How to Build a Boat

The following article will not teach you how to build a boat from start to finish but instead will allow you to make design considerations so that you get the small details correct. Typically these tips should be used towards the end of a boat building project as they are simply additions and maintenance considerations..

How to Build a Boat

Top 4 ways to avoid your boat sinking in the spring

1. If your sailing or power boat has a stuffing box then you need to make sure that the seal to the prop shaft is not too tight as this will create a dripping of water. This will usually be a very small flow of water, however if your boat is left on the lake or harbor for long periods of time without any supervision at all then it could very easily become a problem. Many boat owners have come back to their boathouse after a winter to find their boat fully submerged due to this very problem. Make sure that you inspect the stuffing box on a regular basis as it keeps your boat afloat in the long run.

2. All hose clamps need to be tightened where required or at the very least inspected for their level of tightness. Failure to do this might mean that some coolant hoses will result in leaks which eventually could become severe enough for flooding to take place.

3. The actual hoses also need to be well maintained as during winter months the freezing of the water can cause the valves to break down. Then when the warmer weather of spring kicks in the frozen water will return back to liquid form. This can result in significant amounts of water spilling into the bilge. Regular maintenance and double clamping can prevent this particular issue from being significant.

4. Heavy rain is another more less obvious method of how your boat may come to sink in the spring time. A lot of "how to make a boat" guides will have many design features incorporated in them, including ways of funneling rainwater from the deck of the ship and into the body of the water. However you need to be aware that all the features are operational and not hindered such as a blocked up grate.

Fiber glass boats do need polishing

Many boat owners are under the impression that if they have a boat made mostly of fiber glass then they will not need to polish their boat. As a general rule of thumb no surface of any boat is maintenance free, however this will depend on what type of waters the vessel travels in and what grain of wood or other material is used. The best way to get a clean, shiny and tidy looking boat made out of fiber glass is to give it a good coat of wax. This will increase the presentability of your boat by removing and repelling any dirt particles. That being said you will first need to determine what condition the surface of your boat is in and then apply the corresponding maintenance procedure. The more resources you spend on this type of boat maintenance the less often you will be required to perform it.

How to remove antifouling paint?

Firstly antifouling paint is simply a coat of paint that is applied to the hull of boats and ships in order to prevent degradation of the surface. It is extremely cheap and easy to incorporate, but the question is how to remove this layer when it is unwanted. The most commonly used method is a combination of scraping and sanding. This method has in fact been around for a very long time. The only drawbacks are that the dust particles generated from the process are in fact toxic and the whole process can take a lot of time, especially if it is a big vessel.

A much less toxic alternative is a chemical called "Peel Away" and is available for just over $60 per gallon from most boat building related hardware stores around the country. Ideally you should speak to the store manager to get some tips on how to apply this chemical during your boat restoration project.

How to fix leak seams in aluminum boats

Most aluminum boat owners have a leak of some kind, this is mainly due to the error prone nature of rivets. Firstly you need to find the leaks and this can be done by simply filling the boat up with water and then searching for the leak as the water pours out. To reduce any damage to the boat this should be done whilst the boat is tilted on its side. Now you need to use a propane torch in order to heat up the area that is leaking and remove the aluminum. Then replace the hole with G/Flex Epoxy. Once the epoxy is cured you can take it for a test in the water to see if the problem is fixed. As a side note wooden boats are much less prone to these types of small leaks because their surface is usually one whole complete surface.

Propeller maintenance

The maintenance of your propeller is extremely important as without its correct functioning your boat is useless to you and considering how often they fail you really do need to look after them. A lot of how to build a boat guides might show you step by step how to install a propeller, but might say nothing about how to maintain it. Most manufacturers will use what is simply known as a nut and bolt system which can be got at using a wrench. What you should aim to do is at regular intervals remove the propeller from the boat and then remove any dirt that might be present. Now if no signs of damage can be seen simply reattach the propeller to your boat. This is the basic process, however you should consult relevant documentation for further advice on additional checks that should be carried out to your vital boat parts.

How to Build a Boat

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