How to Waterproof Wood for a Boat


Anyone who’s maintained a home for a long time knows what
happens when wood becomes waterlogged. It becomes rotted, weak—essentially
useless. That’s why it’s no secret that the wood on your boat should be
properly sealed and waterproofed to handle the marine environment. Here’s a
quick guide on how to waterproof wood for a boat.

Why You Need to Seal
Your Boat Wood

You’ll find a lot of “how to waterproof wood” articles out
there. So why is it so special if the wood happens to be on a boat? Experienced
boaters know that the marine environment is a completely different animal than
the environment around a new deck, for example. Wood for marine use has to be
ready to handle the following:

  • UV Rays. Going
    out on a boat means broad access to the sky. With that comes direct contact
    with UV rays—and UV rays don’t just damage skin. They can also do long-term
    damage on your boat wood if you’re not careful.
  • Water. This
    is the most obvious difference: put wood on a boat and it needs to be sealed
    off from water as tightly as possible. Long-term exposure to water can lead to
    rot and other damage when your wood isn’t properly sealed.
  • Humidity.
    It’s not just water in lakes you need to worry about. Water in the air can affect
    wood even while your boat is dry and lifted out of the water.

Since you’re waterproofing wood for a
boat, don’t buy just any sealer. Buy sealer specifically designed
for marine use. Our
End Grain
Sealer Kit
includes two major parts for application—A and B—which will lock
out water and prevent rot, making it great to use on docks as well as boat

How to Waterproof
Your Boat

With our End Grain Sealer Kit, you can waterproof your boat’s
wood in three simple steps:

  • Prepare your wood by rubbing off any previous
    finish with sandpaper. You can use two different sandpaper grits—rough to get
    the tricky parts and then fine to give the wood a uniform finish.
  • Apply the End Grain Sealer Kit according to the
    instructions. You’ll usually want to use a paintbrush, taking special care to
    get a uniform coat on the wood. Use the kit in the order prescribed, allowing
    it to dry as necessary.
  • Make sure that the wood has plenty of time to
    cure. Even though our End Grain Sealer Kit is a quick cure, you never know when
    humidity might get in the way of a fast cure. You want your wood to be properly
    dry and sealed the next time it touches the water.

While these steps will ensure you have a proper seal, don’t
forget to set a reminder to revisit the wood every year or so. Examine it to
make sure there are no signs of waterlogging or rot, and re-apply sealer as
necessary. This will help prevent it from soaking up water and prevent humidity
and UV damage over the long term. The result is less money spent repairing your
boat—and more time spent enjoying it.

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