Owning a boat comes with its own set of skills: understanding sealing, unique repairs, and adapting to the challenges that come with interacting with marine life. But a wooden boat comes with a whole other set of challenges. That’s why we’ve put together this guide of the best wooden boat maintenance tips to maintain the quality and luster of your craft.
Keep Your Wooden Boat Dry
When you maintain wood around your home, keeping it dry is intuitive and easy. After all, if you have damp, rotting wood in your roof, you know immediately that you need to take action. With a wooden boat, it can be harder to detect. But it’s no less important to keep your wood dry.
One important thing to keep in mind is that you need to also watch where wet wood is exposed to the air. It’s possible to keep a wood boat in the water and have it not rot—after all, much of it is cut off from the air. But with your boat bilge, for example, the combination of water and ventilation means you need to pay attention.
Every time you sail, remove water from the boat bilge and make sure it’s dry. You might also apply Bilge Cleaner during this time, since you’ll be rinsing and drying out the bilge afterwards.
Consistently Clean Your Wooden Boat
One underrated aspect of the fight against rot is keeping your wood clear of debris and dirt. When dirt gets into areas of your boat, it can attract moisture. No matter how much you might try to clean the exterior of your boat, dirt getting into the interior can lead to moisture and, eventually, rot. This is what you want to avoid.
The easiest way to make sure that this never happens is to ensure that you have a cleaner that adequately cleans boat wood. A good general Boat Cleaner like those available here at BoatLIFE are great places to start, as they can be used anywhere on your boat—even if you’re not cleaning off the wood specifically.
Paint your Boat to Protect It
One of the reasons people choose to paint or varnish their boat isn’t because they know it will look good, but because a layer of paint adds some additional protection for the wood. If you want your boat to be as resistant to rot as possible, giving the exterior a thorough painting or varnish can be a great way to separate the wood from the moisture problems that we’ve talked about here.
You’ll want to be careful about maintenance, however. Watch for cracking in the paint or varnish from the sun. This can lead to fissures, which in turn can expose the wood.
How to Address Rot
Finally, if you do notice that there is rot developing, you can always try a Git Rot kit, which uses capillary action in the dry wood to get deep into the fibers and restore its strength.
Shop BoatLIFE Products
Our top wooden boat maintenance tip is to shop our products from BoatLIFE! If you want more great ways to keep your boat’s wood properly maintained and protected, purchase a few cleaners to keep on hand. We look forward to serving you!