Boat Hull Repair in Pensacola, FL

Boating is one of the most enjoyable ways to spend time along the Gulf Coast. It offers a great way to relax and unwind with family and friends. Whether your boat is for cruising or fishing, a fun time is practically a guarantee. Owning a boat not only comes with a sense of freedom, but also major responsibility. As the captain/owner you are responsible for the safety of your passengers and boat hull repairs are a key aspect of that responsibility. Pre and post voyage inspections are crucial as well as regular maintenance. Making sure your boat’s hull is structurally sound is vital. Much like a home’s foundation, the integrity of your boat depends on the hull.

Why the Hull is so Important?

So what about the hull makes it so important? It keeps your boat seaworthy and its passengers safe. The hull refers to the watertight body of a boat. It is what keeps the water out and the vessel afloat. Fiberglass boat repairs are not to be ignored, because water intrusion is dangerous and can cause major structural damage. Any damage to the hull should be addressed immediately as it can lead to serious problems. The worst-case scenario as a consequence of failing to make boat hull repairs is the sinking of your vessel in open water.

Common Causes of Hull Damage

What can cause damage to your boat’s hull? Well, there are a number of causes ranging from dramatic to benign. The most obvious and severe damage causing a hole in the hull may arise from a collision. The majority of hulls are made of fiberglass. Fiberglass is durable and requires less maintenance than a wooden hull would require. Some may have a layer of wood located in between the inner and outer fiberglass. Vessels of this design can suffer delamination damage. This occurs when the middle wood gets wet and may swell and break away from the surrounding fiberglass. Scratches and dings on your boat (even covering a small area) that are left unattended can allow water intrusion. This can lead to blistering. Blistering will often send boat owners into an unnecessary panic. Early intervention and proper repair can save your hull from major structural damage. High-speed boats can be subject to fatigue (stress on the boat from the water’s impact and vibration that causes weakness in the hull), and evidence of internal hull/liner damage may show up as cracked moldings or screws that have backed out. Another type of hull damage is warping. Warping occurs when the vessel is exposed to extreme heat and sun. Ultimately, some level of damaged fiberglass is unavoidable, but if repaired in a timely manner with knowledgeable hands, it can be minimal.

Think You Have Hull Damage?

Repairing Hull Damage Yourself or Hire an Expert?

Once you are aware of the damage, you must then decide if you are up for the task of doing it yourself or if it is out of your comfort zone. Cosmetic repairs and gelcoat repairs need only be performed on the outside, but if the damage breaks through the thickness of the hull, the patch area will be inside as well. For most common exterior hull/gel coat repairs there are a variety of kits with detailed instructions. Understanding the steps and having your materials organized and in place will make the process less stressful.

  • Mark the damaged area extending 6 inches out from each side of the edge of the hole
  • Thoroughly clean and dry the area and sand
  • Wet the sanded surface with the mixed epoxy provided in the kit (epoxy must be used for anything under the waterline, if the patch area is above the water line, polyester resin may be used).
  • Let the applied fiberglass cure. Once it has cured, sand the area down to apply a second coat of epoxy.
  • Make sure to allow plenty of time for curing in a dry and ventilated area.

Pensacola Shipyard is the Solution to Hull Repair Issues

Pensacola Shipyard has the perfect space for you to perform hull repair on your vessel in a secure, uncrowded setting. Feeling unsure about a DIY project? We have independent contractors on-site to answer your questions and help you decide if you want to tackle the repair yourself or hire an expert. Regardless of which direction you choose, Pensacola Shipyard is the solution to your boat hull repair needs.

Contact us today so you can spend less time working on your boat and more time enjoying it.