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
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
let mold or rot set in
—you can do this by regularly cleaning and drying out
your boat floor.
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
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.