If you find yourself in a position where you have to fix a boat you have built, it’s likely it’s going to be one of the same few common problems that you will come across time and time. These are carrying out repairs to fix cracks or holes in the deck or replacing wood in the deck or the hull due to larger damage being caused by water damage or rot.
Now of course, prevention is the best cure, so my first piece of advice on these matters is to try and avoid it where necessary, by properly treating you wood and regularly inspecting your boat. If you have to fix your boat, I’m sure you’d rather only have to repair a small hole, before it has developed into something worse. A little effort and care paid over the life of your boat, will pay off in the end and save you lots in terms of both time and effort in the long run, should something go seriously wrong.
If you do end up having to fix a boat, then usually epoxy will do fine for filling in small cracks and holes. If not, you will have to cut the damaged area out and then replace it with new wood. Again, if you have to do this, then be sure to properly treat and seal the wood, otherwise this point of fixing will soon become and problem area again and could leave you in an even worse position.
Often this damage will only occur on the deck, as this is the area which takes the most abuse, from people climbing in and out, anchors being dropped on it, finishing buckets and chains scraping across it etc. Sometimes, the damage will happen to the hull though, either simply through time and age, or from running into an object like a rock.
When treating holes or damage to the hull, you will want to remove all of the damaged wood, making sure that only good wood is left. If this is not done, the problems could soon get worse again, leaving any repairs being useless. A clean surface also gives a better area to adhere new wood and epoxy to. Then, as with the deck, when the new wood is in place, you will want to reseal and refinish it, whether that is repainting it, or applying a new coat of varnish or fiberglass.
As a final note to mention on successfully fixing your boat, if the damage has meant that damp has got into the wood, you will need to make sure that you properly dry the wood out before making any repairs, otherwise you will soon find yourself with a case of rot that will further destroy your wooden boat and mean that all your hard work and effort is wasted.
For more information on how to fix a boat, or for similar boat building topics, also please feel free to visit my website, you’re always welcome aboard. Just click on the links below. If you enjoyed this article or found it useful, please take a moment to leave a comment and let me know. I would love to know your thoughts, so just drop me a line.
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