Sunk Boat Repair Tips

When most people hear the phrase “sunken boat,” they think
only one thing: shipwreck. The boat
must be totaled. But a boat sinking where it can be retrieved sometimes means
that it can have new life even after sinking—especially with the right repairs.
Here are a few sunk boat repair tips that may help you in this process.

Why Did Your Boat
Sink?

The first question you should ask is the simplest: why did
your boat sink? Is there a significant leak you weren’t aware of, or were you
watching when the boat sank?

Without solving this fundamental question first, you’ll have
no idea about the true extent of the repairs needed. For example: a small leak
in your boat’s hull can lead to long-term sinking if the boat is unattended.
This kind of leak can generally be repaired (using our tips below) if the
resulting damage to the boat wasn’t catastrophic. But other substantive damage
might require repair and replacement that far exceeds your budget. If you’re
unsure about the causes of your boat sinking, make sure to call in a
professional and have them examine the boat for themselves.

Repairing A Leak With
Sealant

Assuming that the problem is relatively minor, and that you
simply have to fix a leak, you might have the opportunity to repair your boat
using sealant. If that’s the case, you’ll want to follow these steps:

  • Confirm
    that this is the only problem.
    Although a minor leak in your boat can cause
    it to sink over time, make sure that there aren’t other problems you’re unaware
    of before you attempt repairs. You want to make sure that your time and effort
    will be worth it.
  • Clean the
    boat and let it dry.
    Your salvaged boat may take some time to “recover” and
    fully dry out. You can aid this process by leaving your boat in a
    well-ventilated area with plenty of air around it.
  • Use the
    appropriate caulk/sealant for your materials.
    A proper seal on a boating
    material means that you’ll want a sealant that’s been specifically formulated
    to adhere to that material. Have a look at the Boat Caulks & Sealants
    available here at BoatLIFE, and browse through descriptions to find the sealant
    you need. For example, Silicone
    Rubber Sealant
    will adhere to fiberglass, plastic, metal, and even wood.
    Find a precise match on the label before you order.
  • Allow
    proper time to cure, then inspect.
    A good sealant like Silicone Rubber
    Sealant will give you a quick cure—just some 24 hours. Make sure you inspect
    the area again to get an idea of whether your boat might be seaworthy.
  • Try a
    low-risk test to make sure your boat isn’t still taking on water.
    Low-risk
    tests can include spraying your boat down with a hose and looking for water
    transfer, or even dipping your boat in shallow water at a boat launch where the
    boat will be easy to salvage and bring back up to solid ground again.

Want more products for properly repairing a leaky boat?
Browse all the items at BoatLIFE for everything you need. 

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