If you’re like most boat owners, you’ve likely come across a vessel in need of some TLC. As tempting as these project boats are, it’s important to know what to do and how to get the job done correctly and safely.
Use these key tips to answer the question, “What does it take to restore a boat?” and start your next repair project!
What Boats Can You Restore?
The first step in restoring a boat is assessing the damage. Understanding every issue at play helps you determine whether the boat is worth repairing and, if so, how much work is involved. For example, a vessel that has sustained considerable damage from a fire or collision isn’t always worth the effort and cost. However, boats with minor cosmetic damage or easily-addressed mechanical problems make great restoration candidates.
Planning the Restoration
Once you’ve assessed the damage, it’s time to start planning your restoration project. Use the planning stage to set a budget, document the necessary repairs, and gather resources like online guides and reference books. Operators’ manuals play a key role in preventing you from doing more harm than good as you dive into the repairs.
Choosing the Right Materials
Owning the right materials for the restoration is critical. Using the wrong materials can further damage your boat or create future issues down the road. For example, using an inferior fiberglass type could cause cracks or other problems down the road. You should even ask questions when choosing new boat seating upholstery, as choosing the wrong fabric leads to mold and disrepair.
When choosing materials, it’s essential to consider the type of boat you’re restoring, the climate where you’ll be using it, and your budget. Local repair shops are an incredible resource that can help you pick the best materials for your area.
Once you understand what it takes to restore a boat, you can use these key tips on restoration to help you get started.
- Start with the most accessible repairs to make the project feel less daunting.
- Use high-quality materials to avoid further repairs and replacements down the line.
- Keep a log of all the work you start and complete for future reference.
- Wear safety goggles and gloves when working with chemicals or other hazardous materials, and always stick to a well-ventilated area.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all the products you use.
- If you’re not sure how to do something, ask for help. There are plenty of people who can help you with your restoration project, including professionals at your local marina or boatyard.
- Take your time. A job done right is better than one that’s rushed and done wrong.