A lot depends on the extent of the damage of course, the off season is the ideal time to make repairs to your boat, as many of us in the Northern Hemisphere will be doing over the next few months, if you need something done properly advice is at hand.
Are you able to perform professional quality repairs yourself, or do you need to look for a repair yard that can do it for you?
Is your vessel a sail boat or a power boat or cruiser? Engine repairs are often beyond the ken of amateurs meaning that calling in the experts is necessary which may be expensive but safer, safety especially at sea – inland or otherwise – is vital.
Yacht and Boat Chandlers carry vast stock of essential items for yacht and boat repairs plus just about anything else that one could need from decking sealants varnish and stain, to provisions for those stocking the galley prior to a cruise. Plus, many fittings, loos, galley equipment etc are available for sale. The owner/operators will usually know who does what in their location so asking for information whilst doing a bit of shopping is wise.
Marinas will also know the best local repairers and may have dry slips to enable boaters to haul a boat out of the water for maintenance and repairs. It is worth checking Marinas out in your location, the best ones may have everything that you need for repairs and of course a berth from which to sail, maybe a Chandlers on site and repair shops too. Not forgetting great food and drink.
Many boats have fibre glass hulls in which case knowing how to conduct repairs to the skin is important, fibre glass patching is a skilful business and many folks do their own, your Chandlers will usually carry patching kits, however, if the damage is on a large scale then a commercial boat repair yard may be the answer. Broken parts, winches, sail repair kits, replacement shackles and ropes, rigging, cleats, even outboard motors can be sourced easily at the best Chandlers. The benefit of buying from a recognised Chandler is convenience and confidence, they only sell the best kit available and will guide inexperienced people in making the best purchases for each specific need.
It is important to make sure that repairs are carried out correctly, the forces and stresses placed on the components and the fabric of a boat are immense, botched repairs can be catastrophic or at the least seriously non-cost effective – why spoil the boat for a hap’eth o tar? The same is true of outboard motors and propeller driven boats, do it right and stay safe!
Happy sailing, folks, stay safe and enjoy!
Author: R. Langley