You’re used to painting over dashes on your boat’s hull or maybe even handling some basic cosmetic repairs. But when it comes to one of the most essential elements on your boat—the boat floor—the repairs can get complicated. If your boat floor is suffering from issues like dry rot, there may be some ways to repair it without complete replacement. Here’s a quick boat floor repair guide to help you get it looking like new.
Preventing Boat Floor Problems
If you’re reading this guide without having extensive problems, then remember that old saying: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You can save yourself a lot of headaches down the line if you simply work to prevent some of the most common boat floor problems. That includes:
- Regular cleaning. Don’t let mold or rot set in —you can do this by regularly cleaning and drying out your boat floor.
- Paying attention to scent. Mold and rot will tend to produce a different scent in the air than normal wood. When outdoors and on a lake, river or open water, this can be difficult to discern. So when you have your boat out of the water and dry, try to spot the signs of rot early.
With this in mind, let’s shift focus to repairing a boat floor that’s already beyond prevention:
Boat Floor Repair & Dry Rot
With a boat floor made out of wood, dry rot will be one of the primary problems you have to deal with. First, acquire a Git-Rot kit for yourself. This kit includes a two-part liquid epoxy that soaks into wood via capillary action. This is especially effective on loose wood and end grain materials that might be exposed. (For more on using Git-Rot to repair your boat wood, check out our Git-Rot guide online.)
This effective product offers a fast way to repair your boat wood without taking drastic action.
When It’s Time to Replace, Not Repair
Sometimes, the problems with the wood in your boat floor go beyond mere dry rot. If rot has set in and entire sections of wood need replacing, you’ll face a very different type of repair. It’s possible that you’ll only need to replace a single beam in the boat floor. This is a good idea particularly if you don’t know how deep-set the rot in a piece of wood might be and want to make sure that your entire boat is up to par.
Many boat owners recommend against nailing a boat floor but also say that if you must use a hammer and nails, putty or epoxy coverings over the nail heads will be vital to keeping the entire area sealed.
When in doubt, bring in a second pair of eyes. Find someone experienced who can tell you whether you can patch up your boat floor or need some degree of replacement. And be sure to browse all of our Boat Products to find all of the maintenance and repair items you need for a healthy boat.