4 Mistakes to Avoid When Repairing a Rotting Boat Floor

Healthy wooden flooring on a boat deck.

The boat floor is arguably the most important part of your boat. If it rots, it can spread to the rest of the boat and create a terrible, dangerous mess. There are ways that you can repair a rotting boat floor, but doing so may make the problem worse if you don’t know how. Paying someone to repair the new problem can cost you a lot of money you may not have, leaving the repair up to you once again. The following article will share you with some of the common mistakes made in boat floor repair and how to avoid them.

1. Not Cleaning First

If you spot a rotting boat floor, you need to take action by scrubbing it down. The likely cause of the rotting is mold from the dampness of the boat, so the mold must be cleaned as thoroughly as possible to stop it from spreading to healthy flooring.

2. Leaving Rot Behind

After you have cleaned the area, you will want to remove all of the damaged wood. This will be very easy to do because it will literally be crumbling. You cannot repair the boat floor while rotten wood remains as it will only continue to rot. Once you are confident that the rotten sections have been removed, you can start to repair the floor as needed.

If you have the means and resources to remove a piece of the boat floor and replace it then that is the best thing you can do for the boat. Replacing a piece of rotting floor is the best course of action because there is no telling how bad the rotting is as it could have spread to other places not immediately visible; however, if you have no choice but to patch the rotten section, it is better to do so from under the floor (if possible).

This creates a decent seal, but also prevents someone from tripping over the patch. If you cannot get under the floor to patch it, then after you clean the site, cover it with a material that is relatively thin.

3. Nailing the Boat Floor

This is a mistake that many people make without even realizing they are doing it. A boat floor is not meant to have nails in it and doing so weakens the structure. It also creates spaces where water can get deeper into the boat, the floor, and other areas.

Even a gap as small as a nail head can wreak havoc on an otherwise healthy boat so when replacing flooring, avoid nailing altogether. If you have no other recourse, use wood putty and epoxy over the nails.

Doing this simple additional task will save you a lot of time and money down the line, since the putty or epoxy will effectively cover the hole created by the head of the nail.

4. Using the Wrong Materials

The best thing you can do when fixing a boat floor is to use epoxy. You do need to make sure that you use an epoxy that is waterproof. Ones that come in two parts are also stronger and preferred. Keep in mind that they do make marine grade epoxy, which should always be your first choice.