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How to Repair a Soft Spot in a Boat Floor

Wooden boat

A soft spot in the boat floor may seem like something innocent, but it requires immediate attention. Not only can a soft spot expand and pose a serious injury hazard to anyone on board, but it will be much easier to repair if it’s limited to a confined space. Here’s how to repair a soft spot in a boat floor to prevent any further damage!

The Problem with a Soft Spot

One reason that soft spots in wooden boat floors have such bad reputations amongst boat owners is that they can be indicative of further degradation. So, let’s start this with a caveat—if there’s significant boat rot on your wood deck and some of it is showing up in the boat floor, you have a major situation on your hands. You should have the boat thoroughly inspected and examined before you consider it seaworthy again.

Of course, every boat is different. That’s why it’s important to get an extra eye and investigate whether the soft spot is caused by rot that may be deeper into the boat than you know. If your soft spot is in fiberglass, however, it’s possible to salvage.

Find the Affected Area

A soft spot in a boat floor can be surprisingly tricky to diagnose. We recommend tapping around the soft spot with the back-end of a screwdriver. If you hear a hollow sound, you’ll have an idea if there’s a weak area. When the sound becomes sharp and the material gives good feedback to the touch, you know that it’s stronger. You can use a grease pencil to mark off the affected area.

Repairing the Soft Spot in Your Boat Floor

If the problem is due to fiberglass weakening, you’ll want to sand the affected area until the soft spot is noticeably lower than the surrounding area. In fact, in certain spots, you might sand all the way through the fiberglass.

If you use a fiberglass repair kit, you’ll want to follow the given instructions—that usually means cutting fiberglass matting in the shape of the affected area.

If you’re going the putty route, you can fill the area with a resin-based putty until it’s slightly higher than the surrounding areas. Then you’ll need to give it ample time to cure, as per the instructions. This will allow you to sand down the putty, fill any remaining holes that may have occurred in the putty, and allow a new overnight cure—or as your putty’s instructions dictate.

Take Care of Your Craft with BoatLIFE Products

Soft spots in your boat floor are something to take seriously. That’s why it’s important to know how to repair a soft spot in a boat floor. If you don’t address them, you could risk more damage to your craft—or even decommission your boat entirely. Take care of your boat, and don’t forget to browse our latest cleaning, sealing, and boat repair products to stay on top of any boating issues that may arise!

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