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Repair or Replace Steel Houseboat Hulls - Rust issues cause major replacing or repairing expenses.

by Steve

Our Skipperliner houseboat with steel hull rust issues.

Our Skipperliner houseboat with steel hull rust issues.

How to repair or replace steel houseboat hulls, is often brought on by rust issues, and causes some major replacing or repairing expenses, that were never planned or expected in a newer boat. My story began after purchasing a 1997 luxury Skipperliner houseboat, that have some serious interior and exterior rust issues. Generally steel hulls require major work and welding after 20-30 years, and not after 8-10 years.

Steel houseboats require a competent marine surveyor to sound the hull and determine the condition of the steel structure, and our boat has rusted out from the inside and lost up to 25% of its original thickness in just 8-10 short years.

This is becoming a serious issue, major headache, and some big money $$$$$. If you like, you can visit our web site to know more about my Steel Skipperliner Houseboat issues.

Thanks, Steve.

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Reply - Answer
Well Steve, welcome to the forums, and sorry to hear about the issues with your beautiful Skipperliner houseboat. My wife and I would seriously consider the same model, yet with an aluminum hull.

I have always been amazed at how boats or houseboats for that matter, are totally different to houses when it comes to construction, quality, and longevity.

The old adage about that the word B-O-A-T means Bring Out Another Thousand. This old saying doesn't always hold true, since sometimes serious problems require many thousands of dollars, not just another thousand.

Again, I am sorry to hear about the rusting issues, and do let us know of any solutions, progress, or agreements that arise.

In closing, I imagine some readers will come forward with some tips or tricks to maintain, repair, replace, or prolong the useful life of steel houseboats?

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their steel houseboat hull rust issues or experiences. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.

Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats

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Comments for Repair or Replace Steel Houseboat Hulls - Rust issues cause major replacing or repairing expenses.

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Repair advice
by: Lou

I have a steel houseboat built in 1976. I have had a few issues with rust and I have never removed any steel from the bottom.

I go over the bottom with a hammer listening for any spots that do not ring like sound metal should. You will hear more of a "thud". You may even go through in some spots.

Find a good welder and put a plate over those spots. It may be very small or it may go down the length of the boat. Apply a coal tar paint to the fresh metal.

Many people sandblast their hull but I find that is not necessary. Be sure to check under heads and near the firewall especially.

Also look near the bow around the double plated area of your Skipperliner. Beach rocks can leave sharp dents and punctures.

I too have a rust issue in my Skipperliner
by: Stacee Ward

I have a 1979 47 foot Skipperliner that I have owned for 4 years. Memorial weekend we had to pull it out off the water due to a leak. My husband has been cutting the bad spots out and we now have a large area missing in the hull.

My question is what is the best thing to do, weld a replacement piece there, or replete the boat? If we replate the boat do we just plate over the existing metal? Please if anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them.

Thanks, Stacee

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