How to Fix a Vessel That Has Suffered Cosmetic Damage


How to Fix a Vessel That Has Suffered Cosmetic Damage

A ship that has suffered cosmetic damage is sometimes easy to spot, and your client must know the signs. It can seem unthinkable that something could mar the beauty of these vessels, but cosmetic damage can occur from weathering, corrosion, or an accident.

What to Do When the Ship Has Suffered Cosmetic Damage

As insurance agents with clients in ship repair and maintenance, it’s essential to know how to fix a vessel that has suffered cosmetic damage.

Spotting Cosmetic Damage

Cosmetic damage to a vessel can be as minor as scratches or as significant as gouges. It is essential for insurance agents and their ship repairer clients to be able to identify cosmetic damage and know how best to repair it.

The first step in fixing cosmetic damage is getting a good assessment of the affected area. It includes inspecting the damaged area’s size, shape, material type, color, and depth. Depending on these factors, the most appropriate approach to repair may vary.

For example, a simple polishing may suffice if the damaged area is relatively small and shallow. However, more intensive repair work will be needed if deeper scratches or dents are present. It may involve sanding, filling, and painting. Sometimes, a total replacement may even be necessary.

If you have clients who are ship repairers, insurance is an excellent way for them to protect their ships. It can help them if their ships suffer cosmetic damage in the future by covering the cost of repairs and saving them time and money.

Finding Materials and Supplies

Once they have identified the extent of the repairs, it’s time to start sourcing materials and supplies. Depending on the damage, they may need a variety of items. These can include sandpaper and abrasives for sanding down rough surfaces to fiberglass resin and gel coat for smoothing out any imperfections. It is essential to source these components. 

Starting the Restoration Process

For minor scratches, polishing and waxing can be sufficient; however, deeper dents or gouges may require more specialized techniques such as sanding, filling, and painting. They must do these steps carefully to ensure a professional finish and avoid further damage.

Checking the Restored Vessel

After finishing the restoration process, it is vital to check the vessel for any other damage that may have occurred during the restoration. Checking for any new cracks in the vessel is essential as it can help avoid potential problems later. A single piece of cosmetic damage can make a massive difference in the vessel’s appearance and operation.


Cosmetic damage to vessels can come from various sources, such as storms and general wear and tear. The damage is usually not structural, and your clients can repair it with a few simple steps. Additionally, insurance is essential for ship repairers since it can protect them from any liability in case of an accident.

About Merrimac Marine Insurance

At Merrimac Marine, we are dedicated to providing insurance for the marine industry to protect your clients’ business and assets. For more information about our products and programs, contact our specialists today at (800) 681-1998.