What are Stringers on a boat?

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Stringers are the wooden structure built underneath the deck of the boat to provide support and strength. Wooden stringers are primarily used in older boats and prevalent among a few types of modern boats. The contemporary boat builders use plywood to build strong stringers. The stringers perform high-level functions such as stiffen the flat hull section, distribute load concentration from engines, etc. These activities are performed simultaneously by the stringers.

What is the orientation of Stringers in a boat?

Stringers are support devices as a scaffold. These support members are installed into boat hulls. The orientation of the stringers is parallel to the boat hull’s long axis. The most important part of the orientation is the grain orientation. The grain of the wood must follow the length. It is not good to use plywood for stringers because many plywood grains run across the outer direction.

What are Stringers made up of?

Stringers are usually made up of two layers, at least. The seams are offset by at least 2 inches. You will mostly observe those stringers in a fiberglass boat made up of a core or base material such as oak wood and fabricated with fiberglass skin. The fiberglass skin stretches a few inches on both sides of the stringer. This extension helps tie the stringer to the bulkheads or hull that spreads the load of the stringers.

How to inspect boat Stringers?

There are four steps involved in the tap test of the stringer of a boat or a potential boat:

  1. Take a regular pocket knife or a drive socket.
  2. Tap on the stringer using the pocketknife.
  3. If you hear a sharp clicking sound on tapping, your stringer is in good condition.
  4. But if you hear a dull thud, you must know that there is detachment of fiberglass skin from the wooden core.

When to replace boat stringers?

The replacement of boat stringers is not very complex. You can do it by yourself following a few steps. Boat stringers are needed to be placed and repaired at some point due to wear and tear. Sometimes, the fiberglass skin detaches from the core wooden structure that allows water and moisture entry into the boat. If this happens, you should start repairing or replacing the stringers once you have replaced the core material; you also need to replace the fiberglass skin.

How much does it cost to replace or repair boat stringers?

Here is a list of a few ideas of the cost involved in stringer replacement:

  • For two new stringers- $240
  • 5 gallons of Epoxy Resin- $120
  • Fiberglass 1708- $6.50 per yard

With other tools and equipment, the average cost for stringer replacement is $700. If the boat’s hull is old, the total cost would likely be $1500.