Tips for Repairing a Soft Spot on Your Boat

Boat parked in a marina

A soft spot in your boat can make your life miserable on board. It requires you to fix it as soon as possible so that further damage doesn’t occur. Boats are usually affected when you use them actively, suffering numerous stresses on their hull. Sagging and hogging are very common conditions of a boat and they can also be cumulative. Although boats are specifically designed and structured in such a way to withstand use and abuse, the skin of the boat might respond to stresses and forces, developing soft spots. These damages can easily be repaired. The process is not long – it will take you a weekend to finish the task – but you need to be cautious and keep certain tips in mind.

1. Add Support

When noticing a soft spot on your boat, you need to add more support to the structure to reinforce it as much as possible. The soft spots tend to be small enough at first, so you need to make sure that the overall surface you are working on allows you to apply the epoxy and fiberglass properly.

2. Protect Yourself

Whenever working on a boat, especially when using epoxy, you should always wear gloves and mask. You should also have long sleeves and safety glasses and work in a ventilated area so that you do not suffer any shortness of breath.

3. Do Not Mix the Materials Before Use

mixing two tubes of epoxy

One thing you need to remember is that you have to avoid mixing the repair materials, such as the hardener or the resin, until you begin the repair process. These materials dry very fast so, if you mix them, you should use them right away. In the case you have a large area to cover, you should mix the materials in small batches and use them in smaller areas.

4. Buy Your Supplies Early

Most people who fix the weak and soft spots of their boat on their own should buy their supplies early enough so that they are on hand when needed. In the case that you want to fix the boat on your own but you haven’t done it before, you should go to a marine supplies store or a well equipped local hardware store, and buy the necessary supplies, such as gel coat, fillers, and repair kits for minor spots and repairs.

5. Cut Test Holes

Probably slicing your boat is not something you really want to consider and for good reason. However, in some cases, you will need to cut an inspection hole when you see soft spots on the boat’s fiberglass. Fiberglass delamination can be fixed by drilling small holes into the fiberglass surface of your boat. You can inject the materials you want, such as resin or other fillers, and a west system that dries and becomes solid rock protecting the fiberglass surface of your boat. This is a highly recommended material among the savvy boaters and sailors.

Epoxy and other materials of that kind are ideal for relatively smaller areas but, if you have a large area of repair, you should use polyurethane paint because it offers a more durable finish. Once the repair is done you will need to wash the boat surface from the remains of the materials you use.