Tips to Restore an Older Boat



If you own an older boat or are thinking about buying one, the thought of restoration is likely on your mind.  Restoring an older boat is not as difficult as it might seem.  With a little bit of strategy and sweat equity, you can restore an outdated boat to look and function like a modern vessel.  Here’s how to do it.

1) Clear out the Gunk

Older boats that have not been used in years or have been neglected and used sparingly are sure to have some clutter.  Eliminate all the leaves, debris, dated sundries and water from the boat.  Once the unnecessary items are removed, it is time to shift your attention toward cleaning the vessel.

2) Clean the Boat

Your boat will look that much better and you will enjoy a psychological boost if it is properly cleaned.  Clean the entirety of your boat.  Make your way from one stern to the other until the entirety of the boat is as clean as possible.  Don’t forget to clean the propeller with care as the blade is likely still quite sharp.  If the prop is broken or has any other significant flaws, you can buy boat propellers from our website.

3) Determine What Repairs are Necessary

There is likely at least one component of your old boat that is broken.  Perform a once-over of the boat's exterior and interior. Take note of potential repairs.  Pay particularly close attention to the old hoses and belts.  If these components are worn, replace them with new ones.  If you believe you can safely perform a brief test ride on the water, do so to gauge if any additional boat components are not functioning properly.

4) Address the Engine and Fuel Tank

If the boat has not been used in years, there is probably at least a little bit of old fuel remaining in the fuel tank.  Siphon out the old fuel and discard it in the appropriate manner.  Old oil from the gear case and engine must also be removed.

5) Mind the Through-Hull Fittings

Take a close look at the through-hull fittings to determine if they are sealed properly.  Be sure to check the seacocks as well to guarantee they function as they should.  If the seacocks are even slightly flawed, do not hesitate to replace them.

6) Check the Wood

Plenty of older boats contain rotting wood.  If the wood on your boat is rotting, do not neglect it, assuming it will hold steady.  Inspect the entirety of the boat for rotting wood.  Examine the deck floor, transom and seat bases to determine if there is any rotting wood.  Replace all rotting wood, strip it and add marine-grade plywood in its place.

7) Check out the Fiberglass

Take a close look at the boat’s fiberglass.  Fiberglass is typically located around fittings and fixtures.  As an example, you are likely to find fiberglass by the cleats.  If you spot cracks in the fiberglass, address them before taking the boat back out onto the water.


8) Add the Finishing Touch

The best boat restorations address the vessel’s function as well as its form.  In particular, the paint job and finish matter a great deal.  Plenty of the older boats still in use have a factory gelcoat dating back to their early days.  In fact, some such antiquated boats even have old metal flaking.  Gelcoat that has dulled or faded can be restored with a little bit of time and effort.  Consider painting the boat to enhance its aesthetic.  At the very least, consider restoring the factory finish. 


The Delta Propeller Company is at Your Service

If you are looking to buy boat propellers, you have come to the right place.  Our boat propeller inventory is nearly unparalleled.  From sailboat propellers to outboard propellers, sterndrive propellers and beyond, we've got just about every type of propeller you could possibly need.


Give us a call today at (513) 467-0601 to learn more about how to buy boat propellers.  You can also reach out to us by emailing [email protected] for more information.  If you prefer to contact us on the web, fill out our online contact form and we will guide you through any questions.