Much like the aftermath of vehicle accidents, the initial priorities for boating accidents center around human injuries. Once all injured parties have been safely removed from the scene, efforts to address the damaged boats or watercraft are begun. If the damage is considered repairable and the watercraft is constructed of fiberglass, it may be possible to have the hull repaired. Boat owners who are unfamiliar with fiberglass boat repair can use the following information to better understand the process and how it might apply to their situation.
Understand the typical fiberglass repair steps that will be needed
The most commonly used steps in repairing any type or level of fiberglass boat damage will typically require:
- removal of the wax coating on the existing fiberglass surface to help ensure bonding during the patching process
- grinding to add layered strength to the repair
- application of resin with appropriate masking to prevent drips and runs and molding to maintain the shape of the boat surface
- application of fiberglass fabric layers to create a strong patch
Once the above steps are completed, a catalyst agent is applied to aid in hardening and curing the patched area. Once the curing process is complete, the fiberglass repair technician can move ahead with finishing tasks to match the surface of the repaired area to that of the unrepaired areas of the vessel.
Opt to make repairs from the inside, if possible
Boat damage that is relatively minor in size and located above the waterline can usually be repaired from within the hull of the boat. When the repair can be made from within, the fiberglass repair work area will be easier to conceal between the inner hull surface and the interior of the boat. The exterior patchwork can then be limited to approximately the size of the actual hole, instead of the broader area required for the fiberglass patching process.
If the damaged area of the boat is larger or located below the waterline of the boat, removing the boat from the water or transporting it to a repair location is likely to be needed. Fiberglass boats that have received extensive damage may require underlying structural repairs to ensure the vessel will be safe for use after completion of the repairs.
While fiberglass boats are known to last for decades with proper care, failure to address small cracks, chips, and other surface damage can shorten the lifespan. If your fiberglass boat has received damage from a collision or suffers from any type of surface or hull damage, having it assessed by a boat body damage repair specialist can help you protect its value and restore the condition of the hull.
For more information on boat body damage repair, contact a professional near you.