How to Repair a Boating Hull From the Exterior

How to Repair a Boating Hull From the Exterior

Your clients may have to learn how to repair a boating hull from the exterior to understand their vessel fully. Has your client’s boat seen better days? Maybe their ship has gone through a rough patch during Hurricane Ian? If so, they might be interested to know how to repair a boat hull from the exterior.

Bear in mind that repairing a boat is almost always a significant undertaking. Few boat owners have the skill, experience, and technical knowledge to do such a job. Therefore, the best thing you can do for them is offer advice on PWC coverage and hull coverage.

Knowing what the repair process involves should be helpful when they take their boat to the ship repairers. Likewise, your clients should know about getting their watercraft fixed if it has suffered damage from the outside.

Equipment Needed to Repair a Boating Hull

Here are some of the materials commonly used in boat repair. Most boat builders craft modern vessels with fiberglass, so these materials are best suited for those boats.

Patching Kit: Patching a fiberglass hull can be more complicated than patching a hull made of wood. There are many variables to consider, most of which will dictate the equipment used in the repair.

Patching kits typically include several layers of fiberglass and liquid epoxy. It might be a good idea for your client to check out different patching kits online to see what they contain.

Construction Materials: Boat repairs usually use sandpaper and epoxy brushes. It is possible to use sandpaper to sand the edges of the repaired hole while using an epoxy brush to apply the liquid epoxy that seals the hole. 

Cleaning Supplies: Repair work always involves a bit of cleaning. The repair kit should also include cleaning supplies for clearing debris from the affected area. It is often necessary to clean the hole of obstructions and unwanted material before filling and sealing it. Many experts advise using a non-damaging cleaning solution such as Boat Cleaner.

Procedure for Repairing a Boat Hull

The process of repairing a boat varies depending on the extent of damage and type of repair needed. Here are some of the typical steps involved in repairing a vessel with a damaged hull:

Preparing the Affected Area: Clear all debris. Afterward, it is best to dry thoroughly. The next step would be to sand the repairs to allow for the smooth application of the patching material. If the hole extends through the hull, it may be necessary to apply fiberglass backing material.

Measuring and Patching the Hole: The patching process begins with precisely measuring the hole. Most fiberglass patching kits include fiberglass cloth. 

The first piece to be applied should be just slightly larger than the hole. Each subsequent layer should be somewhat more extensive than the preceding piece. They spread the mixed epoxy in the kit over the previously sanded area and the applied layers of fiberglass cloth.

Curing the Affected Area: The fiberglass patches should be left to dry and cure for several hours, according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. The repaired area should be relatively even while drying, although it will still have to sand down after it dries to produce a thoroughly even surface.


Fixing an exterior problem on a boat hull can be a complex undertaking. If your client doesn’t have the experience or inclination to tackle the job, it is best to call in an expert ship repairer.

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.