Wooden boats have a great elegance and sense of history to them; they have been used for centuries, and the newest ones hearken back to that time with their streamlined construction and brightly polished finish. They are boats that people want not only for how they perform, but for how they look. Collectors travel all around to look at classic old boats in shows, much like car collectors and fanatics often do. For these reasons, it is important to keep one’s wooden boat in prime condition. This can be very hard, however, as wood is susceptible to a number of problems that boats made of fiberglass and other materials do not fall prey to. With the proper methods of wood boat repair and maintenance, one can make sure that one’s wooden boat is always in pristine condition, keeping it looking and operating at a very high level.
First, a wooden boat must be taken out of the water and cleaned at the end of each season. If one lives in an area in which there are no seasons, where it is warm enough to keep the boat in the water at all times, one is best off to take it out once or twice a year to clean it off. The reason for this is that a lot of fungus and algae can grow on the bottom of a boat without the owner’s even noticing. It can also begin to rot, so this is a good chance to check it over and make sure that it is still looking good. One should not fail to do this, as it will create a lot more work down the road if there is a problem that goes unnoticed. Things like that only tend to get worse with time, and become large problems. One does not want to have to replace parts of a boat, such as the hull, when a simple cleaning would have solved the problem.
Sanding the boat down and resealing it is also a good thing to do periodically. Wood is a pliable material, easy to work with, and is usually very strong. Still, even the best wood can be ruined due to rot. If it is not sealed properly, the wood in a boat can become damaged very easily. Any sorts of scratches and dents can damage the integrity of the seal, so one wants to be checking it often, sanding these blemishes out of existence, and adding more sealant. Even if one does not feel that there are any scratches or dents, if one is a very safe boater, the effects of time can wear out a seal just as much. Since a boat is around water constantly, it can start to rot very quickly.
Some small maintenance can be done with a good waterproof silicon caulk. This can be used to patch up small blemishes or breaks, and is especially nice when one wants to or needs to keep using the boat and does not have time for an entire repair job. This is not the end of the line, though, and should never be treated as such. While it can help for a time, the boat should still be looked at later in a more extensive fashion. Also, one should keep a close eye on any caulking jobs, as they can come out and be lost if not done well enough or if influenced by some exterior force.
When repairing the engine on a wooden boat, it is advisable to take the engine off the boat first. This way, none of the metal parts or tools will accidentally damage the boat. This could lead to more repairs, which would be very frustrating as it would just be adding work to an already long task. If the engine is taken off and set aside for the repair work, the wooden boat will be protected from accidents that could damage the sealant or the wood construction itself.
Wooden boats are a very impressive thing, and can stay that way for many years if they are properly cared for. One should always pay a lot of attention to a wooden boat. Most of the problems they encounter come from neglect, an easy problem to rectify.