One of the most potentially rewarding projects for a boating enthusiast who loves fixer-upper projects is restoring an old or damaged boat. Whether you’re considering restoring your boat so you can enjoy it for years to come – or so you can sell it, here are some tips to help the process go smoothly. Even if your boat will be docked during the project, make sure your Boat Insurance Policy is still in force. Even a docked boat can become damaged!
Prepare and evaluate your boat.
Before you get started, thoroughly clean your boat, remove all personal items, and clear away debris, water, and leaves. Drain the fuel tank and remove oil from the engine and gear case. You’ll have the best results with a clean, unobstructed work environment. Thoroughly examine the vessel and make a list of anything that is damaged or worn. Even if your engine’s belts and hoses appear to be fine, replace them during your restoration project.
Focus on key trouble spots.
Certain boat components fail earlier than others. Pay attention to the through-hull fittings (are they sealed properly?), seacocks (are they all in good working order?), and fiberglass near fixtures and fittings (do you notice cracking?) Additionally, check the backing plates on your boat’s load-bearing fixtures.
Expect to spend much of your time woodworking.
Arguably, rotting wood is the number one problem that destroys old boats. Wood rot is most pronounced on deck flooring, on the transom, and around the seat bases. Remove all old wood and replace it with marine-grade wood or a composite designed for use in boats.
Consult the pros. Doing it yourself doesn’t mean you can’t ask for advice and help! Stop by your local marina for a list of boat builders from whom you can seek guidance. Additionally, you’ll find all kinds of helpful tutorials online on YouTube or sites like Boating Magazine. You’ll probably be able to find articles or how-to videos addressing whatever you’re having trouble with.
Whether your boat is brand new or a beloved vessel you’ve cherished through the generations, trust Mariners General Insurance Group to insure it. We are marine-insurance specialists; contact us at 800-992-4443 to learn more.