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Now it was time to shot blast and prime the boat. I searched round for a company that could shot blast both the inside and outside of the hull and then to airless spray the first 2 coats of primer on all the surfaces.

Bristol Shotblasting Services got the job. They could start mid September allowing me just enough time to double check all the steel bits were completed and that I had not forgotten anything.It also allowed me to go to the Southampton Boat Show to get a deal on a paint system.

I went to all the manufacturers and they all were saying the same thing. However, Blakes paints sounded good and were offering a great deal. So they were chosen. I bought the complete system including their EPU primer which is epoxy based and their topcoat and deck paint. The whole lot was about £2000.

Mid September came and the shot blasting started.Bristol Shotblasting did a great job. In fact I did not realise what a great job they did until the summer of 2005, but more about that when I talk about our refit.

Meanwhile Ann’s Mum was getting very frail. She had moved down from west Wales in 1994 as her husband died in 1992 and she was very lonely on her own.

She sold her house and we bought a larger home with accommodation for her in the form of a granny annex. She was always telling us that she wanted to go back to West Wales so as the boat was taking shape and we could see our self living on her the next year we decided to move to Milford Haven.

This would get Ann’s Mum back to Wales and also get her on the list to go into a retirement home/nursing home as she needed more and more help with daily activities.

A boat transport company was tasked to take the boat to Milford Haven by road.The cost for this was £1000 all in. I though this was a good deal as it required a police escort all the way from Uphill in Weston Super Mare to Milford.

The shot blasting and primer coats were completed in 10 days. Ann and I painted a further 2 coats of Blakes EPU onto the hull prior to the tent being removed.The transport company arrived at the boatyard and a crane lifted Ruffles Spray onto a very large trailer.

We were told to meet the truck at Neyland Boatyard for off loading in four days time. The boat arrived on time and was off loaded chocked up and sat there ready to be fitted out.

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