When your wooden boat finds itself in need of repair, dealing with the wood can be an intimidating experience—particularly if this is your first time trying your hand at boat repair. Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of relevant tips and strategies for handling wooden boat restoration, even when you’re dealing with the difficult and often complex subject of marine wood.
Tips for Dealing with Wood
Although wood has a long history in marine use—perhaps longer than any other substance mankind has used—wood is also unique as boats go. It’s not like plastic, aluminum, or fiberglass. It’s an organic material that has its own set of characteristics. That’s why you’ll want to keep the following tips in mind:
- When in doubt, ask an expert. There are lots of variables involved in assessing wood—including the age of the wood and the way in which your boat was constructed. Experts will know to look for certain signs of deterioration that may not get noticed during your own inspection.
- Not all wood is made the same. Plywood, for example, is a strong boating material but is also highly susceptible to dry rot, which means it’s vital to inspect for dry rot often if you have a plywood boat.
As one of the most common problems you’ll have to deal with, however, dry rot deserves its own section:
How to Handle Dry Rot
Dry rotted wood can be strengthened when you use a liquid epoxy to saturate the wood fibers and help restore strength. A product like the Git-Rot Kit can be used to saturate these fibers via capillary action. The key? You have to make sure the wood is dry first, which means that your repairs will require some forethought and planning. Then you’ll need it to remain that way for an overnight cure.
Find The Right Products
Let’s start with the materials. If you aren’t using the right materials to address specific problems with your wood, then your restoration and repair efforts will cause more headaches than they’re worth. Here are a few key wood boat repair products you should know about:
- Fix Repair Putty. Bonding not only to wood, but also to fiberglass, glass, and even concrete, this repair putty—once cured—can be sanded, drilled, tapped, screwed, and painted. That makes it an essential item in any basic boat repair kit, especially for those boat owners dealing primarily with wood.
- Git-Rot Kit. Dealing with dry rot can be a complicated process. It’s tempting to view the wood as unusable. But the Git-Rot Kit can make this wood strong again—especially if you follow the proper procedure for using the wood’s own capillary action to get the liquid epoxy deep into the rot.
For Your Other Boat Maintenance Needs
Want more tips and products for handling boat repair? Then visit all of the available boating products here at BoatLIFE to find the match for your specific needs.