5 Ways to beautify your boat’s wooden exterior

5 Ways to beautify your boat’s wooden exterior

If you had a boat as big as the one Noah had, you would probably need divine intervention to keep it in great shape. Noah’s ark was about 510 feet long or big enough to fit three NASA space shuttles. Its roof was over 50 feet from the ground (higher than a modern four-story house) and it could hold at least 120,000 sheep!

Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about maintaining gigantic vessels nowadays, and boat owners never had it so good. If you want your boat to last for years, here are a few reminders:

Wooden boats are beautiful but they have to be well-maintained with the regular use of sealants and paints.
Since water can seep into wood, inspect your boat every season and do the necessary repairs.
Replace oils and repaint your boat as needed, but remove varnishes every few years.
Cover your boat to protect it from the elements and keep it out of the water when not in use. If this is not possible, haul it out yearly to examine it thoroughly.

You can also extend the life of your boat with custom coating solutions. If you’re confused with what to use, don’t panic because help is here. Whether you own a canoe, kayak, or yacht, protecting your boat’s wooden exterior is a breeze with these products:

1. Epoxy – is usually the first thing that’s added to the wood. This chemical is mixed and applied to the ship's hull. Extra coats fill gaps and add an extra layer of protection. However, epoxy can be damaged by ultraviolet (UV) rays. To minimize damage, cover it with a lot of varnish.

2. Oils – maintain the original look and texture of wood. They are easy to apply and penetrate deep into wood fibers. You can choose from different colors like water clear or dark brown. Apply multiple coats for a better finish and greater longevity.

3. Varnish – is made of oil, solvents, thinners, resins, dryers, and additives. This also comes in different colors and can give your boat a glossy or matte finish. Since wood expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity, you’re better off with products that use the best oils and resins. These protect your boat from harmful UV rays and help seal microscopic cracks that develop from years of use.

Common types include natural resin and oil-modified polyurethane varnishes. The first will give your boat a classic golden look. Oil varnish, on the other hand, will enhance the color of wood. Although it may take up to 10 coats of varnish to do the trick, all the hard work will pay off.

4. Synthetic wood finishes – are easy to apply, dry quickly, are UV-resistant, and require low maintenance. However, some products have a pigmented appearance. This is caused by synthetic iron oxide pigments to protect wood that loses its strength due to constant UV light exposure. For best results, choose the product that matches the natural color of wood.

5. Paint – adds protection from the elements, but this alone won’t protect your boat. Apply epoxy or a urethane varnish to wood first before using a primer and paint. Select a primer that binds to the kind of wood your boat has. This, in turn, will help the paint stick. Aside from adding color, paint provides UV protection and some can prevent the growth of barnacles and weeds on the hull.

Since 1921, BLP Mobile Paint has provided customers in Theodore, Alabama with colorful marine coating systems. Our products are designed to protect and beautify everything from Stauter boats to steel hull shrimpers and oil supply boats across the Gulf Coast. We’re always up to a customer’s painting challenge and can help formulate a unique custom solution. Reach out to us today for more information.