Overlooked but Important Boat Floor Repair
Those fortunate enough to own a boat typically take great pride in its appearance. Owners will take painstaking detail to ensure their vessel is in top shape. Regular engine tune-ups, the latest technology and gadgets and a shiny and solid hull are just some of the items that boat owners prioritize. However, there is one obvious item often overlooked when maintaining a boat. Look down… no, not your crocs, the floor underneath them. The floor is one of the most important features to ensuring that your boat remains in prime condition. A rotten floor can spread and have disastrous consequences to the integrity of your vessel. Flooring types may vary but no matter the material, boat floor repair is not something to be ignored.
A Proactive Approach
Discovering your boat’s floor has major damage can be devastating and costly. It could involve extensive repair or even full replacement of the flooring and additional structural components. Taking a proactive approach can help avoid this scenario. Just as you would do a post voyage inspection of other items, the floor is no exception. Cleaning and properly drying the floor are key aspects of preventative maintenance. Speaking of drying, a fully dry floor that smells of must or mildew is a huge warning sign. This would be hard to detect on open water so it’s important to check the floors once they have dried out. Stomp firmly around and if you feel any flexing, there is likely an issue. Fully understanding and making boat floor repairs can be complicated. Consulting an expert is a wise choice, and Pensacola Shipyard has independent contractors on-site to help you avoid costly mistakes.
Decisions, Decisions … Materials
Boat flooring materials vary. Most vessels have a wooden, fiberglass or steel bottom that the flooring is laid over. The most common types of flooring include wood, carpet, specialized linoleum, canvas and painted floors. Due to its strength and water resistance, oak is a preferred wood. Wood does not come without maintenance needs and will require refinishing. Specialized carpet for boats is an additional option, but regular cleaning is needed. Normal linoleum is fine for inside cabins but a specialized marine linoleum is needed for decking. These linoleum/laminate products mimic the look of hardwood and are easy to maintain. Canvas is a durable, tried and true product, however, it is usually just water resistant not water-proof and is prone to some stretching. Water-based marine acrylic painted floors are another option but will require ongoing touch ups and maintenance.
Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Whether you are repairing your existing flooring product or replacing it entirely, there are some mistakes that are common but avoidable with the help of a professional.
- Failure to Clean Mold: Mold is a common culprit in a rotten floor. Failure to properly clean all mold and therefore allowing it to spread to additional healthy areas is a recurring issue in flooring maintenance.
- Using Low Grade Epoxy: Your repair is only as good as the products used. Selecting a high-quality waterproof, marine grade epoxy is essential to ensure your repairs last.
- Not Replacing Rotten Wood: Not replacing all the rotted areas can allow additional damage and rotting. Simply patching the area is not recommended. Fully replacing the wood safeguards against further damage.
- Driving Nails into the Floor: Driving nails into the floor (even small ones) weakens it and allows for water intrusion. Putting nails in your boats should be avoided if possible.
Leave Boat Floor Repairs to the Professionals
Boat floor repairs can be tricky. Knowing what repairs are needed and how to make them, if the flooring can be fixed or if a full replacement is needed, and what materials should be chosen? These are all questions best left to a professional. On-site independent contractors at Pensacola Shipyard are one of the many convenient services we offer. These industry experts can handle all your boat floor repair needs, avoiding common mistakes and ensuring a job well done.
Call Pensacola Shipyard today and leave your boat boat repairs in capable hands.