Common damage to your boat and how it is repaired

A boat is a significant investment and your pride and joy, damaging it can be upsetting and costly. On the water and even off, boat damage can happen for many reasons.

Do you find yourself in need of boat repairs? Discover why boat repair is needed and how Bodytech Automotive can help you with your marine vessel.

Understanding what your boat is made of

It is important to understand the materials your boat is constructed with to better appreciate how it is repaired when it is damaged.

Fibreglass is the sturdiest choice when it comes to boats, as fibreglass hulls are heavier than aluminium, allowing them to handle choppy waters easily.

Fibreglass boats are made using a mould and are built from the outside in. A thick gel coat lines the mould to create the outside surface of the hull, a special mix of glass fibres and resin is then laid on top to build its shape, followed by a layer of gel coat to finish the inside of the hull.

Aluminium boats are built using sheets of aluminium to create the shape of the boat and they are then welded together and sealed. Aluminium boats can be painted, however the paint is for aesthetic purposes and plays no structural role in the boat itself.

Most common causes of boat damage

When it comes to boat damage, the most common causes to both fibreglass and aluminium hulls, is collision. Impact with another boat, jetty or other structure can cause anything from minor scratching to holes or gouges in your boat.

Methods to repair collision damage will vary depending on the boat’s material and the extent of the damage.

Small surface scratches in fibreglass may be buffed out, whereas larger fibreglass boat repairs such as gouges may need to be filled and coated with gel coat.

Osmosis is another issue that can cause damage to your fibreglass boat. While your boat may look completely waterproof, the truth is fibreglass and it’s gelcoat are slightly porous. Osmosis occurs when small amounts of water pass through the fibreglass and create osmotic blisters on the surface. Generally speaking, Osmosis will not compromise the use or structure of your boat and it is more often than not just an aesthetic issue. Osmosis can decrease the resale value of your boat, so it is always best to stay on top of it.

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Aluminium boats are more resistant to scratching, if your paintwork is damaged it can be resprayed easily. Holes or large dents in your boat may require the panel or a portion of the panel to be cut out and a new panel welded into place.

Electrolysis is a common issue in aluminium boats and is not only unsightly, it can also severely damage or destroy the structure of your boat. If you notice any signs of corrosion, ensure you seek professional help immediately to avoid costly repairs or the total destruction of your boat.

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DIY vs Professional Repairs

Like with many things, DIY repairs can end up costing you more in the end. It is always best to seek professional advice when repairing your boat. Minor scratches are easily managed yourself with the right equipment but leave the bigger repairs to a trusted Sydney boat repairer.

Body Tech Automotive is equipped to handle most marine structural repairs including boat trailer repairs in Sydney. Before you attempt to repair any damage yourself, contact one of specialists for more information on (02)9680-2017.