Exploring the Wonderful World of Sports

Top Tips for Maintaining and Servicing a Wooden Boat

by Larry Hart

When it comes to elegance, few boat designs come close to the look of a varnished wooden boat. Unfortunately, most boat enthusiasts have the wrong perception that wooden boats are difficult to maintain, especially in a tropical climate. However, the misconception should not be a reason to shun wooden boats. Maintaining and servicing wooden boats is manageable, but only if you take the right steps. This article highlights essential tips for servicing a wooden boat.

Sand and Paint Moist Hull

Wooden boats lose their lustre and sheen over time, and it is essential to sand and paint the hull accordingly. However, most people think that just because you should sand and paint wood when it is dry, the same should happen to wooden boats. Nothing could be further from the truth because sanding and painting of a wooden boat should only be done when the hull is moist. See, the seams on the hull of a wooden boat widen when it stays above ground for extended periods, primarily because the wood loses moisture. Notably, sanding a boat's hull introduces dust and debris into the seams. Over time, the accumulated debris restricts hull plunks from swelling and shutting the seams, thereby making a boat prone to leaks. Moistening a wooden hull with a sprinkler allows the plunks to swell and close any gaps. Consequently, it prevents sanding debris from getting between the hull plunks.

Remove Previous Caulking

When a wooden boat's hull begins to deteriorate, creaking seams open and allow water inside the vessel. Caulking is considered a standard boat service designed to clog open hull seams. However, caulk rots over time and causes leaking since it is a natural fibre. Unfortunately, some boat owners try to correct the issue by applying new caulking over old caulking. Nonetheless, over-caulking is terrible for your wooden boat in many ways. For instance, it widens a hull's seams and increases the lateral load on a boat. The best approach is to remove old caulk from seams before applying fresh caulk.

Ensure Adequate Varnishing

Varnishing a wooden boat is a commitment that should not be taken lightly. Anything less leads to faster deterioration and requires sanding of the hull. However, sanding reduces the thickness of a wooden boat. The best strategy is to ensure that your boat receives at least one or two coats of varnish annually to maintain the hull's sheen and prevent premature deterioration. If you are on a budget, you can use boiled linseed as an alternative to wood varnish. However, linseed oil is not an effective moisture barrier; therefore, it should be used sparingly.

To get help caring for your wooden boat, contact a marine service in your area.