great article by Harry Arnold in this month Towpath Talk (page 15) about Warringtons Transporter Bridge.

Warrington Transporter Bridge is one of only 8 left in the WORLD! and many people don’t know it exists.

Warrington Transporter Bridge

Click on the picture for more to visit the Towpath Talk article.

For more information on the Transporter Bridge please Click Here

and to visit their Facebook Page please Click Here

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IWA National Campaign festival 2016

The IWA have announced they will be holding the National Campaign Festival At Eldonian Village on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, the Award Winning development at the top of Stanley Locks.


The Festival organisers aim to increase leisure activities on a relatively underused part of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal as well as promote the event in celebration of the bi-centenary of the canal.

More information can be found by following the link below, including booking detail:

Don’t forget to call in and see us at Thorn Marine on you way to the festival.

If you need any thing you can order and pay online and collect form the shop, alternatively come and have a rummage through the shop with all the new shelves and racking. to quote a phrase used by many of my customer “a Proper Chandlery”

Don’t Forget you maps and guides:

Pearson’s Canal Companion: Leeds and Liverpool

Pearsons leeds & liverpool

Nicholson Guide – North West & the Pennines Nicholson 5 North West and the Pennines

Or if you just want to head that way from the comfort of your arm chair have a look at this great DVD

Leeds and Liverpool Part 1 and 2

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Changes at Thorn Marine

Some of you may know that is owned and run by Thorn Marine, its all in About Us.

The news from Thorn is we have been updating the Chandlery recently with some new racking and and made it easier to find what to need, its still not perfect but its getting there.

Here’s a few pictures of where we are up to:

new shop minatures  new shop boats new shop fridge magnets  new shop general  new shop gas fittings

new shop deck fittings new shop fire

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Clesse/Novacomet Regulator Recall

Any body with a Novacomet BP1803 regulator Manufactured between June 2010 and September 2015 should visit Clesse site at

They have recalled them due to corrosion problems when installed outside, I spoke to Clesse and they said anywhere not “Indoors” is outside, that includes any boxes, gas lockers, etc.

This regulator is used in several different setups, including direct bottle connection and through a manual change over kit.



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Time to restart

Getting the site up and running was put on a back burner for a while.  But it is time to start things up again!

Over the Christmas period I have been getting on with some back office stuff testing and re testing the PayPal system to ensure it works.  I have over the last week or two added more stock and more will going on over the next 2 weeks.

We will be going live in February!

One of the main reasons we have been delayed in starting the online shop is we have been refitting our physical shop, we have lots of new racking and changed the way we display our products, I will post some pictures later in the week.  If you are passing by car or boat please call in to have a look around.

Link to Google maps