Wooden Boat Repair and Restoration

Wooden boats can be a thing of beauty. Most who own a boat take great pride in it. Whether you take it on the water once a year or once a week, keeping it in good shape is a necessity for safety. Repairing a wooden boat, or restoring one, can be a very rewarding process. In either scenario, you should know the standard basics about wooden boat repair, as well as the newer technologies that could make the process easier and quicker.

If it is structural damage that needs to be repaired, you will need to know how the boat is actually built. There are resources available to research different vessels and their structures, along with the proper process of repairing them. The best place to find these is actually at your local library. If the problem is typical deterioration in wood that has aged, it should be a simpler process to bring the boat back to its original condition. Well done restoration will not only help a boat last longer, it can make it more stable and durable.

There are several factors that can cause deterioration in the wood of a boat. Age, as mentioned, is one of them. The wood’s material and composition are another, because some woods by nature are stronger and more durable than others. The construction of the individual boat is a major contributing factor. Well made vessels last longer; it is as simple as that. Another more obvious factor is how well the owner has cared for his or her wooden boat. If the boat will be in an area where the climate is warmer, more humid, or has lots of rainfall, you need to know how to protect the wood from possible elemental damage, especially after the time has been taken to repair or restore it.

As far as modern products that make wooden boat repair simpler, epoxy sealants are most likely the best ones. They saturate the wood with resin and increase its durability. They also stabilize the wood, which will prevent any kind of splintering or chipping. On top of all that, the sealants are a perfect primer for any type of top coating, like paint, varnish, or stain. All of these benefits will also reduce the amount of maintenance required after the sealant is applied.

Before applying the sealant, you must properly clean the wood. First step needed for this is the time consuming stripping process. This should remove any and all coatings that have been previously placed on the wood. Paint strippers and heat guns are helpful tools for this step. Make sure, though, that the products you use are safe for the wood and will leave no residue. Some strippers will need to be rinsed with water. After the stripping is complete, the wood surfaces will need to be sanded. Then you should vacuum the dust off with any standard vacuum. Finally you need to apply a solvent to all surfaces and then allow it to completely evaporate before applying the sealant.

Wooden boat repair or restoration is tedious and time consuming, but worth it in the long run. You can save money, get a good workout, and admire your beautiful work when you are done. Then when you take it out on the water, you can show off to others your beautiful pride and joy.

Source by Greg St. Clair

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