How Do You Make an Old Boat Look New Again?

Boats, more than most things, need constant maintenance and upkeep if you want them to look their best, and if left to the elements, will soon look old and run down. The conditions a boat endures, from freezing storms to blistering heat, can really play havoc with the aesthetics. The good news is that if you have finally decided to spruce up your old boat, or you are interested in renovating or refitting one, there are a few practical steps you can take to make it look new again.

Give it a good wash and wax

This might seem obvious, but you’ll be surprised at the results. Time, sunshine and saltwater will take their toll on the lustre of your boat, but a thorough cleaning of the accumulated grime and grease can revitalise it.

Almost all modern boats use aluminium because of its lightweight, affordability, and aesthetic appeal, but without regular maintenance, it will lose its lustre over time. A quality aluminium cleaner and some determination can restore these fittings to their former beauty in just an afternoon. The effects can be transformative.

Fibreglass is another common feature on boats and is susceptible to water stains, rust, and algae if not properly maintained. Like aluminium, it’s lightweight, durable, and looks good, so once you have it shining, the whole boat will start to look like new again. Fibreglass powder cleaner is really simple to use, affordable, and extremely effective.

Next, use a power buffer to wax the hull and restore it to its former brilliance. Obviously, this will make a huge difference, but it might not quite get the desired results, after all, time and neglect will catch up to us all. If, after you have washed and waxed the hull, your boat still looks a bit shabby, it might be a good idea to repaint it. This is best left to the professionals, as they have the tools and experience to do the job correctly.

Make sure to use the appropriate cleaning products for each section and work from the top down.

Update the cockpit

Of course, you want your boat to look its best for all the other boaters to admire, and unlike the interior, the cockpit is usually highly visible from the dockside. The vinyl in your cockpit is susceptible to cracking, fading and peeling, but this can often be repaired with marine-grade vinyl paint. A little elbow grease and time can help restore your vinyl to its former glory for next to nothing.

Still, sometimes the vinyl may just be too far gone. In this case, you might need the services of a professional marine upholsterer. This is the more expensive option, but the results will be dramatic, and the new upholstery will last a lifetime if properly maintained. You can even use this as an opportunity to update your colour scheme.

Carpeting is also a fairly easy and inexpensive thing to replace. A good supplier can provide carpet that is pre-cut and ready to be slapped into place. Often, these carpets come in sizes based on the dimensions of popular models of boats, but they can be produced easily with custom dimensions.

It’s good to remember that your boat is an important living space, you can turn it into whatever you want. Maybe the carpet is a bit outdated, why not try some decking instead? It’s more resilient and withstands the climate. Whatever you do, check with a specialist, it’s great to have a second opinion from someone who knows the ins and outs of how to make an old boat look new again, and they are only too happy to help.


Make it a home from home

The cabins of a boat can represent different things to different people, from the pleasure you get when you invite your friends and neighbours aboard your capricious passion, to the sense of safety and familiarity you welcome on a harsh oceanic voyage. However, the most important thing is that the interior of your boat makes you feel comfortable.

The custom build of boats often dissuades people from adding their personal touch to the interior, it’s not as if you can simply pick up a new wardrobe from IKEA. But there are many things you can do to revamp your cabins. First, pick a new colour scheme that is bright and fresh, but resistant to dirt. Then, get to work lifting the carpets, changing the cushions, upholstery and curtains, and touching up any paintwork. This process gives you the perfect opportunity to tackle any mildew or mould. Make sure you give any damp patches time and air to dry before recovering with any upholstery or carpets.

Little touches like new dishware, linen, towels, and even cutlery can go a long way to revitalising your cabin space. Have fun, find your creative side, and enjoy the experience, this is a chance to make something extra special.


Keep it clean

After all the time, money and effort you’ve put into the refitting, the last thing you want to do is let it slip back into a state of neglect. Keep it clean!

Remember, these are aesthetics. It’s great to have a pretty boat, but when all is said and done, proper maintenance of the functioning parts is what will count when you most need it.

Thankfully, if you’re in the Sydney area, Corleone Marinas have all the services you need in some of the most desirable locations. Teams of qualified mechanics and shipwrights will be on hand to help solve any problem that might come your way. Once you’ve got your old boat looking like new again, you want to show it off. The picturesque backdrops and settings of the Corleone Marinas offer the perfect place to showcase your labour of love. The first-class facilities, professional and courteous staff, and community atmosphere will help you truly relish your time on your boat and create experiences to remember.

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