Whether you’re looking at a new boat or a used boat, the hull to deck joint is an important thing to look for. Different boats are constructed using different methods, and how the hull is attached to the deck is, of course, an imperative consideration—if these two parts of the boat come apart, the damage can be catastrophic because water can get between them, and sink the boat. Join Senior Editor Lenny Rudow, as he walks us through the basic elements of a hull to deck joint and how to check them out for yourself.


When buying a new boat, it’s important to make sure the hull to deck joint is solid because it gives you some insight into just how long that boat will last. And when you’re considering an older, used boat, you need to know that hull to deck joint is in good shape, and will remain that way. Remember the picture we showed you of the hull to deck joint that had failed? That boat shouldn’t be launched ever again, certainly not without some major repair work, the cost of which may well exceed the value of the boat. So in that case, used boat buyers certainly need to beware. To gain more insight into what to look for when you buy a boat, be sure to check out our Buying & Selling pages. There, you’ll find plenty of information relating to both how to pick out the best boat for your needs, and also some tips and tricks for finding and making the best deal.

Also be sure to read through our Maintenance section. True, most of the articles and videos here are more about how to keep your boat in good shape, once you have it. But there’s also a wealth of information to be found that will give you plenty of insight into how well a boat’s been cared for by a prior owner. When you’re looking at a used boat, for example, will you know what to look for to see if it was properly shrink wrapped in the past? You will, if you watch Shrink Wrapping a Boat, in which the experts from Atlantic Shrink Wrap point out damage done from an improper shrink wrapping job. Or, will you know if those rust streaks you see under the gunwale mean a serious refit needs to be done? Rusty Stanchion Fasteners? will provide some insight into what you may be looking at.

Written by: Lenny Rudow
With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to publications including YachtWorld, boats.com, Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.