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As some people are aware after the BCN Challenge at the end of May we were taking the boat to be repainted. We picked it up on Saturday. So before and .... after A big thanks to Anthony and Paul at Rose Narrowboats for a great job. The rain on Sunday gave the windows a test, all good so far. So no criticisms of shiny boats, or use of fenders, I need time to come to terms with all this shiny paint .
We bought our narrowboat last August and knew when we bought it that we would have it repainted this spring. I did my homework, got tons of advice and estimates and decided to give the job to someone we were familiar with and that we had viewed previous work done by this firm. We paid £1900 for the deposit and dropped the boat off on April 8th. We were given a lead time of 5 weeks. That time came and went and we are now being told it will not be ready until the end of July. We made an unannounced visit yesterday to the boat and found 75% of the boat still stripped down to the bare metal. This was after last week giving the painter one of two non-negotiable options. Option 1: We come and get the boat immediately, receive a full refund and we will take the boat elsewhere and draw a line under the whole sorry situation. Option 2: Complete the boat no later than July 23rd at which time we will collect the boat in whatever condition it is in and if it is not completed, we will take the boat and pay nothing further and if the boat is in a poor condition to get someone else to finish the job, ie the new painter has to strip anything down to begin again, we will demand a full refund. We also demanded that we were sent pictures to demonstrate what work had been done on a weekly basis. I got no reply to this email but started getting pictures sent. There is no discernable difference in the pictures sent to us a week ago and the pictures we took ourselves yesterday. We are truly at the end of our rope with all of this. We actually like the painter on a personal level. But have been totally let down every time we are promised something. When we were supposed to pick up the boat 2 weeks ago, I sent an email stating what time we would be arriving at the yard and asked for a final invoice. No reply. As we were going down on a Friday, Thursday I wrote again requesting the invoice and that someone be at the yard incase we had an problems or concerns. Finally late Thursday evening, I got a call. Due to the extreme heat, the painting is not complete. He knew it wouldnt be ready on Monday but actually stated to me that he put off making the call because he knew we would be upset. I was promised an email or phone call the next day outlining the works to be completed and a time scale. The email never came. I wrote a rather terse email explaining that once again we had no idea what was going on but we were in receipt of another of his broken promises. I stated that we would be arriving at the boat yard to take the boat away on Saturday and someone needed to be there to give us our keys. I got an email back saying that it was going to take 17 more working days. Thats when I gave the ultimatium. What I would like to ask all of you kind folks out there is if it is actually feasible to paint a boat from bare metal with all the proper number of coats and a professional looking finish in what amounts to to 13 days now. The second question is, what would be the easiest way to determine that the boat has the proper number of coats applied without damaging visible paintwork. Remove a window perhaps and flake a bit off that is covered by the frame when the frame is in position? We have been given so many excuses as to why its taking this long and we have lost all faith in the painter. One of the things we have been told is that its too hot to paint as it dries too quickly in those circumstances. Are we being reasonable here. We have had a handful of really hot days since April 8th and the job has now overun by 2 months as of next week. And finally, are there any recommendations on somewhere to turn to get the boat sorted out properly with a straightforward painter that will not hide from us or avoid having any difficult conversations because I think we will be in the same situation on the deadline date. Any advice appreciated. Thank you Alison