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Buying A Boat With A Damaged Or Rotting Wooden Floor

Sometimes purchasing a boat that's a little damaged can be an excellent deal. But in order to determine how much of a deal it is, you need to first be aware of how much the damage is going to cost you. A boat with a rotting or damaged wooden floor could require minimal repairs, or it could require an entire replacement.

Clean the Floor and Inspect the Wood Thoroughly

Before you make your assessment, you should take the time to clean the floor as well as possible and inspect it thoroughly. There are different levels of damage, many of which aren't going to be visible until you actually remove the dirt. To fix the boat's floor, you're going to have to remove all of the rotten or damaged wood -- leaving anything behind is going to weaken the structure of the boat itself. Factor this in when considering costs.

Examine the Floor for Prior Repairs

There are many mistakes that a boat owner might make when trying to repair their own boat. Look at the wooden floor. Does it appear that the planks have been replaced? Have they been glued or nailed in? Are there any planks that have been partially replaced -- and if so, are there any gaps visible? Poorly done repairs can be hiding more substantial problems and will usually need to be redone. Most importantly, nails should never be used on a boat floor.

Always Look Under Covered Areas

Some boats have coverings over their floor, such as carpeting or vinyl. Carpeting in particular is often hiding water damage and rot -- and even though vinyl is theoretically waterproofed, it may also be hiding some damage. Before purchasing a boat, you should always request to inspect beneath the floor. You may also want to look around the edges of the floor and the boundaries, as these are the areas that are most susceptible to rot.

Buying a boat with a rotting floor isn't an automatic no. If you can acquire a boat repair quote before you purchase the boat, it may actually be able to save you money -- as long as you have the time to spare. Just make sure that you know absolutely everything about the boat before you purchase it, ranging from its repair history to its current status. If the current owner hesitates at all with your due diligence, it's possible there's more wrong with the boat.