Boat Deck Repair: How to Replace the Deck

  • 10-40 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 200-1,000
What You'll Need
Pry bar
Screw gun
Sealer preservative
Tape measure
Circular saw
Deck lumber
Paint brush

A boat deck repair and replacement are one in the same. The best way to repair the deck of your boat should the deck boards or joists become damaged is to simply replace the damaged boards. When talking about the replacement of the boat’s deck, you are probably looking to replace all of the deck boards instead of only those that appear to be damaged.

This article describes the tools, materials and steps needed to accomplish the replacement of your boat deck. The materials needed are the same materials that are used when repairing a patio deck to a home. You will also use the same processes for securing the boards to the framing of the boat.

Step 1: Remove Boat Deck Boards

Using a pry bar, remove the nails and screws that hold the boat deck boards in place. Since you are replacing the boat deck you will need to take up every deck board on your boat deck. Place the old deck boards in a recycling facility or other type of facility that can make use of them that is environmentally safe and friendly.

Step 2: Inspect the Boat Deck Joists

Inspect the joists that the deck boards rest on to see of any of them require replacement as well. The joists will be exposed as you pull up deck boards for the entire deck. The damaged joists that you discover will also be replaced in the same manner that the deck boards are replaced.

Step 3: Replace Boat Deck Boards

With the deck boards removed and the joists inspected thoroughly, replace the deck boards with the same type of material that the original deck boards were. Use a screw gun or a nailer to affix the deck boards to the deck and attach them to the joists.

Step 4: Seal the Boat Deck Boards and Joists

Use a sealant to protect the replaced boards and joists that were installed in your boat deck. The sealant should be sprayed or applied with a plain brush in order to cover the entire area of the boat deck. Apply the appropriate number of coats of sealant to the boat deck as is required by the instructions for the product that you choose. Be sure the sealant is an all-weather sealant so that your repaired boat deck will last for a long time.

This will complete the replacement of your boat deck. You should periodically inspect the boat deck for damage and wear and tear. This process can take place at the beginning of the boating season when the boat is placed in the water and at the end of the season when it is placed into dry dock. If the boat is used year-round, then every 6 months is a good schedule to pursue.