A lot of boat manufacturers these days are using composites instead of marine plywood which has its pros and cons. The biggest pro of course is that it doesn’t rot. If you do have a boat with a traditional wooden core, these few steps could save you some serious money down the road.
- Check for any stress cracks or chips in the gelcoat or paint. Even those tiny hairline cracks and small chips can slowly let in moisture, and depending on the type of core material it can spread pretty quickly. If you see any the best thing to do is have them properly repaired now before damage can occur. If you don’t want to spend the money or don’t want to have your boat out of action for a few days you can always use a marine grade sealant to protect them until you can get it repaired
- Remove and reseal any screws or bolts that penetrate the transom. Stern eyes, wire clasps, transducers, outdrives, exhaust, anything with a hole or screw in it is a fast track for water intrusion if it isn’t properly sealed. It only takes an hour or so to remove, apply sealant, and replace the screws/bolts to make sure you don’t ruin your transom.
- Check your rub rail. Some rub rails are screwed into the transom, this isn’t always the case but if it is you need to make sure those screws or bolts are properly sealed. It doesn’t hurt to check your rail all the way around to make sure you have a nice bead of sealant running along the top and bottom edges of the rail. This isn’t needed on all boats so you might not need to worry about it.