Tim's One Photograph a Day

Crane at Aldermaston Lifting out a Narrowboat.

Crane at Aldermaston.

Crane at Aldermaston: Narrowboat being lifted out of the canal at Aldermaston Wharf.

Narrowboat being lifted out of the canal at Aldermaston Wharf.

There are two ways of getting a boat out of the water. One is to float it into a dry dock, seal the doors and drain the water. The other way is to lift out, like they do by crane at Aldermaston.

It’s not something you see every day , and it is fascinating to watch. Whether it would hold the same fascination if it is your own home in the air is a different matter.

Every couple of years, these boats need to be taken out to have their bottoms blacked. Again, there is more than one way of doing this, but typically it is a bitumen-based paint that is coated on.

The old blacking is cleaned with a jet-spray (much as you would use on a patio). The hull can then be check for damage – in particular, pitting. This is caused by stray electrical currents, usually by another boat in a marina that it plugged into the mains.

The two lumps you can see on the bottom of this boat suspended by the crane at Aldermaston are magnesium sacraficial anodes. Essentially, they attract these stray currents, like a lightning conductor on a tall building, so they suffer the pitting instead of your boat. They would be checked each time the boat comes out of water, and replaced if necessary.

Photograph Details

  • Taken: 20 Feb 2017
  • Camera: Canon 5D MkIII
  • Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm 1:2.8 L II USM
  • Focal Length 24mm
  • F/16
  • 1/30Sec
  • ISO 100

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