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
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
Find The Right
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
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.