4 DIY Restoration Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Yacht


The internet is full of articles about how to repair or refurbish your boat and make it look new again. They promise to teach you how to take care of a variety of problems without having to spend a fortune on yacht services.

While some of the tips are legit and you don’t need a team of professionals to fix a minor scratch, for example (a quality ceramic coating could take care of that) the truth is that yacht restoration is not a simple task.

At Chi Yacht Refinishing, we’ve seen many DIY boat restoration mistakes, all done with good intent. But, these well-intentioned practices can do more harm than good to your yacht, making you pay more in the long term than if you were to hire expert yacht services from the beginning.

So, let’s take a look at the most common DIY yacht refinishing mistakes and why it’s better to avoid this practice altogether.


  1. The Wrong Type of Varnish Will Damage Your Boat

A lot of boat owners assume that they can pick pretty much any varnish, apply it, and call it a day for the next few months or even more. But, a lot of factors can influence the efficiency of the coat, such as sun exposure, salt, sea water, and harsh elements like rain or low temperatures. If your yacht is going to withstand the constant abuse of the hot summer sun, then a regular varnish might not do the trick at all.

Anything other than the right type of varnish applied properly and in perfect conditions can lead to deterioration. As a result, you will need to remove the coat, sand the surface of the boat and rebuild the finish before you can apply a fresh layer.


  1. Painting When the Hull Is Dry Can Cause More Harm Than Good

Your yacht has been out of the water for quite a while now. Maybe you’re harboring it during winter, or maybe you need to do some maintenance repairs. Whatever the reason, you plan to repaint it before it returns to the sea. If that’s the case, then you need to pay close attention to the hull’s moisture content before you sand and paint your yacht.

Here’s the thing: as the frame is losing its moisture, the joints open, making it easier for dust and debris to find its way in. Even if you’re cleaning the boat thoroughly, you won’t be able to remove everything. If you apply pain when the hull is dry, then the layer will trap the debris in the joints.

When the yacht is back in the water, and the wooden planks swell due to moisture, their edges will get in contact with the grime. Over time, that can lead to deterioration and possible leaks.


  1. Excessive Caulking

Picture this: your yacht was in storage for a couple of months when you notice that you can see light through the joints. What’s the first thing most yacht owners do? They add caulking to the boat, thinking that will fix the problem.

As mentioned already, a wooden yacht tends to “deflate” when the hull lacks moisture. Even if you can see light through the seams, the chances are that once your yacht is back in the water, it will swell tight.

Instead of adding an unnecessary layer of caulking, you should try to moisturize the dried-out frame.


  1. You’re Cleaning Your Yacht with Fresh Water

You already know the importance of keeping your yacht in top conditions. When dirt and grime accumulate in the seams of the deck, for example, it holds moisture, which can eventually lead to rot. So, you need to clean your yacht thoroughly to protect it. However, a lot of yacht owners use freshwater, unaware of the impact it can have on the wood frame. Sure, if you have a fiberglass yacht, then using freshwater is perfectly fine. But, in the case of a wooden yacht, freshwater can facilitate the appearance of rot.

Most of these yacht restoration measures may seem simple at first. But, if you analyze the process closely, you will soon realize that a lot can go wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. So, why not leave it to Chi Yacht Refinishing to take care of your refurbishing needs. With our premiere yacht services, your boat will be looking better than ever.