At some point in your boat’s life, its stringers will need
to be addressed. Many boat owners might dread this process, but if you know
what you’re doing and arm yourself with the proper equipment, it doesn’t have
to be such a pain. In this boat stringer repair guide, we’ll look at what
commonly goes wrong with and how to address it in the most straightforward,
What are Boat
Boat stringers refer to the wood underneath your boat deck
that support said deck. Think of them as similar to the joists that hold up the
floor in your house. The difference here is that stringers undergo
significantly more stress than joists in the home, which means you’ll have to
be careful about maintaining and even replacing them.
Step One: Inspect
Your Boat Stringers
Knowledge is power—even when it comes to boat repairs.
That’s why a diagnosis should be your first step. If you suspect there is
damage, you may have to cut a few “access holes” to get a good look at your
boat stringers. But if your stringers are truly in trouble, these holes are a
minor inconvenience in comparison to the potential damage there.
Typically, damage will come from either rot or, more
directly, impact damage to the stringers. Impact damage usually manifests
itself as visible fractures in the wood. Rot, on the other hand, will effect
the integrity and strength of the wood itself.
Step Two: Repair or
Repairing wood rot damage should come with its own guide—and it does here at BoatLIFE .
and follow the steps in the guide to address the problem of rotting boat
stringers—not to mention any other rot on your boat.
If the wood is damaged enough that it needs serious repair
or even replacement, however, the steps will get more complicated. What’s
important to remember is that if you’re going to replace your stringer, you
should do so with similar material and dimensions to the original stringer. For
example, replace a wood stringer with another stringer made from wood. Failure
to do so can upset the balance of the construction itself, which can lead to
damage in other areas.
In many cases, a complete stringer replacement can actually
be easier than a partial replacement. Again, it’s important to utilize the same
type of wood used. If you don’t know
what wood you’re looking at, bring in a professional for their opinion. And unless
you have experience with these kinds of repairs in general, it’s better to get
that second opinion as a usual matter of course.
Step Three: Regular
Inspection and Maintenance
Once you’ve followed through with a boat stringer repair, you’ll
want to continually inspect the area for signs of problems. A good replacement
should last without a hitch, but it’s always good to pay extra attention to
boat stringers. Since they’re foundational to the structure and quality of any
boat, a strong stringer will mean a longer life for yours.