Will Boat Floors Rot? How to Prevent this from Happening

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When it comes to boat floors, there is always a concern about rot. Will the floor of my boat eventually succumb to this dreaded problem? How can I prevent it from happening? In this article, we will explore boat floor rot and offer some tips on how to protect your boat from this issue.

So will boat floors rot? The answer is yes, boat floors can rot due to consistently being damp. However, with a few simple steps, you can protect your boat and avoid this issue altogether. Boat floor rot is often caused by water damage. If your boat is not properly sealed, water can get in and cause the wood to deteriorate.

What will cause your boat’s floor to rot?

Most consumer-style boat floors are made of plywood, which, while being relatively inexpensive, and a great option for the subfloor in boats, does have one side. Plywood tends to fall apart when it is put in contact with large amounts of moisture for long periods.

Unfortunately, boats tend to get wet, not only because they are meant to float on water, but also because they sit outside without moving during the wettest times of the year like Spring and Winter.

The main reasons why water will settle onto the flooring on your boats are the following.

  1. Water is settling on your boat cover or tarp, leaving puddles that slowly leak into the interior of your boat. Yep, your boat cover and tarp aren’t waterproof.
  2. You didn’t remove the bilge plug, leaving water inside the boat, and moisture collecting on the inside of the boat.
  3. You don’t have a boat cover, leaving rain, snow, and leaves to pile up on the inside of the boat.

How can you stop your boat floor from deteriorating?

The best way to keep your floors from rotting away in your boat is to make sure that water is not able to settle onto the floors in the first place. Here are some great ways to do this!

  1. Keep something like a DampRid inside of the boat when it is not in use. This will collect any water that is in the air, and keep it from settling throughout the boat.
  2. Utilize a good boat cover, and then cover that with a tarp if you aren’t using your boat regularly at the time.
  3. Prop up your boat cover and tarp with a boat cover support pole. This makes it so that water is unable to collect on the boat cover, and instead runs off the side of the boat and onto the ground.
  4. Check on your boat every once in a while. When you have a moment, it is best practice to check on your boat during the off-season. This will allow you to find if any water is building up and if it needs to be addressed.

If you do these things, it will be much less likely that your boat floors start to become soft and deteriorate over time.

Can you repair a rotted floor?

If boat floor rot has already set in, it is possible to repair the damage. However, this can be a difficult and expensive process, depending on the extent of the rot. If you are unsure whether or not boat floor rot can be repaired, it is best to consult a professional.

They will be able to tell you the best course of action and whether or not it is worth repairing the floor.


Boat floor rot can be a big issue, but it’s easy to prevent if you take the right steps. Make sure to keep your boat cover on when it’s not in use, and check on it periodically. If you do this, your boat floor should last for years to come.

While boat floor rot is a possibility, it’s not something that you have to worry about if you take the right precautions.