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Boat Stringers: Cracks, Fixes and Repair

When you have boat stringers that are showing cracks and repairs, it is time to replace them. Many people do not know what they are called or how to fix them, so this blog post will help clarify the process. Boat stringers can be repaired with epoxy or glue and there are many types of boat stringers depending on your needs. It is important to repair these before they break completely because if you wait too long then the damage may be greater than necessary and need more work done than anticipated.

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Boat Stringers: Cracks, Fixes and Repair

Image
Product
Travaco Marine-Tex Gluvit Waterproof Epoxy Sealer
  • waterproof
  • withstands marine environments
  • for any type of boat hull
TotalBoat 5:1 Epoxy Resin Kits
  • three sizes
  • self-leveling properties
  • marine grade epoxy
TotalBoat Polyester Structural Repair Putty
  • for wood, metal, or fiberglass
  • natural color
  • marine grade
J-B Weld WaterWeld Epoxy Putty Stick
  • two part epoxy
  • set up within 25 minutes
  • versatility
Clear Table Top Epoxy Resin That Self Levels
  • UV resistant
  • bubble free
  • durability

What are boat stringers?

What are boat stringers

Stringers are the large pieces of wood that run along the length of a boat, providing support to everything inside. The floor boards and walls sit on top of them – meaning they have a huge impact on how well your boat is able to handle waves or remain afloat in general!

  1. Boat stringers provide stability for interior components
  2. Stringers are usually made from wood, with a plywood exterior
  3. Stringers can be found both in fiberglass and wooden boats

Types of Stringers

Types of Stringers

There are two main types of stringers – those made from wood and those constructed with fiberglass. Fiberglass ones can be found on both wooden and fiberglass boats , but you’ll find that most modern boats have these instead. Wooden stringers provide better support for heavier loads (like people) than their metal counterparts do, making them more reliable in some cases as well. But they also tend to rot or come loose much easier if water gets through cracks into the core so make sure your repairs hold up against leaks before going out onto the open waters again!

What to do when you have cracks

What to do when you have cracks

If you find cracks in your stringers, don’t panic. There are a few options depending on how severe the damage is:

The most drastic option is replacement – this one should be undertaken by an expert. You will need a new boat and all of its components!

The next step down from replacing the stringer completely would be fixing it with epoxy or glue. Both can work well if done properly. Epoxy provides great support because it expands when dry , providing compression that helps keep things together better than other materials do. Glue acts as more of a patch material; It’s not designed for ultimate strength like epoxy but still works efficiently at keeping pieces tightly held.

If you choose to use epoxy, make sure it is compatible with your boat materials

For glue, be aware of temperature and humidity levels when applying the material – both can affect how well it works!

How to repair boat stringers

How to repair boat stringers

Once again there are a few options depending on severity. The easiest way would be screwing in new cleats . These small pieces provide support at either end of the stringer. While this method doesn’t work for every type or size of crack , if done right they will keep things together long enough until you get time to replace the stringer completely. They’re also relatively cheap so worth looking into if you have some spare cash around that won’t go to waste.

  1. To repair your stringer with screw cleats, first clear out the crack. Make sure that you have a good idea of how deep it goes and where along the length of the boat this is .
  2. Using epoxy, drill holes on either side of the crack and insert screws. Make sure that they are very flush with the stringer so as not to cause a bump or protrusion once it has been sanded down . You can also use deck putty , which is an adhesive, colored compound that you spread into the gap before applying screw cleats. This works well if there isn’t much damage but still wants to be fixed quickly!
  3. If you choose glue instead for this step, apply liberally along both sides of your crack and press them together tightly without any spaces between until completely flat . Then tape off around each end of the stringers in order to prevent too much seeping out when wet.
  4. Then drill pilot holes through both sides of the stringer so that they are perpendicular to each other . This will make them less likely to split as you put in screws later on. You can use either wood glue or epoxy for this part depending on which one works best for your situation – just be aware of what material should go over (epoxy) or under (glue). Screws don’t need much more than half an inch into the hull , but always remember: safety comes first! Check all materials thoroughly if you’re not sure how to use them.
  5. If your stringer has multiple smaller cracks, you can patch it in a few different ways. One option is using epoxy and fiberglass strips for larger areas . Another would be covering up the crack with several layers of glass tape or fiberglass sheeting , then applying an epoxy coating over top as well. This will provide support long enough until you have time to replace the stringers completely.

Why boat strings need repair

Why boat strings need repair

Even if they don’t seem like much, even small cracks can quickly lead to major problems – especially when exposed to salt water ! This double layer of protection against damage should keep things together while maintaining safety standards for anyone on board who might fall into the water.

It’s always best to repair a boat stringer when it first happens, not wait until everything is falling apart!

