You might need to repair your fiberglass boat at some point due to issues like bubbles or full-on cracks on the hull or floor, although usually, these types of boats are considered pretty low maintenance. When it does come time to make these repairs, they will mostly be needed to mend together surfaces.
The amount you’ll end up spending to repair fiberglass on a boat will vary based on factors such as the cost of labor for this project, where you are getting the boat fixed, the tools required for the work on the surface, as well as the needed materials.
How Much Does Fiberglass Boat Repair Cost?
Among other factors that will influence the cost of fiberglass boat repair, some very important ones are the professional you choose to work with, the materials you use for the repair, as well as the overall damage level of the boat itself.
Plan on spending about $100 to $130 per hour on fiberglass boat repairs, although your final bill will depend on the particular issues that need to be fixed. This hourly price will include both the cost of the labor and the price of the materials that are going to be used. As a general guideline, mending the entire floor of a big boat will easily cost several thousand dollars, while a simple hole or crack will only cost around $100 to $500.
Most service providers will add both the labor charges and the material costs on a single bill when it comes to fiberglass boat repair services, although this will depend on who takes on the job, so it is a good idea to ask whether the bill includes both materials and labor expenses, beforehand.
Although most boat repair companies will quote by the hour, they will still try to offer you an estimate of the overall price you will have to pay based on the damage that can be seen. But as the job moves forward, new issues might arise, taking the final bill considerably higher than it initially was.
According to websites like DoItYourself.com, expect the cost of fiberglass repair to vary based on the extent of the damage needing to be fixed. Although there are repairs that need considerable amounts of material and a lot of labor hours, having prices that can reach $500 or even more, the usual boat repairs will cost between $100 to $130 per hour. There are also higher-quality materials that might cost more, making some fiberglass and gelcoat repair costs go over $500.
Another online blog states that most hired-out repairs, regardless of their type, will usually be priced half for labor and half for products and tools. The same post notes that during a talk with a repair expert, they said that some specific boat repairs were priced at around $3,000 at a professional shop, although the products cost just about $250 and the buffer about $150.
What are the additional costs?
Although it might seem cheaper to just do the repairs yourself, keep in mind that you will still need to buy the needed tools and materials for the job, which in the end might turn out to be more expensive than hiring a professional.
Among the most common materials needed for repairs are things like sandpaper, wax, buffing compound, disposable spray gun, gel coat reducer, gel coat, and fiberglass filler, although you won’t need all of these materials for every job. As for the tools, you will most likely need a combination of safety gear, rotary tool, sanding block, and heat gun. These materials, and especially these tools, won’t be as cheap as you might expect.
You will also spend more if you have a boat that needs pieces of furniture or even the carpet replaced, as these new materials will add to the final bill. Some people like to add things like a new captain’s chair while doing the repairs, and this might make them spend both on the chair itself and on the work needed to take the old one out and replace it with the new one.
Fiberglass repair tips
Browse the BoatUS website to learn more about how the typical fiberglass repair work is done.
You should also check whether your boat is still under its warranty or not. If you’re lucky enough to have the boat under warranty and the damage was due to a manufacturer defect, you might be able to have the repair job fully covered.
Although you might be charged additionally, smaller-sized boats might be offered with services such as pickup and delivery.
A couple of common issues with fiberglass boats
- If you keep the fiberglass boat on a trailer, it might lead to some eventual damage to the trailer itself. Fiberglass boats are very heavy, so it can lead to a great deal of pressure on the trailer.
- Air bubbles in fiberglass laminates deteriorate the boat hull but are nearly impossible to spot with the naked eye. There are many layers of fiberglass in the hull that air bubbles in the innermost layers are very hard to detect. When finished, it is difficult to check most fiberglass hulls as decks and other structures cover them. If the boat is in the water for longer periods of time, these air bubbles can look like blisters on the bottom of the hull. If the blisters are left unattended they can damage your boat. Normally, a pricey bottom job is required to fix the fiberglass damage and there is no assurance that the blisters won’t reappear.
How can you save some money?
You can try to repair a fiberglass boat with the help of a repair kit for smaller-sized repairs to save money on labor rates. Highly-rated sets, for instance, would cost less than $30 and will consist of all of the products needed to finish the project.
If you have the required skills and you are positive that you can get the repair work done, think about fixing the fiberglass of the boat yourself. There are in-depth guides offered all around the Web, especially at DIY sites and on YouTube. As long as the fractures or the location in question is very small, it will not be as difficult as you might think.
Compare the cost of repair provided by various boat repair shops around you. You should try to get at least 3 to 5 quotes prior to devoting to one shop for the project.