Fixing a rough boat cheaply in order to move it

by David Benyon
(Bude UK)

There is an old long keel sailing yacht in poor condition in the yard of a UK marina.

The yard is destined to become a high rise luxury hotel so the boat is at grave risk of being cut up and burned.

The rudder hangings need replacing as the stainless steel pivots have caused the mild steel hangers to be destroyed.

The ends of the timbers that run across the transom have decayed in about the first half inch of end grain but the rest of the boat seems fairly sound.

The problem of course is time.

The boss of the marina has offered to GIVE the boat to a friend if he pays for the lift into the water (about £150) but at present the boat might sink.

If the boat could be sailed, motored or towed three or four miles it could go to a boat club where the fees are quite low.

It is going to have to be a quick and cheap job and tubes of black bitumen gutter sealant from Poundland might be the answer.

A proper Epoxy West System is not really practical right now owing to the weather but ideally (IMHO) the boat needs to be sandblasted to remove decayed wood.

A petrol powered pump is available for the voyage and an outboard motor plus a bracket will be needed unless the boat is towed.

Personally I prefer GRP but the wooden boat does have nice lines and a touch of class.

Some UK house builders go a bundle on silicone rubber sealant for fixing leaks but I don't think that this material is ideal for boats.

Any constructive criticism would be welcome.

Best regards from David

Comments for Fixing a rough boat cheaply in order to move it

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Fix a rough boat cheaply in order to move it
by: Roy Schreyer

While I do hope you know how much work you're getting into or perhaps it's best you don't, silicone caulking might work.

It seals well enough and for your trip will likely last but when moisture gets in and around it (as it will when your boat is in the water) it can be pealed away in one length so might be easier to clean up.

Another idea would be to avoid filling the seames but use tar paper patches with the edges sealed with caulking and stapled where the caulking is as an added bond.

Take the trip slow and peal it off once there.

The caulking is on the surface for the most part so is easily scraped.


Fixing a rough boat cheaply
by: Roger Doran

I think you would be doing you friend a favour if you advised him to walk away from the old boat.

If it was any good it wouldnt be left there in the first place, and the condition of old boats always turns out worse than it at first seemed.

The hull is only a quarter of the cost of a boat, so even if the hull were to be in brilliant condition which it isnt it would no doubt need a new engine and rig and interior fitout.

Best to build a new boat, then he will have something of real value, at the same cost and not as time consuming.

Shrink wrap
by: Anonymous

Shrink-wrap the hull?

Just some thoughts
by: Michael

Just wondering how long you envisage her being in the water?

As she has been out of the water, presumably for some time, she would need to 'take up' anyway.

There are a few tricks that can be used as a temporary measure to reduce water intake on taking up such as filling the seams with soft bar soap or slick seam.

The cheap "black bitumen gutter sealant from Poundland" would certainly do the job but will it be easily removed once she is in her new home and ready for restoration?

Just some thoughts.

by: Anonymous

How about putting a several inflatable dinghies or suitable buoyancy inside?

boat hauling
by: Anonymous

Put the boat on a trailer and move it over ground and be done with it.

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