Best epoxy for repairing boat stringers

The top best product [hide]

Travaco Marine-Tex Gluvit Waterproof Epoxy Sealer


Travaco Marine-Tex Gluvit Waterproof Epoxy Sealer
Prevent the wear and tear on your boat from seepage, leaking rivets, or water infiltration with Travaco Marine-Tex RM330K Gluvit Waterproof Epoxy Sealer. This product gives you superior protection for fiberglass, wood, aluminum, and steel in a hard protective coating that flexes with the movements of your hull to bridge and seal hairlines. When mixed with the Gluvit Catalyst you get an excellent epoxy sealant which seals leaks more completely—even at hairline cracks!
Pros
waterproof
withstands marine environments
for any type of boat hull
Cons
may not last long

buy on Amazon

TotalBoat 5:1 Epoxy Resin Kits


TotalBoat 5:1 Epoxy Resin Kits
Boat builders rejoice, TotalBoat has created the perfect epoxy kit for your needs! With three sizes to choose from and differing pot life of 12 minutes or 20 minutes depending on the type of hardener chosen, you're sure to find a TotalBoat kit that's right for you. The self-leveling properties make application easy and ensure that it'll cover any area in need with just one coat, so don't worry about measuring too much out at once - plus plenty of other features like calibrated pumps assures you have the ultimate product! You can rest easy knowing this is marine grade epoxy that will do everything damaged fiberglass might need, whether it be applying as reinforcement fabric or coating an old floorboard while waiting for wood repair.
Pros
three sizes
self-leveling properties
marine grade epoxy
Cons
pumps not included

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TotalBoat Polyester Structural Repair Putty


TotalBoat Polyester Structural Repair Putty
TotalBoat Polyester Structural Repair Putty is the quick and easy solution for repairing any number of things involving wood, metal, or fiberglass. Just add a small amount to bond your boat's sheds back together after an unfortunate collision with another captain. The Marine Grade Fiber Reinforced Polyester Putty can also be used as fitting material when installing engine brackets or rounding out extra bulkheads in rough water. You'll find that TotalBoat has all of the materials you need to get your hull looking its best again!
Pros
for wood, metal, or fiberglass
natural color
marine grade

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J-B Weld WaterWeld Epoxy Putty Stick


J-B Weld WaterWeld Epoxy Putty Stick
The J-B Weld WaterWeld Epoxy Putty Stick is a hand mixable two part epoxy that cures under water. It's ideal for repairing plumbing, fuel tanks, tubs and showers, drains, pool and spa, boats & potable water tanks and more! This revolutionary product set within 25 minutes of being kneaded together by hand which gives it amazing versatility between projects. Not only does this epoxy stick feature quick cure time but also has an NSF certification.
Pros
two part epoxy
set up within 25 minutes
versatility
Cons
not work with PVC pipe

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Clear Table Top Epoxy Resin That Self Levels


Clear Table Top Epoxy Resin That Self Levels
Epoxy resin that can level, is bubble free and leaves behind a high gloss UV resistant coating which you will love. We only produce tough, high gloss epoxy resin for maximum versatility so your world is 100% functional with this coating!
Pros
UV resistant
bubble free
durability
Cons
some customers admit that the epoxy can turn into pink

buy on Amazon

FAQs

Is it better to glue or glass-in the stringer system?

This will depend on the type of stringer you have. If it's a wooden one, you'll want to be using epoxy glue instead because it won't absorb water like wood does and therefore reduce its structural integrity over time. Fiberglass stringers are more suited for dry materials so if there is any risk that your boat might get wet , use fiberglass tape or sheeting in conjunction with an epoxy coating on top as this can handle both environments well.

What material is better fasten floor to stringers?

If you have wooden stringers, a good choice would be: marine-grade plywood . If fiberglass is your material of choice then use either wood or epoxy as these will hold up better than the other materials do in both salt water and fresh. It's generally not recommend that you fasten flooring to metal stringer systems because they can't handle the moisture exposure well over time so keep this in mind when deciding between options!

How do I repair the stringers?

Can they be repaired or will need to replace them completely ? This depends on how well your stringer system was built and what its current state is. If it's broken in several places, then you're probably better off replacing all of the stringers instead - otherwise if there are only small cracks , patching up these areas with epoxy and fiberglass should do the trick until you have time for more extensive repairs later down the road. Keep an eye out for signs of water damage when inspecting material as well: discoloration (also known as osmosis) usually means rust has developed under the paint , which can become a major problem if left untreated.

Conclusion

It’s always best to fix boat stringers as soon as possible, so take a look at your current stringer system and see what can be done.

Small cracks on fiberglass stringers will need epoxy with fiberglass strips or tape .

Wooden ones are better suited for use with epoxy instead of glue because it won’t absorb water like wood does over time. Fiberglass is also an option here but should only be used in conjunction with other materials to ensure maximum reliability overall – especially if there’s any risk that the vessel may go out onto salt water ! It’s also important to keep an eye out for signs of osmosis (discoloration) which is usually indicative of rust developing under the paint and should be taken care of immediately to prevent further damage.

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